July 10 / 11
The next two days were spent mostly in Berlin, seeing and doing things we'd all put on a wish list while planning the trip. This included sidewalk cafes, a museum of the Cold War, and an art market. Of course, no trip to a faraway place is complete without a trip to a shopping mall. So much walking!
When shortlisting the places I wanted to see in the mere week-and-a-bit that I had, I was determined to see one of the former Luftwaffe airbases that are scattered all over. One that seemed easiest to access, and featured the most interesting buildings, was Sperenberg. We arrived, however, only to discover significant walls surrounding the base. There was a path leading down one side, so we followed it along for quite a distance. I was beginning to wonder if there was going to be a way in when we encountered a few guys who had the appearance of having just come from the base. I asked if they spoke English, and they replied, with a thick accent, that they did. I asked about an entrance and they were quite accomodating.
We continued along and quickly found the place of which they spoke. We headed toward the closest building which, looked almost like a barn. When we went inside, there were remains of crates with Cyrillic writing on them. Knowing that the Soviet Air Force occupied the base after the war, this was a great historical reminder.
We underestimated the number of buildings there were to see, and the amount of acreage this base covers. We could have spent several days here alone, but eventually, with thunder rumbling in the distance, and a long way to walk back to the relative shelter of the car, we decided it would be wise to call it a day.
We woke and set off on another exploring adventure. This time would be near the Olympic Village for the famous event of 1936. While the Olympic Village itself is open to the public on one side of the highway, it was the collection of buildings on the opposite side that interested me today. These were not open.
We parked the car and walked a distance to find a way in. Mistakenly, I believed that this complex was part of the Olympic Village, but I later discovered that they were army training facilities dating back to the time of the Kaisers. Known as the Lowen-Adler (Lion-Eagle) Kaserne, this was a very large complex indeed. We wandered from building to building exploring as much as we could. I have to admit, however, that I always had the feeling that we were not alone. I felt like there was definitely someone nearby. Probably other explorers, but nevertheless...
After a time, we decided we had seen enough, and began making our way back. We were almost half-way when the skies opened up, and the downpour began. We moved as quickly as possible, but by the time we had returned to the car, we were completely soaked. It was still a great day!
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