Germany – We all know about the bad parts of my Germany story so I wonâ€™t go over that again. Of the German Rally that I saw it was unreal. They let you get so close to the cars, itâ€™s great. I guess itâ€™s because they don’t have stupid public liability issues like they do in oz. On one stage I was about a metre at with cars absolutely hammering by. Itâ€™s great for photo opportunities.
It’s a tarmac rally so the cars have huge brakes rotors, huge rims and theyâ€™re low as. The cars hold the road like they are on train rails. Itâ€™s a amazing how quickly and sharp these cars can turn without budging and inch. On some corners you would see the brake rotors glowing red hot.
This is a long one so you’ll have to bear with me. Trust me, you might find it amusing.
I landed in Luxembourg on time at 10am. I got into the hire car, a brand new Renault Clio. Only issue of course being the steering wheel is on the left hand side but I knew this would be the case. Gees it is weird. I went to open the car door on the wrong side and I went to grab the seat belt on my right hand side. It’s not there of course. I’ve done both of these several times. Taking off was scary and I had feared driving on the right hand side a few nights before. I circled the airport car park to have a short go.
I only really had text directions to get to Trier, Germany from Luxembourg airport. It’s only 40kms (30mins) away and the directions look easy. I first turned the wrong way and had to do a bit of a loop but I quickly found the exit ramp to get on to the autobahn. Phew I thought that was easy. I took the turn off to Trier but it seemed to keep going and going so being on the motorway it took forever to do a u-turn. I exited out back on to the autobahn and saw the same Trier sign and the same exit but I drove on expecting another. I ended up going on for ages and found a sign that had Trier on it again. I took the exit ramp and drove for ages again. I kept thinking to myself “I have no idea where I am. I have no map”, “I honestly don’t think I’m gonna be able to get this car back to Luxembourg”, “I am completely lost”. I really don’t know how I didn’t have a break down and a couple times I dead set thought I wouldn’t be able to get the car back. Also I had been up since 03:40am! Iâ€™d also been in a line for 2hrs at the airport due to the baggage restrictions.
History wise, Berlin is easily the most interesting place I have come across. So many huge events have occurred here over the last century. Our bike guard said he was having a coffee with a 90 year old woman who has lived here her whole life and has never left. Gees she has been through some interesting times.
The holocaust memorial fascinated me. It looks unreal from so many angles. I took heaps of pictures. Rach just said behind the Star Wars exhibition this memorial is the most I’ve taken pictures of. It has just over 2,700 stone blocks making up the memorial. It has been quite controversial for a few reasons. It only commemorates Jews. Hitler killed many other people including disabled, homosexuals and generally any one that didn’t follow his thinking. Also the company contracted to apply the anti graffiti coating to the rocks was the same company Hitler used to manufacture the gas he used in his gas chambers. There was a massive public uproar and as a sign of trying to mend the past, the company supplied the coating all free of charge. For pictures of the memorial click here.
We were over the top of where Hitler’s bunker hid metres below, where he committed suicide. At first, surprisingly there was not a single marking or note of the massively historical site that laid beneath us. But the more I’ve been here the more I hear about how the Germans are really trying to distance themselves from what happen, as well as they don’t like talking about their dark history. Apparently Hitler was not even liked by the majority of Germans when he was in power. It’s a shame that you can’t go underground to see it but I respect why there is nothing mentioned any where about the site.
There is this really funny huge tower named the Victory tower. It symbolises some Victory over the French. It really is a big “Ha Ha We Won!” to the French. It is metal is made entirely of melted down guns captured from the French. It has canons around it that were all captured from the French. It has gold plated bits that yes again, were captured from the French. It also has a statue of someone pointing in the direction of France too Apparently the French don’t like it. I can’t see why? 😉
At any Jewish religious site there are policemen 24 hours a day. Not because there is a high chance of being vandalised but more that on the very unlikely chance that vandalism were to occur. It’s there to prevent any bad publicity as you can imagine the media would make a frenzy of it world wide.
I highly recommend seeing the DVD titled “Downfall”. I saw it just before we left. It was a new release from VideoEzy. It’s in German with English subtitles. It’s about the last week or so of Hitler’s life. After hearing from the guide, the movie is very factually correct. I thought the movie was very interesting. Hitler was really insane. Towards the end he never listened to any of his top Generals that they were to crumple. One woman was so passionate about Hitler that she could not think of a world without Hitler in power. So in Hitler’s bunker she killed five of her six children and then herself. Even after top raking Generals urged her that there was still time to escape before the Russians arrived. She just though life without Hitler was not worth living. One word that comes to mind is “fanaticism”.
Berlin has been really good, itÂ is so interesting because there is so much history behind everything that we have seen.Â The weather has been great which is always a bonus!Â We went on another bike tour yesterday (yes we love our bike tours!) it was really good the tour guide was so knowledgable he knew absolutely everything.Â There is so much to do in Berlin we haven’t even touched the surface of things to do and see.
Last night we went on a pub crawl with some other busabout people it wasÂ a lot ofÂ fun we visited 4 clubs and at every place we got a free shot as you can imagine Adrian was pretty happy with that!Â We had the walk to each club so in between the clubs the guides poured yagameister and apple snapps into our mouths!Â Â The last club we went to was pretty big it had 3 different rooms but the music was pretty crap in all 3. We got home at about 3:30 so today has been a bit of struggle to get motivated to do stuff.Â
This afternoon we were going to a concentration camp about 40 minutes out of Berlin so we went to the train station to catch a train and sat there for about 30 minutes waiting for it and then realised that the announcement over the loud speaker in German that had been repeated several times was saying that our train had been cancelled!Â Adrian was most upset because it was something he really wanted to see but apparently we stop at a concentration camp on our way to Prague tomorrow.Â
I’ve got 2 minutes left so I better go.