Ich bin ein Ber-logger

April 13, 2008 -

John Heald

Here I am in Berlin and we have just finished a whirlwind tour of this city of so many different styles and cultures. This city will I think present a whole new series of emotions that I have yet to experience this trip so far. Those emotions have surfaced already as I stood next to Check Point Charlie. This was the third of the check points along with Alfa, Bravo and then the most famous……Charlie. Before I came here all I really thought about when I heard the words Check Point Charlie were the previously mentioned Micahel Caine Movies and the John Le Carre novel Tinker, Taylor, Soldier Spy.

However, standing there with our guide listening to the stories of the 500 plus people who were shot on sight trying to escape to the West and those hundreds more who were captured and never seen again………well, the movies become real life and life for the people in the east was full of despair. This dispair was also evident in the buildings that looked exactly the same as some of the Soviet ones we saw in St.Petersburg. From Check Point Charlie we went to the last pieces of the Berlin Wall. You do not need me to tell you the significance of its collapse and the sections that are still standing have been painted by young artists with reminders and memories of what was. The one that struck me was the painting of the only car ever to be made in Eastern Germany. It was called a Trabant and the painting by a young 19 year old artist depicts the Trabant smashing through the Berlin wall signifying the escape to Freedom. Once again to stand next to this piece of history which is full of both happy and sad memories for so many people.

Well, we are now at a Restaurant or German Pub having checked into the Hilton Hotel. We are with our tour operators and everyone is drinking beers the size of the Russian security woman whose sweaty hands I can still feel all over me. I had a quick shower as I smelt like ……..well you know……je ne sais quoi.

As they drink their beers and laugh and eat the wonderful bratwurst that is laid family style on the table. Heidi is here and I have missed her very much.

It is such a privilege to be visiting all these places and make sure I have all the recommendations ready for the guests. I have to admit that I am tired……really tired……my ankle hurts and today’s fiasco at St. Petersburg was nearly the final straw and being honest I wanted to bugger off home. However, having seen what I have seen today I am rejuvenated and realize that I am beyond lucky to see these places and realize how much guests will rely on me to provide them with the right information.

I know PA 007 will tell me to wind my neck in and stop whining……………..so I have.

As soon as the sausage has been eaten and they have emptied their huge beer glasses I am off to my bed.

Tomorrow will be a day of so many mixed emotions and none more so then when we visit one of the tours we are offering. …….the infamous Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

I have no idea how will I feel ……I mean I know I will feel outraged, sad, angry and goodness knows what else. My worry is should we offer this tour, is it offensive or disrespectful to do so……..I do not know and as always I would be greatful for your feedback my friends.

Anyway, sorry to leave on this subject but its time to go to bed. Tomorrow we leave this hotel and after our long day in Berlin we will drive for three hours to Warnemunde where the Carnival Splendor will dock. This means like today I will have no time to blog from my lap top thingy so no photos until Tuesday and I am sorry to say that you will have to put up with multiple small blogs from the small keys here on my Raspberry thingy.

Ok, that’s enough…..you could use the bags under my eyes to carry your shopping in. The problem is that Heidi has missed me and mentioned something about Das Happy Sticken………..there is no chance and even if Das Happy Stick has ein grossen smile my Sticken is totally Kaput.

Guten Nacht
Ihren Freunden.
Johann und Heidelein

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.