Before this trip, I read about Berlin for months and identified what I wanted to see. Then I located those sites on Google Maps and plotted a path from one to the next. Essentially, I’m making a loop around Mitte, the central borough, where I’d guess 80% of the sightseeing goes on.
On my way to the famous KaDeWe department store, I walked down the Ku’damm, a classic big-city boulevard. Just passed BMW, Tesla, Apple, Hugo Boss, Aveda and many other brand names on really high-priced real estate.
Oh, yeah. And one of those Ampelmann stores.
This is KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens, or Department store of the West). A massively fine shopping destination that is as quintessentially Berlin as the Adlon Hotel.
The Wittenberg Platz subway stop, right next to KaDeWe, is under repair but open. Looks like some bikers decided to ditch the rentals and go by rail.
Walking to the Resistance Memorial, I came across this idyllic scene along the Landwehr Kanal in the middle of the city.
The bear is Berlin’s symbol. These figures can be found at several points in the city.
A “Handy” is a mobile phone. So this kiosk is part of paying for parking with an app. Gives you a warning when your time is running out and much more. Cities in the U.S. have been experimenting with this, but none where I could try it.
This is the grim facade of the memorial to the Resistance during the Hitler years. From signs, it appears to be on land that’s part of the Defense Ministry. A gray, rainy morning was the perfect day to visit.
This no-frills inner courtyard of the Resistance memorial is where the military leaders of the failed Valkyrie operation, an attempt to assassinate Hitler in fall 1943, were executed. You may remember the story from the Tom Cruise movie. Cobblestone never felt so hard.
This is for Arthur, who made me a gift of “In the Garden of the Beasts” by Erik Larson. The book is about William Dodd, American ambassador to Germany, 1933-1937. Dodd leased Tiergartenstrasse 27 on “Embassy Row” as his residence, and this is how it looks today. A policeman patrolling this beat said the land was cleared for the Yemen Embassy, but then the civil war got in the way.