Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Berlin, Germany

The second place that A and I visited on our trip was Berlin, Germany. We apparently decided to come on a very popular weekend because almost the entire city was booked! We did find a charming hotel called “The Titanic” which was as you would guess, Titanic themed. I would say that it was done quite well, blue and white décor, black and white photos of the ship and time period throughout the building and nautical themed accents. It was a great find and very reasonably priced.
I am not one to travel with a detailed itinerary, which is very out of character for me since my normal day to day life tends to be very structured. I would rather have a list of sights I want to see (government buildings, historical sites, monuments, museums, etc.) and find our way to them while wondering. I love the feeling of freedom that being in another country gives you. We had a map for a point of reference but getting to go down this street, or stop at that shop, allowed us to really immerse ourselves in the city finding places that we wouldn’t otherwise have if we had been on a tour or going from point A to B in the most efficient way.
{Brandenburg Gate with Europe Cup viewing area in the background}

Another thing I try to avoid at all cost is public transportation. I do not want to miss out on seeing a fun of the map sight, or miss out on a cute bakery or café because I wanted to take the subway from our hotel to the Berlin wall. You miss out on so much when you are underground. Also I love to stop in to bakeries whenever I can, so walking the city defiantly helps me not come home with an extra 10 pounds as a souvenir.
{A with the Berlin Wall}

{A and I with the wall}

However, that is not to say that I never take it, due to time constraints we hopped on the subway in order to see the Olympic center in Berlin, which was on the complete outskirts of town. The map that we got from the hotel made the city seem pretty small and completely walkable. Well once we were on the subway on our way, we realized just how long it was taking us and how far out we were going. If we attempted to walk we would have never made it and would have missed our bus out of town.

{East Side Gallery}

{East Side Gallery}

{East Side Gallery}

My favorite part of Berlin was the wall (how original I know). We saw both the East Side gallery and the destruction site. The East Side Gallery is a section of the wall that is kept up and constantly restored. It looks as the wall did during the days of East and West. Also, every few years (we think it is every 10 but we couldn’t figure out exactly) artist from around the world come to Berlin and paint a section of the wall. A mentioned he thought that it should be painted by only German artist because it was their country and their wall; I felt that it wasn’t just the Germans history, it was the worlds fight and so many countries were involved in the war and situation that artist representing their country on the wall represents the struggle we all went through during that time and the unity of all of us.

{Riverfront cafe where we had brunch}

{Somehow we had made it hours without coffee}

{German style pancake with honey}

{So excited for bacon and and eggs}

{Trying to figure out how the bathrooms work}

{Isn't he just adorable?

{Just hanging inside the Olympic stadium}

{Olympic pool}

Berlin was an amazing place filled with such a sad history. At the site of the destruction, there was a timeline of Hitler and the Nazi party, and I would be lying if I didn’t tear up at many parts. Hitler was crazy and it was even more crazy that people just let it happen, all the stories of families being ripped apart and children being murdered was a bit much for me.

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