I am not much for tours, but there were several on the agenda for this Do, so, friends, rendezvous point near the Hilton so pretty convenient, plus the promise of much beer, why not. Five tours in three days, and, credit where credit is due, I didn't get tired either of my friends or of the tourism. The Berlin Express is your first-timer's introduction but not at all a bad one. As I've been to this city a number of times and seen it grow up, it didn't offer too much in the way of new stuff, but William our guide was enthusiastic, informative, and though leftist not implacably anti-American. There were a few things on the itinerary that I hadn't seen before, mostly in the burgeoning east, including the Neue Wache with its Kollwitz sculpture. A three hour not too fast walk that made lili peckish, as well she might have been, so we asked William for a recommendation, and he pointed us to Hopfingerbrau am Palais right down the way, so we hot-footed it there. Checked the menu, which looked pretty okay, a lot of fairly appetizing things for 10, Schweinshaxe for 15. We planned our play quickly - one pig shank for two, a liter of beer and a glass of wine, and approached the desk. How many people? Two? Of course ... but then our friends caught up with us. Can you accommodate, er, fourteen? The English-speaking one's face darkened a bit. Of course not, we're full. Big sighs all around, and we dispersed hungrily. So we ended up having our break at the Dunkin' Donuts, which seemed like a good use of the time we had left. lili had some kind of croissant sandwich, and I grumped in the corner. We returned to the shadow of the gate right in time for the Rebel Berlin Tour, where we had a choice of the excellent William or his lower-key colleague who joined us because the afternoon group was twice as big as the morning one. Giving others the opportunity to experience the personality of our morning guide, we decided to go with the other one, who was perfectly fine but (sadly) unmemorable. A lot more sociopolitical stuff, some of which was welcome, little of which was unfamiliar. I'm sure William would have fed us many of the same facts and figures. We did have the opportunity to tread on the Fuehrerbunker, which is now covered over by a parking lot. -- Dinner at Weihenstephaner Berlin - slight mishaps as we were following various mapping programs that led us to various different places. Kirkwood and I believe Benedict had dueling phones, but eventually we got there, to occupy the last available table in our back room. Not a whole lot to say about this meal! It was typical beer hall food with a typical beer hall atmosphere and typical beer hall beer, and anyone who knows me knows that that is not meant as any kind of disparagement. I didn't see much, as my glasses were fogged up for most of the meal. That's okay, we were not there for the looking. Food. Several Schweinshaxen around the table. These were pretty good but a little salty and with the rind not as crisp as it could have been. I preferred the Krustenbraten, roast loin with the ample fat cap intact (the style just about everywhere except for barbarian America). These hearty meals came with potato dumplings soaked in butter, quite good, because of the butter, and cabbage salad with bacon, quite good, because of the bacon. I have photographic evidence of some contrarian having ordered a plate of beef goulash as well. Lots of Weihenstephaner Dunkel, with which I am familiar as it is the house beer of my friends Dale and Gail in Maryland.