Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Work-a-Day in Berlin

We spend a lot of time working in our apartment, or funky coffee shops. But once in a while, it is possible to combine work and sightseeing. Last week we headed down to Brandenburg Gate, partially because we wanted some pictures, and partially because there is a Starbucks right across the Platz that has free internet. Win win.
Mom, the square that the gate is located on is called Pariser Platz - this is where Napoleon conquered Berlin. He was so pleased with himself that he took the Quadriga (the 4 horse statue) from the top of the Gate back to France with him. The German's weren't impressed. The statue was returned to Berlin just a few years later, but one change was made. The horses are drawn by Victoria, who previously wore a wreath of olive branches to symbolize peace. The branches were replaced with the German eagle standard that you see now, symbolizing German Victory.
The Gate was in the dead zone between east and west berlin, so it wasn't accessible for years. Now, street artists are all around the square.
This is Owen with a Soviet Guard.
And me with a, well, I don't know. But the phone was saying something. I don't know what. And see the Christmas Tree?!?!? Berlin does Christmas up right!
As we were working in the coffee shop we experienced another side of quirky Berlin:
And it started to hail (which is a little bit like snow...)
And worked in a beautiful city. It was a wonderful day! Thanks ChatterBlock!
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  1. What a great post. Owen, you look great as a military officer! Ashley, you both look so European and stylish! Love these posts.

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  4. Looks like you guys are having a great time! When I was in Berlin 10 yrs ago, the Brandenburg Gate was being renovated. So I have a picture standing in front of a huge drop cloth with an image of the Gate. Your pictures are much nicer! : ) Merry Christmas! Leanne

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  6. It's interesting to compare public monuments from different countries. The brandenburg gate looks straight and angular. It looks strong and stern like the Prussian people at the time it was built. Compare that to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It has arches and generally a softer more graceful look. Not that I'm knocking the gate. It's a fantastic looking monument. It's just interesting to interpret what the style says about it's people.

  7. If you had been there in 2005 you would have had a very different experience!