Originally posted 22/07/2013
Pretty busy day today - Walked around Berlin for 3-4 hours this morning on a tour, checked out the DDR Museum and then had a night in at the hotel catching up on a bit of sleep.
I always thought that nothing could compare to Aussie summer, just because of how hot it gets over there. Even though the days here aren't quite as hot, they sure are long though, the sun doesn't set until 10pm each night. And when you don't start drinking till it gets dark, that ends up being a pretty late night.
First thing in the morning we walked around Berlin. The guide had studied history at uni in Berlin so he really knew his stuff, it was great.
Our guide told us an interesting fact, in Medieval Europe, the rich and famous were often buried inside churches. Whenever there was such a burial, the church would reek for days afterwards as the stench of decomposition came through the stones in the floor. Hence the term "Stinking Rich".
The construction I mentioned yesterday was because they are building a new Metro line along Unter den Linden (literally: Under the Linden Trees). It's not usually quite as bad, but bad enough that Alexanderplatz is often known as construction street.
Instead of our usual traffic light man, in the eastern part of Berlin there is a thing they call the Ampelmann. The story behind that is that the communist germans wanted a figure that the people would trust to try to lower traffic accidents, so they asked their traffic psychologist (yeah apparently they exist) to design 'the most trustworthy figure' and he came up with a little fat bald man with a hat.
Speaking of the Ampelmann, here's an ampelmann guitar:
Continuing the theme of weird and different drinks, they really like cola and orange here