Given today was my last day in Berlin, I planned to take it easy with a stroll through the huge Tiergarten.  Imagine my surprise to stumble upon a large protest starting at Brandenburger Tor!  It then continued along the road I wanted to head up, so I took a side path before circling back to snap a quick photo.  I’d read that protests on Saturday had turned violent, so I didn’t plan to hang around!

Only a short distance away, there was such peace and tranquility though!  The lake is called the Venusbassin.  The gold statue is the Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven-Denkmal from 1904.

I decided to just sit by the lake and catch up on my thoughts about Berlin for a bit.  I then wandered to the rose garden, where not a lot was blooming yet, but you can tell it will be lovely when it does!

Walking into the main street, there was an area I decided to use for photos of the statute I could see from the Tor.  When I went out there, it was empty, but as I took my photo, I was adjusting for my second one with camera up to my eye when a girl and her boyfriend stood LITERALLY right in front of me, then proceeded to walk up the center.  If there’s one thing that flags you as not being a genuine photographer, no matter your gear, it’s lacking patience to get a shot – especially when that takes the form of ruining another photographer’s shot . . . and compounding it by not moving out of the way after and walking up the rest of the street in the middle.  She didn’t stop to take a closer shot either, just lacked the courtesy not to be in the way of others.  Here’s the shot I got with my phone before:

And a close-up from the other side!  It’s the Berliner Siegessäule, a victory statute from 1871; however, in 1939 it was reconstructed one tier taller.

One thing I’d noticed, but didn’t understand the significance of, was a museum and rentals of these unattractive little old cars.  Tina explained they were the cars you could get in East Berlin, but there was such a long wait that you signed your child up for one when they were born!  So, here’s the car you’d wait your whole life for!

At the end of the street, these gates were flanking the road – not sure what they are though?

By this time I’d walked a rather long way and was tired and a little cranky, although finally feeling mostly better.  It was this fatigue that led to this picture though, which highlights how easy the system in Berlin is – so easy I had it figured out by the time I’d made it to my subway the first day, yet clearly many tourists have issues with it because I was nearly rundown by people on rental bikes who were not in the designated section.  Please note: if you visit Berlin, the inner section is for WALKING, there’s a little divider, then the outer reddish section is for bikes (though this is occasionally a path on the road too).  To avoid appearing like an obvious and clueless tourist, please find your way into the correct section. 😀

Finally, I was off to Munich!  While I really enjoyed Berlin, if I’d been crunched for time, I could have left Monday morning and not really missed much.  I plan to return in 2019 when the Pergamon Museum is fully open again and the new subway line serving Museum Island is open also!

One nice thing about German trains – it appears you can ride with a pass without a seat reservation, so the seats have an indicator of whether the seat is reserved for part of the journey.  In my case, this told me I had no designated seat mate for several stops!

TIP: It is hit or miss in France (mostly miss in my experience) whether your train will have electrical outlets (TGVs generally do not in 2nd class).  While ICE trains in Germany have an outlet per 2 seats, my 6 hour ride to Munich lacked working outlets in our car!  So, don’t plan on having power, even if the train claims to have it!