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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Berlin #2: In the Tiergarten

Mark in the Tiergarten

Berlin’s Tiergarten is the city’s largest public park. The name means Tiger Garden. This has something to do with past kings and hunting. Perhaps kings once had tigers roaming the park in the summertime so that the plebesite didn’t poach the king’s game. I don’t know for sure, but this is the sort of thing kings did. We began our walk on the west end, near the Zoo. From there the walk up and down and around and through to the east end is several kilometers long and a few hours, at least. It was terribly hot on Sunday, which we thought would be a good day for the park because of all the shade beneath the trees. We weren’t wrong.

Asia in the Tiergarten

Today the Tiergarten has a bazzillion trails and lots of stone walkways, all leading to a central traffic circle, and then onto Brandenberg Gate. You can get nicely lost in the Tiergarten, and find yourself in virtual wilderness while in the center of a humongous metropolis. At one point, after we ate lunch on a secluded bench, Asia took a snooze while I read a book, and in about a half an hour, only two people walked by … this, on a Sunday afternoon.

But the Tiergarten also has beautiful “gardens,” including the Englischer Garten, where jazz is played on the weekends so Germans (and tourists) come to drink and be happy. We stopped in the heat to have a well-deserved beer.

Mark & Asia with German beer


The jazz ensemble struck up jam at about noon, and went through a nice 35-min set. They played a few standards, but also jammed at enough intervals to give each member a chance to showcase his or her talents. Meanwhile, like the good Germans they are, they drank beer.

Tiergarten Jazz Band

The park also has lots of statues. Germans like statues. There’s one of Bismark, wearing one of those unicorn-spiked hats the Hun liked to wear during their so-called First Reich. Another pair of statues show German hunters taking down game (with one carrying a hare strapped to his back the size of a greyhound!). And then there is this statue, the American Bison …

Mark Riding a Bison

of which Asia and I couldn’t resist taking a ride:

Asia Riding a Bison

The Tiergarten has also a couple of lakes, one of which is large enough to row a boat.

Tiergarten boats

While we didn’t want to get all hot and sweaty rowing some goddamned boat, we did find some flowery beds near which we could take some pictures.

Mark near flowers

As you walk out of the Tiergarten, Wilhelm II’s famous Brandenberg Gate beckons you like Attila calling the great northern hords to battle.

Brandenberg Gate

While we refrained from invading a neighboring country, we did stop for pictures

Asia at Brandenberg Gate


Mark at Brandenberg Gate

and then stepped into the Starbuck’s for iced coffee so that we didn’t die from heat exhaustion.

(as always, any erros of historical fact or spelling are completely mine … if you want real history, go make it happen)

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