It's Only Been Five Days
I estimate that we've walked perhaps twenty miles or more since we've arrived here. It's nice but sort of a shock to legs grown lazy from cars and couches. A very helpful source tells me that calcium and potassium are necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation (hi mom!). We are eating helpful vitamins. Additionally, they are coming to us in the form of vegetables that are a bit more tasty than those back home. The tomatoes and the cucumbers have flavor! The eggs are delicious! Today we made pelmeni from scratch! Other funny food things: the wrappers at McDonald's have nutrition information, all based on a 2000-calorie diet; popular here is currywurst, a sausage with ketchup and curry powder all over it; there is practically no Russian food.
As for the sights around the city:
That's the Soviet TV tower.
That's a very Soviet statue. Recognize a theme?
That is an old sort of concentration camp. It wasn't a fatal place to be, and the people concentrated there were apparently politicians, held so they wouldn't interfere with the actions of Hitler. Now it's a pleasant sight in the middle of a leafy, upscale 'hood called Prenzlauer Berg, a district for which I have a distinct liking.
We ventured a bit east and went to a smaller city called Potsdam, which was the relaxation grounds for Kaiser Wilhelm. It was quite beautiful, and the countryside getting there was not blistered by the century as Berlin was. The more I walk through the city, the more the fact of war sets in. There are so many buildings in disrepair, so many memorials and preserved centers of fallen powers. It's really quite staggering.