Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to the Kudamm

Today we set out to use our hop on bus again.  First I returned to the grocery store I had seen last night when we went to dinner. I added to our stash by buying milk, lunch meat, fruit and yogurt. And with these ingredients I made us sandwiches to take along. 

We wanted to pick up the hop on bus at the Kudamm, but as we crossed the street to go to the Friedrichstrasse station, along came Bus 100. That is the magic bus that takes you in all those places the rail lines do not go. We rode it until we were in the Tiergarten. Looking out the window Peter spied shady benches and dappled walkways. We grabbed our things, pressed the stop button and stepped down across from a beautiful spot. We crossed the street, walked a few feet, and we were in a cool paradise with a delicious lunch. 

After finishing our cookies and fruit we continued with Bus 100 until we saw the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtnis Kirche. Again we headed to the bus door. There we were at the head of the Kurfürstendamm at the memorial church. It brought me back again to 1976 when this building was empty and sad. The church was bombed during World War II, but it was left in its ruined state as a remembrance.  I remember going there often and thinking, as I passed,  that this city would never be reunified. 

Today we saw that the interior of the old building had been partially restored. The modern remembrance church beside it has a meaning which was not apparent to me in 1976. The glass is the work of Gabriel Loire who did the window at Christ Church where we worshipped for so many years. Loire's workshop was at Chartres and reflects the colors in that beautiful medieval cathedral which we have visited so often with groups from Waring. It is a place of peace and meditation. 

After leaving the church we walked up the Kudamm in the direction of the hotel where I stayed in 1976.  We found a terrasse and cooled down with the Berlin equivalent of shandys. 
Thus fortified we found that yellow bus and rode for an hour or so. We had a great view of the new buildings that have sprung up around Potsdammer Platz. 

And finally we passed a section of the original Wall that divided this city for so long. It is a sad and impotent barrier. 
And then the bus turned down Friedrichstrasse, and we were face to face with Checkpoint Charlie. Peter and I remember well this place and the chilling sight of the barricaded, mined approach to the wall from the eastern side. We had come into the DDR for a day to visit the Pergamon Museum. Little did we imagine we would be staying in a gleaming apartment in what was then such a gray place just blocks from that museum. 

Forty years ago I applied for a one day pass to cross into the DDR to visit Potsdam and the Sansouci Palace. It was denied. Tomorrow we visit that Palace. 

No comments:

Post a Comment