See Berlin in a Trabant

Planning a trip to Berlin? Put down that guidebook, ditch the tour bus, and step into the past—more specifically, squeeze yourself into a Trabant, East Germany’s plastic-bodied, 26-horsepower answer to the BMWs and Porches zooming just beyond the wall. In the automobiles section of Sunday’s New York Times, Towle Tompkins provided amusing and interesting background on the car (sure, it came with three different keys, but it was simple to maintain, because “the engine had fewer movie parts than an off-Broadway play”) and tells of touring Berlin in a avocado-hued model couresy of a company called Trabi Safari. “The good news is that Trabant is twice as powerful as a Sears Craftsman two-stage snow blower,” notes Tompkins. “The bad news is that it’s twice as loud.”