Posted by: bkropf | March 16, 2008

The Rainy Part of Berlin

I met Karin at a little market after wandering around for a good part of the afternoon.  We walked down some little alleys and went into this very interesting gallery. It looked like a bunch of taggers decided to start selling there work.  There were tons of really interesting books.  I could not read any of course but the pictures were fun.


After the gallery, we headed to this huge old building.  In the back there was this big sandy area with old pieces of sculptures.  We started climbing the floors of the old building and each floor seemed to have stranger and stranger art the higher we climbed.  Some of it was really cool.  It was odd because it was pretty late at this point and there were tons of artists just sitting around smoking and making more pieces of art.  At the top of the building there was a little bar so we had a beer as all these people next to us smoked some weed.


I was still pretty jet lagged so I went to bed when we got home.  I woke up early to head into town.  Ordering a pastry did not go to well.  I guess to symbol the number one you need to use your thumb instead of your pointing finger.  I ordered two using my pointer. 


It was incredibly cold and rainy.  Though my gortex jacket did its best, it finally became soggy and I became very cold.  I took refuge in the German Capital building.  It was probably one of the coolest capitals in the world.  It has a glass dome on top anyone can climb and peer down into the German Parliament.  This dome and ability to look into the assembly is a reminder to all German politicians that the public is watching and will never let power be misused.  It also really looks good too. 


By 11am the rain broke and it actually was a little sunny.  I met up with a free walking tour and we walked all over for another 3.5 hours.  That was probably one of the best things in Berlin.  The history and buildings were were amazing.


I met Karin at 3 for a tour of a bunker.  It was all in German so I got bored fairly quickly.  It was funny…The tour guild would go into one room of the bunker which looked pretty plain and would talk for about 10 minutes and people would laugh periodically.  As we would move onto the next room Karin would say something like, ¨This is where air was pumped.¨  I feel like something was lost in the translation.


I was falling asleep about 6pm so we went back to her flat and I took a nap.  For dinner I went out and had a kebab and wandered the streets. 


The next morning I found my train to Prague and departed. 


One thing that really surprised me about Berlin was the lack of tall buildings.  Almost every building was five stories tall.  Karin said she heard there was a rule that buildings could not be taller than the streets were wide.  A second surprise was the graffiti, who knew it was so all encompassing. 


Has anyone seen the documentary called God Camp. As an aside I can not figure out how to type, parentheses, hyphens, and question-marks so most of my questions will have periods. Well I have not seen it but Karin and other Germans have and it scares/concerns them.  The movie proposes that a huge majority of Americans are evangelicals.  Then they go to this Bible camp where tons of little kids are speaking in tongues, prophesying and saying how the world is so black and white. Some Germans are concerned because if this extreme fundamentalism and fanaticism represents most American youth, they worry the fundamentalists will influence politics in a way that will militaristic or economically carry out their beliefs. Much like militaristic Muslims.  Personally, I think there is nothing to worry about because I feel like the producers of the movie picked the most extreme case and can edit the film however they feel.  With that said though, it is interesting how Europeans perceive Americans.


Things continue to break on this trip.  My shaver is no longer working so I had the painful experience of shaving very long stubble with a straight edge and now shaving cream.


Once again, using the internet is costing me precious money so I am not going to reread this post.



  1. It’s Sunday morning and I am so glad to hear from you again after a couple of days of silence!
    What a good read….I acturally heard of the movie
    God Camp (at Curves)…they said it was “interesting.” So glad you are SAFE!
    Love and a prayer, Mom

  2. YES!!!! Hahahaha… I forgot to warn you how Europeans count with their fingers. Thumbs are 1… I love it. Brandon ordered 2 pizzas instead of one while we were in Warsaw … though that did get me some free pizza =)

    If the only knowledge of evangelicals that I had was of more “extreme” cases like shown in God Camp, I’d be terrified too. lol

    Yea Berlin is definitely known for its grafitti. It’s basically the art of Berlin. I wonder if you went on the same walking tour that we did.

    And did you go to the main train station in Berlin? The Hauptbanhof? It’s unbelievable… America could take some lessons on how to run a proper mass transit system.

    I never thought about all of the buildings being short. I think some downtown in the newest section of town might be taller? hmmm… maybe not though.

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