FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Tag der Deutschen Einheit

Posted in Berlin, Germany by folkestonejack on October 3, 2008

After leaving Tempelhof behind I headed to the Tiergarten and the Siegessäule (a column originally designed to celebrate victory in the Danish-Prussian War with later additions recording victories in subsequent wars). The view from the top across the Straße des 17. Juni was quite spectacular, particularly with crowds building on the closed road to celebrate the Tag der Deutschen Einheit (day of German unity).

In the evening I headed east to Frankfurter Tor to meet up with a friend, but as ever I arrived way too early and spent my extra time wandering along Karl-Marx-Allee checking out the fascinating information boards that explained more about the socialist architecture all around me.

After my friend arrived we headed off to the Dritte Ohr (the Third Ear), a friendly kneipe on Matternstraße, where we spent the evening drinking. My friend thought it appropriate that I try every kind of local speciality that I had never encountered before, resulting in a rather odd array of drinks including Berliner weißbier (green) and kirsch bier. All good fun.

Amongst our conversations my friend told me about some of the absurdities of the Stasi grip on the east, such as a competition for kids in a West German school to release balloons with their address on – to see which landed furthest away. One landed in East Germany and the resulting exchange between two kids guaranteed the westerner a stasi file!

At the end of the night I somehow managed to navigate my way back to Frankfurter Tor and caught a late night/early morning train west and fell into my bed having felt that I’d made use of every second of the day.