Sunday, July 25, 2010

Berlin: Days 1-3

Day 1:

We didn’t get into Berlin until late afternoon, so our first day was pretty relaxed. We walked around the area near the hotel, which was full of shops. We also saw the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche, which was partially destroyed in the bombings of World War II. They decided not to fix the damage and to leave it standing as a reminder to the people:

Instead, they built a new church next to it, which isn’t much to look at from the outside, but has some incredible stained glass windows that look awesome from the inside. It’s very modern:

Day 2:

Our second day in Berlin we started out by going to Brandenburg Gate, which is kind of a representation of Berlin’s unity, as it acts as a fulcrum between the East and West of Berlin:

Next, we went to the Holocaust Memorial and walked through the museum they have there:

After a lunch of the German specialty, currywurst (it’s like hot dogs with a curry sauce), we went to Babelplatz square where the famous Nazi book-burnings took place, right across the street from a University. If you can’t tell, the monument they have in the square is a bunch of empty bookcases: 

After that, we went to see a section of the Berlin Wall that has been preserved. It’s right in front of what’s called the Topography of Terror, which is where the headquarters of the Gestapo used to be. It’s now a museum that tells of their acts:

Day 3:

We spent a lot of our third day in Berlin shopping. Greg had a blast at the Lego store, and I found a nice dress.

We also made our way over to Checkpoint Charlie, where people would pass from the East to the West part of Berlin during the cold war. We even got our passports stamped. It was pretty cool:

That night, we took our last over-night train to Amsterdam and it was a much better experience than the first time around. We actually had beds this time and were able to sleep pretty well. Yay! 

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