Berlin - it means bogland but is nothing like it!

June 1, 2007

Where do I start with our trip in Berlin. It was busy......very busy. There is so much to do and see and learn about in this place. Every corner has a horrific history that touches the very core of your worst nightmare. But in saying that.....the people here are by far the nicest I have come across. Emily nor I could decide where to start so we decided to go on the FREE general tour on the first day - just to get a grounding for Berlin. Our guide, of course, was an unreal guide - knowledgeable, funny and extremely helpful.....and did I mention that he was also Australian! haha. He had been studying German history for most of his life and so gave us the most in depth tour we had ever had.......3 and a half hours of solid WWII and Soviet history. He showed us the Holocaust memorial which Emily and I returned to later on, the French Quarter, Hitlers Bunker, a section of the Berlin Wall (I didn't realise that the wall went up in 50 minutes, a wall like the Great Wall of China in just 50 minutes!) and various other sites that were of interest. We enjoyed the tour so much that we actually went on another more in depth tour with him the following day. We got to see building that still stood from the time when the Soviet forces captured Berlin in WWII - it had bullet holes all over the walls, we saw the Soviet Memorial site and heard some horrible stories that had taken place after the Soviet control had commenced, and we visited Check Point Charlie (the brother of Alpha and Bravo!) and read stories about escape attempts and how the fall of the Berlin Wall was actually a bureaucratic stuff up. All of these places were amazing to visit and to have someone explain details to you made it all the more enjoyable. I have to say though that out of all of the places we visited, I got the most from the Holocaust Memorial Documentation Centre. This place contains bone chilling information that leaves you feeling ill but really opens your eyes to the cruelty and horror that was inflicted upon not only the Jewish population but other innocent people of Germany. They have really created a superb information point for people to learn.
Now I know what you are thinking....all these places but she hasn't mentioned the most important one - yes I did go and see it..........The Hotel Adler (where Jacko hung his baby out the window!). In all seriousness though, visiting Berlin was a real eye opener and I have not even scraped the top layer of what it has to offer.

 

 

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