To me the Cold War has always been some obscure idea of a soviet communist state, this idea of a perfect equality for all which unfortunately didn’t quite work out. Today we did a 4 hour tour called “Cold War, Behind The Berlin Wall” by a Company called Insider Tours. To start with I’m always worried about these tours, are they going to be too intellectual? Will we understand or will this go straight over my head but our tour guide Barnaby managed to explain this complex piece of history in a way that was fun and interactive.
I’m not going to try to explain the whole thing on here because it took Barnaby 4 hours and my fingers would be stubs by the end of it but he explained first the basics about communism, how it is supposed to work and how it did work, we went into how they kept the population inside the east when everyone wanted to escape, he explained the rationale behind why the wall went up at all and he explained how just how the population regulated themselves and others and the role of the SS in all of this. Finally he explained how the reunification came about through a series of misunderstandings. We also learned some completely obscure facts about the communist state like how they actually have 14 different shades of brown for their houses but only 1 shade of grey! Facinating!!!
I should also mention that we used the Berlin train system today … yup traveling like locals! Not so hard and you can get all day passes for €7. If you are a groups of 5 you can get a group pass for €17 which works out to about €3.50 per person. Not bad for a day getting around the city!