Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
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Click on above photo to view it in large format: Constructed in Baroque and Rococo styles, the 17th century Charlottenburg Palace was originally built by Sophie Charlotte, wife of Friedrich III, who became King of Prussia in 1701. The royal residence was badly damaged by bombing during WW2, but has since been restored and is a major tourist attraction in Berlin.

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Click on above photo to view it in large format: The Berlin Wall Memorial, on Bernauer Strasse in the center of Berlin, allows visitors to see a preserved portion of the wall, as well as a portion of the no-man’s land, where soldiers patrolled around the clock to ensure that East Berliners did not escape to the West. The park features interactive towers with videos and recordings of notable events that occurred during the Cold War, as well as a photo gallery honoring the people who died trying to escape.

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Click on above photo to view it in large format: Known as “The Kiss” or “Brother Kiss,” this famous painting on the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall depicts East German President Erich Honnecker welcoming Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev with a kiss during the 30th anniversary of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), which was East Germany at the time. It was customary for Socialist leaders and party members to greet each other with a bear hug and a kiss, but the intimacy of the moment, captured initially on black and white film but reproduced over the years in paintings, was so powerful that the painting became an icon.

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Click on above photo to view it in large format: On the last day of my week in Berlin, I had the great good luck to ride in the oldest taxi in Berlin, a 1968 Peugeot. It was slightly cramped, but in excellent condition, including the original leather seats.

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Click on above photo to view it in large format: As the November 9th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaches, educational and memorial displays like this one in Potsdamer Platz are popping up all over Berlin. Located just south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag (German Parliament Building), this major city square was virtually destroyed during World War 2 and left in ruins during the Cold War. This particular display sits on the spot where the Berlin Wall once bisected the square. Since reunification, Potsdamer Platz has been the focus of intense redevelopment.

Series of murals on buildings in downtown Pontiac, Illinois, depict life as it was during the heydays of Route 66

Click on above photo to view it in large format: Series of murals on buildings in downtown Pontiac, Illinois, depict life as it was during the heydays of Historic Route 66