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Europe trip, 2004
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Trip to Europe, 2001
Europe trip, 2004

For Spring Break 2004, my friends Steve and Paul and I got a cheap trip package to Paris and Berlin.

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Here is a series of pictures from the Louvre Museum in Paris.  It was quite busy, as admission is free some Sundays like this one.  There was a huge line-up out front near the pyramid, but luckily Steve and I had done our research and we knew of the back entrance with no lines and quick access to the Mona Lisa room. 

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Here I am on the Eiffel Tower, overlooking Place de La Concorde.  The haze is bad, but we were told en francais that we were lucky to have sun at all.

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A nice downtown Paris boulevard near our hotel.

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Roland Garros Tennis Stadium, site of the French Open.  We looked around a bit, but there was nobody playing tennis.

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Mont Martre.  A really nice old church on top of a big hill.  There is also a nice street market behind it.  Artists will paint you for some Euros.  Everytime I come here I look for the cafe used in the movie Ronin, but I have yet to find it.

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Now we are in Berlin, this is one of the U-bahn (public train) stations and Paul. 

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This is a church in the Communist sector of Berlin.  Behind it is the Needle.  The communists built this TV tower to spy on West Germany and the occupied zones of Berlin.  The communists were convinced that they were being spied on by Western satellites. 

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Here is the former communist parliament building and headquarters.  We took a walking tour, which was the best 9 Euro I have spent on a trip.  The guide was very imformative, for example he told us that the building seen here is about the only building the city does not know what to do with.  It seems like a easy decision, plow it down.  However, right next to this site is the site where a centuries old palace stood, before it was plowed down by the Communists when they gained control of this area.  It makes today's government think twice before doing anything drastic. 

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Here is most of what remains of the Berlin Wall. The graffiti has been preserved from the late 80s. 

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This is the governmental and official district of Berlin, near the former wall and Brandenburg Gate.  There were tons of big black sedans driving around with police escorts, I guess ambassadors and parliament members.  Lots of nice Mercedes and BMWs.

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This is one of the few buildings in Berlin that survived the WWII air raids.  It was about to fall apart, so they wrapped it up in metal bands and reinforced it where they could.  It looks dilapidated and has a cracked belfry at the top, but it was interesting to look at. 

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We took a tour of the Reichstag, the German Parliament building.  Very well designed and modern looking, we could look at the parliament meetings in progress from this clear, mirrored dome at the top of the building. 

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