A damp walk in – Berlin (Checkpoint Charlie, Trabants, and wurst-bears); then on – to Bonn!

After our washout in the French capital (we didn’t really notice the weather in Brussels), we were hoping for better weather in the German one, but it wasn’t to be – the wet, windy and dreary weather seemed to be following us around on our quick business tour of Europe. Grrr. But what was more infuriating was that, as soon as we left each city (I checked online!) – out came the sun! Grrrrrr.

And so the trend continued here ->

Not that Berlin is a capital fully replete with tourist attractions in the first place, but all its museums were closed anyway since we were there on a Monday. That left only one thing for us to do in the short time we were here – go on a leisurely walkabout around some of the usual-suspects famous spots in the city. And first up just had to be something connected with the Cold War, surely. Berlin Wall? Nein (too obvious). Checkpoint Charlie? Ja! ->

Next, just round the corner – more relics of the Cold War-era at a Trabant museum ->

We saw tourists taking rides in them, but we didn’t bother; somewhat reminiscent of Soviet Zaporozhets cars, we didn’t fancy their noisiness, rattling, smell, or probable breakdown ).

Germany doesn’t go in for skyscrapers generally, but there are a few these days here in Berlin – albeit modest ones. Ah, but I remember I was puzzled by this state of affairs way back in 2017 when visiting Frankfurt (the only city (or at least one of the very few cities) in Germany with plenty of skyscrapers). I recall in the comments to my blogpost back then finding out that the reason seems to be historical/traditional – and perhaps down to a distaste of vanity projects ).

The Bundestag (fenced off and undergoing repairs) ->

And the Brandenburg Gate – shrouded in scaffolding ->

…It really wasn’t our day for tourisms :(

Crossing Pariser Platz, I recalled the bizarre red bears near here last time I was here. And here they still were! ->

That last time was in March 2020 – just as the covid pandemic was taking over the world. I believe it was my last appearance on a stage for a good old while – just before lockdown kicked in fully.

My travel companions, YS and ML, still trying to have fun despite the weather, scaffolding and closed museums ->

Bleak Berlin. Sounds like a Cold War spy novel ->

And that was that – Bleak Berlin: done sampled ).

Next up – Bonn. Our walkabout here was in the evening once the day’s business had been done. And the first thing to catch my eye… ->

Turns out Bonn’s also a quaint old city of interest. Not quite Paris or Venice in scale, but still impressive – and starting to be decorated with Christmas trees, trimmings, markets ->

The monument to Bonn-native Beethoven:

I’ve viewed Leonardo‘s monument (in Florence), Kant‘s too (in Kaliningrad), and now – Ludwig’s! // Which got me thinking – will today’s music still be listened to in 200 years’ time? )

Old Ancient architecture mixed in with the new:

I wonder what that wall (once part of a whole castle, surely?) is? ->

Assorted evening pics of downtown Bonn:

Looks like the cathedral is closed ->

No – you can go inside. Guess what we did?…

…In we went, of course ).

And that was that; nocturnal Bonn – done. Next morning: breakkie, suitcase, taxi, airport… Alps! ->

…See – told you the weather clears up just as we’re leaving :0)!

The rest of the pics from Germany are here.

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