Fri 17 Aug 2012 Moving along my tour of Germany, my friend Stephanie joined me on a tour of Berlin.
Berlin automatically conjures mixed memories and feelings for people and obviously so. Interesting in so many ways, its ancient beginnings and medival times are lost as the 20th century is the time that Berlin made so much of its imprint on world history.
The first and second world walls and the subsequent division of the city to East and West make it seem like there was some kind of rush to infamy during the 20th for Berlin, the city folk and more like the leaders.
The evidence of all this history is nostalgic and requires investigation to find the evidence. Contrasting contemporary with the near past, the city highlights for mine include:
Evidence of Berlin Wall
At various places through out Berlin, the wall can be viewed, and in some centrally places, there are elements of the wall retained for examination and photo opp. To Delve into the history books regards the division of Germany into East and West and mind troubling. Your presence on either side of the wall when they started to erect it meant the difference of an affluent life in the west, or a seemingly controlled and less affluent life in the East. To speak with older people that lived in the former East Germany always interesting … not to mention understanding some of the deep grained culture. For me, seeing "home is my castle" extended to East German life includes enjoyment and some privacy with in your walls. Swimming pools, saunas on site meant your own piece of paradise. Downstairs you might find the older East Germans still operating a well stocked cellar. One pieces together that this was a means to deal with rationing or the constant presumed threat of Western world invasion.
Monument to the holocaust
Another amazing site is the monument to the Holocaust. This city block of concrete blocks bewilders the eye and perhaps a fitting sculpture to cause introspection. Each of the blocks is a different size and spreads across the park with their slightly off geometry just to raise the senses. Originally, the monument was behind a fence as people went about climbing on the blocks for photo opps or to entertain their children. Subsequently the monument is open to all, and one can not help but jump to one of the blocks for photos showing the size and detail of this oversize urban sculpture.
Characterised in so many ways with in German folklore, you expect that questionable flags might roll down from the tops of the gate at any time. There are tourist comings and goings that attest the importance of visiting the gate and peering in the distance of the long avenue that proceeds.
Graffiti in the cityscape
More interesting that the Brandenburg Gate for mind is the endless array of graffiti EVERYWHERE in Berlin. Not that I am overly impressed with spray paint applied to civic / the peoples' property, the length and breadth of graffiti in Berlin is astounding. Its seems that teams are sent out each day in search of any square metre, no square foot that is unmarked, with a fix quickly applied. If the USA is troubled by gun control, surely Berlin is troubled by spray paint control.
Adina Apartment Hotels competition
Adina Apartment Hotels are celebrating their recent evolution by giving away a trip for 2 to Germany. The prize includes return economy flights and 7 nights accommodation in Berlin and Frankfurt. To enter visit the Adina Apartment Hotels competition page.
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