Berlin

Well Berlin is completely different from any other part of Germany we’ve seen so far. When we were travelling with the oldies places were unique but felt familiar, Berlin felt very much different. 

A new friend from the wedding, Frank, suggested we get a 4 day travel pass so that’s what we did. A great idea, paired with Google maps you can get anywhere quickly using the most direct mode of transport. We’re off…

When we were busing into the centre of Berlin we noticed a church in ruins. It was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. As a reminder of the futility of war the church has been kept in it’s bombed out state from the Second World War. With it’s bullet pocked columns, presumably from the Red Army, it does have a poignant affect. More recently a chapel has been built next door which is beautiful.

We never considered the German point of view on the 2nd World War and the Nazis as we were going through Poland so Berlin may enlighten us on this perspective. 

Next day we decide to take a look at The Wall, or at least the monuments and museum that give you insight into how life was when Germany was devided between East and West.

The history of it is quite breath taking and the amount of misery it created astounding. How they policed their own people in East Germany with the Stasi, that took in Nazis known to have committed war crimes, that continued in the terror tactics from the war. What is that all about?

Right, let’s get a bit more touristy, the main sights:

We also visited the History Of Berlin Museum. It’s a private museum but was very informative in an interesting way. It starts with the medieval beginnings and takes you through up until the fall of the Wall. Well worth the time.

Now the next day is Monday and we decide to go to Potsdam. Alex decided we should go on Monday as all the museums and places of interest are closed so it would be quieter. No, Rachel didn’t believe that either. Why “the number of times Rachel has told Alex to check things are open before we go” was pertinent to our conversation on the train to Potsdam was lost on Alex.

Anyway.

It was quiet. We did actually have a lovely walk around as well.

The main draw are the Summer Palace and other buildings built by order of King Fredrick The Great in the second half of the 18th century. It reminded us the Peterhof that started a few decades before by Peter The Great. This cannot be a coincidence.

Anyway, it’s a wonderful place for a walk:

Our last day in Berlin and it’s off to The Topography Of Terror. This is a museum dedicated to the cruelty of the Nazi Party, not just on the countries that Germany occupied during the 2nd World War but also on it’s own people. It has been built right in the middle of the area that was the hub of the Nazi’s operations as various groups of the terror campaigne took up residence close to one another. It also covers the Nuremberg Trails and how many of the perpetrators of the horrendous crimes committed by the Nazis got away with it. Not happy stuff but it will serve as a reminded for generations to come.

Last stop Museum Island:

Yes, we liked Berlin.

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