When the GDR disappeared, so too did many characteristic street lights from East Berlin. That is until people protested and started a movement to preserve the "Ampelmann". Today, several lights have been saved and can be seen throughout eastern Berlin (a few even in the western parts). I find them extremely cute and thank those who managed to save them. You can buy souvenirs with the cheerful looking red and green men on in a couple of dedicated shops (Hackscher Markt and just across the river from the Dom) but items exist in several other shops. When we visited, you could even buy a whole working street light in a book shop in Unter den Linden. I love them.
East Side Gallery
The longest and most famous remaining section of the notorious 'border security system' - the Berlin Wall - runs for 1.3KM.
The stretch is covered in 111 largescale paintings by 52 German and 59 foreign artists whose works reflect the euphoric spirit of 1989, the year the Wall came down.
Some of them have political messages, even regarding the Mainland China and TaiWan which is quite funny. I also left my signature at the corner of a painting. I knew it was fairly wrong, but I could not stop myself at that moment. :-)
The picture left is the famous image Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev French-kissing. See more at my East Side Gallery Travelogue.
Could they speak 11 languages ?
No, no, they could speak German, quite fluently, I am sure.
Most of street vendors and shop assistants didn't knew or knew English very little (like me German - just basic words).
In restaurants, cafes etc. it worked different, depended on place. At least usually there was menu in English and/or someone could speak English at least a little bit.
In/by tourist attractions (museums, buildings) there were info tables in English... sometimes but usually there were some guides, books, leaflets in English available (often paid).
Just one impressive exception on my picture (enlarge). This table with info in 11 languages stood in front of St. Mathew Church (St. Matth?us-Kirche). Do you know which languages are there? OK, from the top:
11. Polish :-)
12. Again German.
What languages is at no. 9? E-mail please if you know.
Spandau is a town on the outskirts of Berlin, which is worth a visit but really only if you have plenty of time in Berlin. It’s an easy day-trip from Berlin and there are three U-Bahn stations on line 7 serving the area.
Spandau is best known for its Zitadelle, built in the 16th century to protect the city. The old town centre is well worth exploring and another interesting sight is Spandau Prison, close to the Zitadelle. Many prominent Nazis were imprisoned here after WW2, including Albert Speer, and Rudolf Hess, Hitler's former deputy, who was died here after committing suicide in 1997.
An alternative nightlife
This is a very strange place to spend the night, but it is fascinating! This center looks like an old ruining building, but if you approach it in the night, you might discover several spots where to entertaain yourself. It was organized after the wall fell and there?s art exhibits, a dance area, multimedia, painting, sculpture, cinema, theater, music ? Total Art.