Day 9 •The East ain't the West.

After the usual meat and cheese breakfast, we head to downtown Jena in search of the elusive $100 Leica (a German camera that usually sells for around $800 without lens). There, in a camera store, we meet Hans Seeger who had stayed at our hotel and is also on a quest… he is looking for old military binoculars. It seems he has published a book on the subject, and Jena being the original home of Carl Zeiss, is a haven for technical information on optics. It wasn't about beer, but it was interesting.

Leaving Jena, we took a quick detour at Bad Köstritz to see the Köstritzer brewery. They claim to be the inventors of 'Schwartz' beer that is now being imported into the US. However the brewery and the tavern were closed, so we don't get to learn the history.

Continuing on, we stop in Chemnitz. Strangely, for a Saturday, the stores are mostly closed and there are not many people on the street. On seeing the large (40 ft high) bust of Karl Marx, I remember that this is Karl-Marx-Stadt! I don't think they're over that yet.

We drive around Dresden, which was severely firebombed in WWII and while it is very developed, there are still signs of damage… 55 years later. We surmise that the East Germans just didn't have the economy to rehab all the structures…quite different than the west. When we lived in Germany in 1956, I recall several blocks of destruction near the cathedral in Köln…no signs of that now!

After a short visit to the flea market, we head out of town in quest of a local brewpub… I need a fix! The Waldschlösschen brewpub was quite nice, copper kettles and several beers. The bartender was great and didn't charge us for the beers or the glass. I gave him a bottle of Ramstein beer for which he was most appreciative allowing me to take his photo.

Berlin, here we come! I notice along the way that I feel I'm driving toward New Orleans in Mississippi; the tall pine trees along the road! Not what I expected.

Although it's getting dark, we drive around Berlin for a while, trying to determine if we're in the east or the west. My dad was here last when the wall was going up and it's changed a lot! We decide to go find a beer place and explore tomorrow, Sunday morning, when there is less traffic… we'll see about that!

Note: This link, German Beer Photo Tour,
is the same tour referenced in Days 8, 9 and 10.

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