Berlin is my favourite city in Germany and possibly in the whole of Europe and has been since the first time I went to Germany. It is not pretty like all the other European cities we have visited, but it is special because everywhere you go, you are reminded of WWII and the Cold War and what happened there during these times. There are open air exhibitions and memorials everywhere and it is really quite surreal to be surrounded by all of this very recent and tragic history.
We spent our time in Berlin checking out all of the main sites and also did some exploring around other parts of the city. Berlin has a very Melbourne feel, with it’s many restaurants and bars, as well as the cool hipster Brunswick/Fitzroy type areas. Overall, we had a good time chilling out (which we were in desperate need of after the Poland road trip) as well as doing the touristy stuff.
We joined a walking tour for about 2 hours that went through the city and gave us a good amount of information about the history of Berlin. It went to the sites such as Checkpoint Charlie, Hitler’s Bunker (which has been cemented over and turned into a car park) and some of the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. Oh, and another important historical event- we also saw the hotel where Michael Jackson hung his baby out of the window.
There is a path of bricks through the city that shows where the wall used to be.
Another section of the original Wall.
The burning of books by Jewish authors was held outside this university in 1933. Now there is a glass window in the place and empty shelves underneath that can hold 20,000 books- about the amount that the Nazis burned.
Note: the Checkpoint isn’t the original and that kid is not called Charlie. He is just a random. Also notice the Maccas and KFC on either side. How appropriate for an American Checkpoint.
The Memorial for the Murdered Jews. This place is quite huge and is made up of these different sized cement blocks. As you wander through, you get a weird feeling like you are trapped in a maze and the size of the blocks is daunting. The designer wanted people to have an idea of how the Jewish people felt as they were being pushed out of the homes and terrorised by the Germans.