Bärehquell brewery

I visited Bärehquell brewery with my friends Hannah and Michelle. The brewery went out of business in 1994 as it couldn’t compete with the more popular beers from the west after the reunification of Germany. At the time of closure, the brewery had been in business for 112 years.

Hannah, Michelle and Ryan on top of Bärenquell brewery in Berlin

Out window of Bärenquell brewery

Stairs at Bärenquell brewery

View out window of Bärenquell brewery in Berlin

View out window of Bärenquell brewery in Berlin

View out window of Bärenquell brewery in Berlin

View out window of Bärenquell brewery in Berlin

Papers sprawled on floor of Bärenquell brewery in Berlin. Photo from Hannah.

Stairs in Bärenquell brewery in Berlin. Photo from Hannah.

Book photo courtesy of Hannah

Michelle in Bärenquell brewery in Berlin. Photo courtesy of Hannah.

Thanks to Hannah Jackson for the stairs and papers photos.

Giant Pacman

I went to the Computerspielemuseum (computer game museum) in Berlin. I got to play Pacman with a giant super sized Atari 2600 controller :) Pacman on the Atari 2600 was the first console video game I ever played. In fact, I don’t even think I knew what a video game console was until my mum showed me how it worked :/

Giant Atari 2600 controller.

Me trying to play Pacman with a giant Atari 2600 controller.

They also have an Apple II signed by Steve Wozniak. This was the first desktop computer I ever used, way back in 1988. My school had two of them which we occasionally got to use.
Apple II signed by Steve Wozniak

Karl Marx Allee

I went for a wander down Karl Marx Allee in Berlin. Being named after the famous creator of communism, Karl Marx, it wasn’t too surprising to find some interesting cold war era features.

Karl Marx statue in Karl Marx Allee in Berlin

Since competition between companies was mostly pointless in communist countries, there was no need for public advertising in East Germany. But apparently advertising was seen as a sign of a modern competitive city in the 1960′s and so the East German government decided to pay for some advertising and stuck it on top of the building as you can see below. The advertising is for two different car manufacturers, but since the government had a monopoly on car sales, the advertising served no purpose other than for decoration :P The sign is now a protected monument in Berlin.

Communist era sign advertising car manufacturers in Beriln

A giant TV tower called the “Fernsehturm Berlin” can be seen from miles away. Despite the relative poverty of East Berlin in comparison to West Berlin, they were still able to erect the tallest structure in the whole of Europe.

Fernsehturm Berlin from Karl Marx Allee

 

 

Berlin wall

The last time I came to Berlin I only saw a small section of the former wall separating East and West Berlin. I was told by others that I should look for some of the better preserved sections, so I went on a walking tour around the major Berlin wall sites.

There is a line of bricks marking the route of the former Berlin wall.
Bricks marking the former location of the Berlin wall

This is a preserved guard tower. These towers were used to keep an eye on the death-strip, a small section of land kept open on the eastern side of the wall in which people found entering it were shot on sight.

Guard tower used for keeping an eye on the death strip

There is a section of the death strip which has been preserved. This photo was taken through a small gap in the concrete, showing what those who attempt to scale it would have seen before being shot to death as soon as they scaled (or attempted to scale) the wall.

View into the death strip of the Berlin wall

Gunter Liftin was the first person to be shot to death attempting to escape from East to West Germany via the wall.
Gunter Litfin memorial

Nooks and crannies at Lier sykehuset

Most of the old medical equipment at Lier sykehuset has been removed, but Alice and I did find a few things which were still there. There were a few devices which seem to have been medical waste disposal units, but the purpose of other things were less obvious. If you know what they’re for, please let me know in the comments :)

This strange stretcher like thing was bolted to the wall. My best theory, is that it was used to strap patients to the wall when they didn't want to leave them sitting down. Clearly others were wondering what it was for too as the text beside it says "Hva er dette?", "Pliss svar!" and "Godt spørsmål",  which means "What is that?", "Please answer!" and "Good question" in ENglish.

This strange stretcher like thing was bolted to the wall. My best theory, is that it was used to strap patients to the wall when they didn’t want to leave them sitting down. Clearly others were wondering what it was for too as the text beside it says “Hva er dette?”, “Pliss svar!” and “Godt spørsmål”, which means “What is that?”, “Please answer!” and “Good question” in ENglish.


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Google Glass

Thanks to the lovely Sophia Dominguez for letting my try out her Google Glass. I had the pleasure of meeting her as she was touring around Europe writing about her experiences with Google Glass.

They were surprisingly easy to use and the screen was relatively non-distracting. I don’t think I would make much use of the photography functionality which seems to be one of the primary uses people find for it, but I love having a constant feed of information and I love walking, so having a constant feed of tweets and whatnot whizzing past the corner of my eyes could be quite useful on my way to work in the morning.

Check out Sophia’s Google Glass blog at sophiathroughglass.com.

Me trying out Google Glass for the first time