Historic Berlin


After showing Chase’s family around Amsterdam, we took an early morning
flight to Berlin to kick off the week of spring break with two side trips. None
of us had been before, and we landed on a very grey and drizzly day. We took
a cab through the outskirts and into the city, making our first impression of
the city a little depressing. Rows upon rows of huge block apartment buildings
as far as the eye could see, graffiti, and a dark grey day made us a little bit unsure
of how we’d like Berlin. After getting to our AirBnb and grabbing lunch we got tickets
for a hop-on/ hop-off bus tour (thanks to Chase’s negotiating skills ;) because it was
pouring rain and we wanted to still be out and about! It helped us get around to all of
the sights and hear a lot of history in between while warming up. It was pretty wet and
rainy the entire time, but we managed to fit in all of the things we wanted to see…which
was a lot here! There is so much history between World War II and the Cold War, and
though it’s so important and interesting to see, it does make for a sobering type of trip.
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset While we were there the Brussels airport/metro bombing also happened…
bringing even more of a somber tone to our time here. We just took everything
slow and had a week focused on issues from the past as well as of today. There
are definitely some dark sides to this world, but there is hope and goodness
that shines through and that’s what is cool about visiting Berlin – seeing and
learning about the way the people, city, and country rose above the darker times.

IMG_0122 Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe ^^
IMG_0139This memorial is simple and not beautiful or ornate, but I think it’s
done just the right way to symbolize and represent what was done to
so many innocent people. It’s rough from the outside, but also so peaceful
to walk through the columns and remember. So so important to remember.
IMG_0128IMG_0185From there we headed to the Topography of Terrors, which is a lot to
take in but such a must-do. It is on the site of some of the main Nazi headquarter
buildings and the museum goes in depth through the 1933-1945 war years in Berlin.
IMG_0186IMG_0180Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset We walked by the Führerbunker almost without realizing it. The sight where Hitler’s
bunker once stood is now a dirt parking lot with one sign. It seems strange, but I
think it’s actually just how it should be – the bunker completely demolished,
with no trace or extra attention on the sight where a man like that stayed.
IMG_0192Checkpoint Charlie was crazy to visit, especially after seeing photos of how it
really looked at the time. I can’t imagine a time when the city was truly divided.
IMG_0207IMG_0210IMG_0226IMG_0230Berlin3IMG_0218
IMG_3066The East Side Gallery is a little bit more cheery and definitely worth visiting.
Though it’s a portion of the Berlin Wall, the murals and artwork represent
the rebirth and good things that came after the wall fell. It is now the largest
open-air gallery in the world and stretches 1.3 kilometres. It’s the longest single
segment which still remains of the Berlin Wall. In 1989 when the wall fell,
hundreds of artists from all over the world painted this part of the wall.
The murals and artwork make political commentary and spread love
and peace after so much hardship. It’s funky and interesting and it’s a
good thing to do after taking in all of the other sights! 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBaby bump in Berlin ^^
Berlin4
Berlin5IMG_0232IMG_0250IMG_0255IMG_0259Some of the iconic murals near the end ^^
IMG_0110The iconic Brandenburg Gate of Berlin ^^
IMG_0117
IMG_0150Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBoth baby girl bumps in Berlin! ^^ It will be fun to
show these future cousins their first trip together :)

Berlin
IMG_0119IMG_0154 Gendarmenmarkt is the prettiest square in the city, so we made sure to stop by ^^
We also lightened the mood with a stroll down the famous street: grand Unter
den Linden. It went past Humboldt University, the Deutsches Historisches
Museum (German History Museum) and the Neue Wache memorial.
IMG_0160Other favorite Berlin sights included the Tiergarten park, Kaiser Willhelm
Memorial Church with its incredible history having been bombed in WWII,
Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestra, Auguststraße, Berlin Cathedral, DDR
Museum, Nikolaiviertel island, and the Reichstag (get reservations for this!!)

IMG_0161 One sign of spring amidst all of the gloom! ^^
IMG_0182 IMG_0260The little German man with the hat on the crossing signs was our favorite! ^^ IMG_0221Some of our favorite meals in Berlin were at Burger AMT, Vapiano,
& Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebab… other suggestions we didn’t get to try
are “The Bird,” Lemon Leaf, Cassiopeia, ‘Santa Maria’ in the Kruezburg,
Roamers, Father Carpenter, and more. Lots of good food to be had here, and
I just wanted to list some that I had written down for anyone going in the future!

IMG_0258One last walk along the river our final night ^^
IMG_3079Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset…Then it was off the next morning to Prague by train!

Berlin and all its history gave us a major dose of gratitude for what we have,
as well as for the people who went through those hard times. It is a tough city
and 
a memorable place to visit. It was a great stop to do with Chase’s fam!

xo

 


'Historic Berlin' has 8 comments

  1. March 28, 2016 @ 10:18 am Hannah

    As a young Jewish woman, I want to thank you for visiting theses places (places I haven’t been able to make it to yet!) and for remembering the lives that were lost. The phrases we use in Judaism are “never forget” and “never again.” I wish we could say the world has reached “never again,” but by not forgetting you are playing a role in ensuring that brighter future. Thanks again!

    Reply

  2. March 28, 2016 @ 2:22 pm Kari

    My husband will be heading to Stuttgart for work a few times this year & I’m hoping to go with him so that we can see some of these incredible spots!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

    Reply

  3. March 28, 2016 @ 5:38 pm Jordan

    Absolutely LOVE Berlin…one of my favorite cities! And Topographie des Terrors is such a fabulous museum!

    Reply

  4. March 29, 2016 @ 2:25 am sara mcavoy

    This trip looks lovely, I would really like to visit both of these places!
    http://www.wanderfreeblog.wordpress.com
    x

    Reply

  5. March 29, 2016 @ 8:27 am Sar

    One of the cities at the top of my list!

    Reply

  6. March 29, 2016 @ 9:30 am Colleen

    I think Europe has really done it right in regards to these memorials. Rather than simply pushing the shameful things under a rug like the US did with Japanese Internment camps, they acknowledge the terrible things that happened, and work hard to educate new generations in order to prevent such atrocities in the future.

    Also, I almost laughed out loud when I read that you had never been to Berlin before! There are probably only like 8 cities in Europe left that you haven’t been to, haha! I can’t wait to see your updated Europe bucket list when you guys come home to the States–you’ve hit so many places, all that’s left will, I’m sure, be unique and super fun!

    Reply

  7. March 29, 2016 @ 2:39 pm Jessica

    My favorite memorial was the memorial for the murdered jews of Europe in Berlin. I thought it captured my feelings perfectly

    Reply

  8. March 31, 2016 @ 6:50 pm Rachel

    Bummer it was so gloomy when you visited, but it looks like you still were able to squeeze in so much. I can’t wait to visit Berlin one of these days and see it all myself.

    Reply


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