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Friday, October 21, 2016

Jesse Owens and the Fuhrer: Olympic Stadion, Berlin



Catch up on this trip...
Part One 
Part Two 
Part Three
Part Four

Part Five

Part Six


Our last, full day in Berlin. We've pretty much seen everything on our list. Now, it's a free day and we're looking for a way to pass the time.

"I see an Olympic stadium here on the map," my wife says while perusing another amazing Turkish breakfast.

Watch the Video!


The Olympic stadium!  I'd forgot...it's another big moment of Berlin history and I almost let it slip through my fingers.

It's a bit of a ride on the U-Bahn to the Olympicstadt station. From there, it's another long walk under a tunnel, up a little hill, through the woods, until you finally emerge at the stadium's parking lot.

An admission is paid at the visitor's center and then we're on our own (tours are available but we'd rather just explore at our leisure).



We find a ramp and a tunnel into the stadium. It's huge and imposing. It's also made out of marble, the height of Nazi chic at the time.



While the walls and façade are original, everything inside has been modernized. There's a well-maintained blue rubber track (that's being scrubbed by a beast that looks like the lovechild of a street sweeper and a Zamboni) and a flawlessly green soccer football pitch.



The Fuhrer's box has been replaced by some VIP seats and suites but it's not hard to imagine Adolph fuming from up above as a black man put lie to his 'master race' shenanigans.

The seats are serviceable metal folding chairs, bolted to the concrete. No armrests or cupholders.

The ever-present beer bar is open so we quaff one as we admire the view.



To the side, we find the old swimming and diving stadium, now being used by local kids to cool off in the crystal blue waters on this hot August day.



Eventually, we make our way to the other end of the stadium where we pose at the Olympic torch.

On the other side, we spot a bell from the old bell tower (it was destroyed in World War II and the current one is a rebuilt tower).



Although the swastika is illegal in Germany today, you can still see something suspicious on this old bell that the welders couldn't quite hide completely.



Closer to the stadium than the U-Bahn station is an S-Bahn station. From here, we catch a train back to central Berlin where we can walk through the Tiergarten.



We've been toying around the edges of this giant park for days but on this last day, we decide to walk through until we find a little lake with...of course...a biergarten at it's edge. It's here we'll have one more before signing off from Berlin.

Tomorrow, we'll go to the Hertz office and pick up a car to continue on.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved


Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

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