The Berlin Wall stood here 1961-1989
Sorry, I’d been crafting that one all weekend. I know it’s lame but I needed to get it out of my system. It got down to -13 degrees! I don’t know how I did Quebec winters for four years.
Samantha and I pulled off another whirlwind weekend trip, this time to Berlin, Germany. Despite a stupid-early flight out, a really late return, and both of us not liking snow or children, we had an amazing time.
If you find yourself avoiding hotel prices, stay at Circus Hostel. It’s a boutique hostel that is nearly finished undergoing renovations. Despite having a few snorers as roommates, it was a really modern, clean place to stay.
I don’t usually bother blogging about accommodation, but this place was special because of the walking tour we took on Saturday afternoon. They have a tips-based tour that takes 3.5 hours, and hits every important site that you could really want to see. The guide, an American student, taught me more about the history of Germany, and particularly the city of Berlin and it’s many conflicts, than I learned in years of history classes in high school. Woops.
There is much to see, and we were lucky to get to the Berlin Cathedral, Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, the East Side Gallery (Berlin Wall), the Fernsehturm (TV tower with a viewing deck at 365m up!), the Holocaust Memorial, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and the Charlottenburg Palace.
On our second day, we went back to the places we wanted to see again in more detail. And we ate some schnitzel. I must say, after trying it in both Prague and Berlin (years after eating it as a child), my stepdad Les makes a pretty mean schnitzel.
The Berlin Wall, and the rest of the city and it’s history,is something to behold. If you have the chance in your lifetime, make the trip. If you can’t, pick any photo I’ve posted here and Google it. It’s amazing to see what things were happening, from parades for Hitler to people jumping over walls to save their lives, in the exact same spot some, but not too many, years ago…
On both sides of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery
The Holocaust Memorial, officially called the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, was opened in 2005. It’s roughly the size of two football fields, filled with rows upon rows of unmarked concrete blocks sitting at different heights. We saw it on our first day (first photo below), and I thought it was quite amazing. The next day we walked through it. I was floored by how powerful it was. My initial thought was that it was an interesting and artistic way to remember so many lives lost. This turned into a haunting moment where I stood alone in a maze of blocks twice my size, wondering what it all could have been like.
Walk through it.
Bonus photo: Remember when MJ dangled Blanket out a hotel window back in 2002? ‘Twas here!
Good times, good times..