|Scaffolding - a tourist's worst nightmare|
-The Reichstag, Germany's parliament building, was closed due to threatened acts of terrorism scheduled for March (note that our trip took place in January).
-The Metro line to the Olympic Stadium was not in operation, hindering my latest compulsion - visiting every former site of the Olympic Summer Games. Two down, twenty-two to go.
-The landmark Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche was, like practically all other sites I visit in Europe, covered in scaffolding.
|Spreewald Pickles - the Cold War's|
|Der Ampelmann (crosswalk dude) - a cute |
symbol of life in East Berlin, currently
being exploited by souvenir shops and
unemployable art students across the city.
The Spreewald Pickle is a good example of today's word of the day - Ostalgie. A combination of the German words Ost (east) and Nostalgie (nostalgia), Ostalgie refers to the lingering affection for life in the East during the Cold War. The most visible simple of this emotion is the Ampelmann - an adorable crosswalk symbol used in Berlin and other German cities behind the Iron Curtain.