Berlin Pix

Yeah – there are a lot of pix from the Netherlands I still haven’t posted, but I didn’t want to get even further behind. So I’ll post those (as well as all the missing pix from India) once I get back home. Or if I get bored later on the trip. But here you have my first full day of touring Berlin. (BTW – I scored a second theatre ticket for Berlin!)

First Full Day in Berlin

After sleeping most of the day I arrived - I did NOT sleep well on the overnight bus - I was refreshed enough to spend nearly 9 hours walking about. First I took transit to to Grosse Tiergarten (a park) and walked through the fall foliage. Then I took a bus to the Lustgarden where, after grabbing some breakfast at a Starbucks clone, I went on a fantastic "free" (pay what you want) walking tour. I will definitely be doing more of these. Then I walked back past the Maxim Gorki theatre where I bought a ticket to another show. Yay! Then I fortunately came across a Vietnamese restaurant on my way back to the train. Except for bread items, German food is not tempting me at all.

On the way to the train. Setting up for the (seemingly) daily market. On the way to the train. Setting up for the (seemingly) daily market. A fake decorative windmill. It looked like they were setting up an Oktoberfest thing, but who knows - it is Germany. A fake decorative windmill. It looked like they were setting up an Oktoberfest thing, but who knows - it is Germany. TV Tower, which I learned later in my tour was a Cold War dick waving thing as much as a technological endeavor. It is the tallest structure in Germany and the second tallest in the EU, according to Wikipedia TV Tower, which I learned later in my tour was a Cold War dick waving thing as much as a technological endeavor. It is the tallest structure in Germany and the second tallest in the EU, according to Wikipedia Palace, under construction. See description. Palace, under construction. See description. Looking out the top front of the double decker bus. Looking out the top front of the double decker bus. At the time I was just taking a photo of a random statue, but later was told it was Frederick the Great, who seems like a pretty interesting dude. Must research him further. At the time I was just taking a photo of a random statue, but later was told it was Frederick the Great, who seems like a pretty interesting dude. Must research him further. Another place I saw later, the Brandenburg Gate. Another place I saw later, the Brandenburg Gate. More random places on my unguided bus ride. More random places on my unguided bus ride. More random places on my unguided bus ride. More random places on my unguided bus ride. More random places on my unguided bus ride. There appear to be bells in this very modern looking tower. More random places on my unguided bus ride. There appear to be bells in this very modern looking tower. There appear to be bells in this very modern looking tower. There appear to be bells in this very modern looking tower. Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten Grosse Tiergarten On the way back from the park. Later found out this was Berliner Dom. On the way back from the park. Later found out this was Berliner Dom. On the way back from the park. On the way back from the park. On the way back from the park. Later found out this was Berliner Dom. On the way back from the park. Later found out this was Berliner Dom. A Starbucks clone with one huge exception. They asked everyone if it was "for here or to go" and if it was for there everything was served on non disposable ceramic plates/cups. A Starbucks clone with one huge exception. They asked everyone if it was "for here or to go" and if it was for there everything was served  on non disposable ceramic plates/cups. Interesting place Interesting place Moving in on the signs by the doors. Moving in on the signs by the doors. Altes Museum Altes Museum Altes Museum column closeup Altes Museum column closeup Pretty flowers. Pretty flowers. Again, the Berliner Dom. But now I know what it is. Again, the Berliner Dom. But now I know what it is. Berliner Dom with the TV Tower in the background. Berliner Dom with the TV Tower in the background. Altes Museum Altes Museum Top of Altes Museum Top of Altes Museum Mentioned before. The rebuilding of the city palace. Mentioned before. The rebuilding of the city palace. Frederick the Great, again. I guess he was upset that he was named "the Great" and not "the Philosopher King" (according to our tour guide). He wanted to be known for his support of the humanities rather than his war stuff. Frederick the Great, again. I guess he was upset that he was named "the Great" and not "the Philosopher King" (according to our tour guide). He wanted to be known for his support of the humanities rather than  his war stuff. Cool statue Cool statue The Opera House. Thanks to Frederick the Great. The Opera House. Thanks to Frederick the Great. Currently houses the Humboldt University Law School, this was originally built by you know who to be a library. Currently houses the Humboldt University Law School, this was originally built by you know who to be a library. I think this was maybe the top of the facade. I think this was maybe the top of the facade. Top of the former library Top of the former library Catholic church built by Frederick the Great to show how accepting he was of others beliefs (he, and Germany was/is? a Protestant nation) Catholic church built by Frederick the Great to show how accepting he was of others beliefs (he, and Germany was/is? a Protestant nation) A monument in the square by the library commemorating the Nazi book burnings that took place there. If you look through the glass you will see a bunch of empty shelves. A monument in the square by the library commemorating the Nazi book burnings that took place there. If you look through the glass you will see a bunch of empty shelves. Our lovely tour guide, Lioba Our lovely tour guide, Lioba Konzerthaus Berlin Konzerthaus Berlin They pipe water (runoff water, I think) above the ground in Berlin They pipe water (runoff water, I think) above the ground in Berlin Where tourguide stopped to show us the divided post-war Germany. On the map it looks like the US got to control Bremen, which is in the British area. Need to check out what was up with that. Where tourguide stopped to show us the divided post-war Germany. On the map it looks like the US got to control Bremen, which is in the British area. Need to check out what was up with that.

Mostly Vondelpark

Well my activities yesterday pretty much consisted of getting lunch (I was smart enough to do that first), visiting a coffeeshop, walking around Vondelpark, and coming back to the hostel and being completely useless for the entire evening. I don’t think I’ll repeat that again. Uses up too much time. But Vondelpark was wonderful. And my back was pain free for a few hours, which was quite nice.

Mostly Vondelpark

Grabbed lunch, then visited a coffeeshop where the couple of lovely young women working there were very kind to a clueless old lady. After recovering somewhat, I moved on to walk around the awesome Vondelpark. Then I was pretty much useless for the rest of the day. But my back felt good.

I love the Netherlands

At least for now. After 2 days. Such a lovely, lovely country.

I will add more to this point, but my battery is running low and I don’t feel like grabbing charger now, but still, I’ve got some pics. Also adding them to the photo gallery.

Walking around Amsterdam

Starting with a few pix from the evening I arrived, most are pix of me just taking a long walk between the Weesperplein Metro station and Vondelpark. Didn't get far into the park because I was exhausted but plan to return.

Dutch Countryside Tour - Sept 19

Toured what would have been a working windmill (had there been any wind) in Zaanse Schans and was shown how it works. Then hit the fishing village of Volendam, where we saw how cheese was made and had a tasting (couldn't resist - bought some too) and had lunch. Then, a boat trip across a huge fresh water lake (10th largest in Europe) that was reclaimed from the sea via damming. We arrived in Marken, where we witnessed clogs being made. The full Dutch experience.

Mostly Vondelpark

Grabbed lunch, then visited a coffeeshop where the couple of lovely young women working there were very kind to a clueless old lady. After recovering somewhat, I moved on to walk around the awesome Vondelpark. Then I was pretty much useless for the rest of the day. But my back felt good.

The obligatory Taj Mahal Photos are here!

Again – not much on the blogging, but PIX for you!

Agra - Taj Majal

Photos of the Taj Mahal. Google Taj Mahal. The pro pix are much better. 

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Moving on.

Today I leave Rishikesh, which was my favorite place to visit so far. Met interesting, much-braver-than-me people, and I could actually speak to some of them.

So I have my flight home booked – Oct 11 out of Dublin. Many months sooner than expected, I know. Between now and then, my plans are Amsterdam, Berlin, London, and Dublin (including day trips from them).

The photo is the first and only coffee I’m drinking in India. Those who know me well can appreciate how much of a departure this is. Also no soda. Masala chai, water, and juice. But I thought I should at least try coffee (in what appears to be the Starbucks of India – Cafe Coffee Day).

I’ll try to post more pics soon if I can get good internet.