A few people have asked about the pictures I posted of Berlin. I find it so much easier on Blogger just to load up pictures, that is why there are no captions. That's a round about excuse for being lazy... :)
The first picture is a presentation with a portion of the Berlin wall at Potsdamer Platz. Under the umbrella is a fellow (border guard) dressed in olive green army garb who, for a small fee, will stamp your passport with the east and west Berlin stamps that were used before reunification. That is what the line up was about.
The last picture is the remnants of a church (Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirchethat) that was bombed in WW2. It has since been turned into a museum/memorial/education center. I must say, when we got to it, the energy of the destruction was distinct and affected me more than I would have thought -- especially in contrast to the new buildings around it.
You cannot tell from the outside but the tall and short geometric buildings beside form the new church and the small squares that make up the buildings are glass inlay/mosaic. When inside the colour is stunning -- mostly sapphire blue.
One fun note about the picture showing the tour boats and water taxis on the Spree River. They were moving fast, dodging in and around, as if they were cars on the autobahn! It was hilarious! I am so used to cruising up and down the Seine when in Paris at such a leisurely pace, it just struck me that's all, the contrast.