Welcome. The following are the last 5 or so pictures to be uploaded. To view more pictures click on Photos to see more.
After a quiet weekend we headed off to Knowsley Safari Park and I decided to crack out my zoom lens to see what I could see. Unfortunately with the reflections of the window sometimes all I could see was the inside of the car and no I didn't want to open the window for a better shot, in the lion enclosure. As usual we headed out when the weather was good and headed to a place where it was overcast most of the time which never helps when you're taking pictures.
Mind you there was nothing extraordinary, just the usual, ostriches trying to see if you have any food, lions lazing about and the apes making mischief with the cars.
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Apparently these are all over the place in Germany as well as in Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Norway and Ukraine, however so far I have only seen them in Colgne, not that my knowledge of German is at all extensive, even so it seems a very noble idea in some ways, though I'm not sure that Germans need any more reminders of the Nazis, but it does bring it home to you when you walk down a street and find group of four like this that could have been from the same family and you look at the building it was outside of and it appears to be a residential building that could have been there in the 20s and 30s.
Of course I haven't explained anything so whilst you might have guessed, I haven't really explained what this is about. To be honest I won't do too much of that, I'll let their website do it, but in short they give the last known address of someone who was a victim of the Nazis. The site doesn't explain much more, but in this case I think they al escaped to the USA, needless to say not all of the stones have the same fate.
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Straight of the back of the sunny delights of the cold war and all that fun, we headed out today to a concentration camp that was then taken over by the Soviet forces to house political prisoners, so basically a concentration camp. Perhaps I am particularly an unfeeling person, but I didn't get the chills that other people get when visiting these sorts of places, what probably helps is that all the barracks have been torn down, so really all it is is a huge triangular field with watchtowers all around . I think it's a pity that you are unable to go up the watchtower(s) and see what it was like, but there you go.
What was weird was this, the place where autopsies were completed. An altogether pointless task bearing in mind that there were only 7 permitted outcome reasons from an autopsy and bearing in mind that those who completed them, often didn't complete the job at all in the fact that they would cut the body open and sew it up again straight away so it appeared that an autopsy had been performed.Still here is probably where you ended up if you died in the camp.
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So it's been a busy day. Up at the crack of dawn because the hotel was on a busy intersection without any soundproofing. I think it was strangely a good thing to happen as we were up and out and were actually at the Brandenburg gates just before 9ish. Let's face it, we're in Berlin for 2 full days, so we'll have to chock it all in.
next up was Checkpoint Charlie. Now don't get me wrong, I would love to see Berlin as a city (in fact I naively thought that I would) but ultimately when you go somewhere like Berlin, there are places you just have to go to. There's no need to come back to work and have someone ask you if you've seen Checkpoint Charlie for you to say... "errr no, we headed for the tractor museum.", which is the wrong answer.
Anyway, the next order of the day was the Topology of Terror. At this point I think I'd seen all of the Berlin Wall history that I needed to know, that added and refreshed by history knowledge from school. Despite this (my disinterest with the wall and everything with it) we then went to the Wall Memorial. This was OK and as you could have guessed I saw the same thing as I saw previously in a different form. I think the most surprising thing was the watchtower as we left the Topology of Terror, I believe it's the last one remaining, but that could be wrong, but it doesn't appear to be as big as you would imaging, but then again I suspect it didn't need to be.
Last thing today was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe which was completely by accident. We were going back to the car and happened upon it. It's an impressive memorial, but I'm not 100 percent sure I understand it, though I suspect it t's supposed to look like tombs.Anyway, the picture today is of the memorial. There were a couple of pictures I liked and this is probably the best, but it's a close run thing, the other was of a single monolith itself. Perhaps I'll post it later on when I have time.
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When it's Berlin Templehof, which happens to be a park now after it closed on 2008. So today was a little bit of driving from Hamburg to Berlin and when we got to Berlin there was no real need to rush about so we just headed for the old airport which was doubly good because it is right outside our hotel.However a lot of walking around was done before we got into ther airport... who knew that airports were so large. Turns out that the airport building is closed except for certain visiting times but the airfield is open as a park, and as usual with Germans, you can always buy a beer.
I think this is the head of a statue that wss put up at the time of Hitler. I'm only guessing because there were pictures of it being taken down, but I couldn't read the German underneath so I can't be sure. For those who are interested in photography then this also needed a bit of fill in flash, the sky was so overcast that everything would be underdeveloped.
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