Number of tie wraps: 49 (holding steady)
Countdown: 7888 miles down, 697 to go
Quote of the day: “I have to leave now to teach a friend how to drive my 1911 Opel racing car.”
At breakfast today, Leo’s two German friends mentioned that a 77 year old Berlin woman, Heidi Hetzer, is preparing to drive around the world in an old car, so Karen and I decided to find her while Luke and John changed the oil in the Roadster and Leo toured Berlin with his friends. Karen checked out Heidi’s website and found an address, so we jumped on the U-bahn (the metro/subway) and soon found ourselves at an Opel service center. Heidi wasn’t around, but we left a message and then headed to an Internet café, where we sent her an email asking if we could possibly meet with her while we were in town today.
About 2:30, while Karen and I were shopping at KaDeWe, the largest department store in Europe, Heidi phoned and said she could meet us at our hotel at about 4 p.m. Heidi arrived in Hudo, the 1930 restored Hudson she will use for circumnavigating the globe. The women reading this need to check out Heidi’s purse!
Her journey begins on July 27 and she expects the trip to take about two years. As you can see from the photos below, her ambitious route makes ours look like a Sunday afternoon drive.
After Luke provided some advice about a loose wheel, Heidi paid a visit to the Roadster. About 5:30, she said, “I have to leave now to teach a friend how to drive my 1911 Opel racing car!”
This evening Karen and I did some sightseeing around Berlin. Our first stop was the Bundestag, the German equivalent of the U.S. Congress. We were much too late to enter the building, but we got some nice views of the outside. I’ll just have to put the inside tour on my list of things to do when I come back!
Next we walked to one of the remnants of the Berlin Wall, passing many Berlin bears on our way. These bears are everywhere in Berlin, and people paint them to match their business or some other theme. The one in this picture was right across from Starbucks but, alas, the Starbucks was closed.
We spent quite a bit of time at the Berlin Wall fragment shown below. I’ve always been struck by pictures of the graffiti that was on the wall when it came down in 1989, and these pieces were no exception.
The line on the sidewalk below denotes the location of the old wall. The white van is straddling line, so the front is in the old East Berlin and the rear is in the old West Berlin.
After walking around for a bit, we found another remnant of the wall below, at the “Topography of Terror.”
After leaving the former wall area, we took another U-bahn train to the west side of the city, where we stumbled over a circle of “mini-bears” painted to represent each country in the World Cup.
We’re still trying to figure out exactly which sights to see tomorrow before or during our trip to Hanover, a distance of 293 km.