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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 3 of Germany

Leftovers for breakfast, packed up, returned the rental car, then took a little train to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in Hannover.  We took the train to Berlin.  I was hoping it would be a little more impressive.  Bullet train makes it sound so cool, but it was just a train.  We took the bus a couple of stops and then dragged our suitcases through the cobblestones and road construction of Berlin.  Nick read later that tourists pulling suitcases along the streets is a pet-peeve of the residents of Berlin.  Our AirBNB host was waiting for us.  We went up 3 flights of steep stairs--I will remember next time to ask what floor apartments are on and if there is an elevator.

We stopped for lunch on our way to see the sites and stopped by the grocery store.  We accidentally left by a different exit than we had entered and I didn't realize it until a half an hour later.  Thankfully I had "borrowed" the map from our apartment and got us turned around in the right direction.

We got to the lightrail station.  It took us a while to buy our tickets.  It turns out that particular machine was not working properly.  We got on the right train and off at the right stop!  We were pleasantly surprised.

We went to the Fassbinder exibit first.  The exibit was interesting.  I know I will enjoy Fassbinder films more, now that I understand more what the director was going for.

We saw the wall memorial and visited Topography of Terror--the museum that sits on the old SS and Gestapo headquarters and explains the history of the city related to the Nazi regime.  We went to the Jewish Museum and Brandenburg gate, then out for pizza.  We probably walked 4-5 miles.  Our feet and legs were so tired.

This was the first day I noticed the Stolperstein--the stumbling blocks marking places where people were removed from their homes by the Nazis.  On this day, I thought a lot about Valerie Scheftel, the subject of the book "Paper Love" that Nick gave me for Christmas.  She was a Jewish doctor who lived in Berlin and survived several years there under the Nazis before she was removed and killed in a concentration camp.  I wondered about her life before and after the Nazis came to power, what parts of town she used to go to and live in, and what sites we were seeing that she used to see.

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