Standing strangely out of place now in a side street along Erna-Berger Strasse in Potsdamer Platz is the last remaining watchtower of the Berlin Wall. There used to be up to two hundred of these towers stationed along the border which were manned round the clock. I guess when the wall came down, they were reduced to being oversized homes to flocks of pigeons. It’s no wonder they are all landfill now except this one. This particular watchtower was originally located near Brandenburg gate. I guess it really did not fit anymore with the surrounding decor and was moved here. There was a bored looking guide at the base talking on his mobile and it appears you can climb up to the tower for a few euros. We didn’t think the views were going to be mind blowing considering the height of the tower as well as its surroundings. After taking a few shots, we quietly moved along leaving the guide alone with whoever he was chatting to.
In the last post, I mentioned that I bought a little Ampelmann in a shop on Unter den Linden. Well, we saw a large sized sculpture of him along Eberstrasse just before Potsdamer Platz. I never quite researched what or why he was there as the area was blocked off like there was some construction going on. But here is a photo of him below!
You will have noticed that I have mentioned Potsdamer Platz a couple of times in this post without actually doing it justice. This is because I do not quite know where to start. Historically, this place was the equal to New York’s Times Square before it was razed to the ground during the war. Post war, it was split down the middle before finally, it was completely rebuilt again from ground up making this Berlin’s glitziest and newest quarter. With a blank canvas to work on, some of the world’s finest architects including Renzo Piano had a hand in its rebuilding. So, a visit to Potsdamer Platz is like the final nail in the coffin of my obsolete image of Berlin. Here is a city that is looking at its shiny best. Even a few sections of the wall placed strategically beside the road looked more like modern art than a memory of its past.
As we eventually found our way into the Sony Center, my camera almost went into melt down as the futuristic plaza with a glass roof canopy that looked like the blades from a fan spread out majestically above us. It was stunning. I could just sit there all day and stare at it. Christmas decorations also abound and we decided that we absolutely had to come back at night when surely the night lights would cast an extra dimension onto it.
And if sitting and looking at architecture is too mind-numbing for the little ones, there is a Legoland here! Usually I would have been the first one in, elbowing my way to the front of any Lego display. In the process, forgetting that a middle aged man pushing kids around is not a good look and security will quickly be called. But this time, I was momentarily distracted by the red coloured median strip that divides Postdamer Strasse.
Crossing the lights halfway and onto this median section, we found ourselves on Germany’s very own nod to Hollywood’s Boulevard of the Stars! Here, you will find gold stars on the grounds with names to Germany’s most celebrated actors and directors. But more than that, you are invited to have your photo taken with them through columns with special “ghost cameras” that dot the entire strip.
This was indeed a novelty but as you would expect, we really did not recognize any of the names. Also it is strange that this was located on a small strip of land that divides the road instead of being on a proper pedestrian path. We also realised after a few minutes, that there was no one else here but us on the “Boulevard”. And everyone else probably wondering why are these two Asians doing on the median strip? Are they lost? So, we eventually crossed the remaining half of the road and joined the rest of the visitors. And in doing so, I avoided running over any kids in Legoland.