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Never ones to rest, by overnight train we arrived this morning in Berlin. A full day walking tour introduced us to the city. Even though 4 million people live here, Berlin feels like a small city. That may change soon because the entire place is under construction. Looking at the horizon in all directions, we've never seen so many building cranes. This massive construction effort will enable Berlin to fulfill its new job as the capital of unified Germany. The city is still recovering from the political division of the Cold War and the physical division between East and West by the Berlin wall. Rent is still far cheaper in East Berlin, people can rent one bedroom apartments for $200 per month; that doesn't guarantee an asbestos free environment. We found cheaper restaurants in East Berlin, but also more run-down areas. Even with mass reconstruction, the city stays beautiful.
Berlin was built on a swamp, so any construction work means drainage and in Berlin's case, pink drainage pipes. Why pink? Because pink pipes are so festive.
Remnants of the Berlin wall, a hated symbol of tyranny and death, now a great tourist attraction!
Checkpoint Charlie. Who was Charlie, anyway?