Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gute Nacht Berlin

Had an older traveller with us today. Reid turned 18 and as a later photo will attest he had his birthday party at the Berlin Wall. Not everyone can say that. 
We spent the day in Berlin and had a guided bus tour in the morning. He first took us to see the portion of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. On the Western side the art work/graffiti is still present. They are currently being tagged by other today which is unfortunate. Our guide says it is kind of their culture now that has emerged since the wall. We saw lots of evidence of graffiti in general around town. I guess the opinion is 50/50 about it. 

The Eastern side that is being tagged by the current generation. Not our group!!!

This is the place where the Nazis held some famous rallies in Berlin. 

Memorial to the murdered Jews during the Holocaust. 

This memorial had over 2700 concrete blocks in this area that would within the area called the death strip (the area that was near the wall where many that tried to escape died. Each block is different and the numbers are not important. There is no message - just for the visitors to interpret. Each block has been protected with anti-graffiti coating. 

He also took us to the area where Hitlers bunker was in Berlin. It no longer exists as the Russians buried it when the captured Berlin. Then the East Germans blew it up and made a parking lot. That blue van never had so many pictures taken of it - he said that is where Hitlers bunker once was. 

Brandenburg Gate. The famous gate that was located on the Eastern side of the city. It was famous for the images after the wall was being taken down. 

The government of Germany has dedicated itself to educating people about this dark period of their history. They opened up a museum called Topography of Terror that had pictures and evidence of the Nazis reign of terror on Europe. It is located where the Nazi head offices once were.   All were free to the public to educate. It was a great display. On the same property was another original piece of the wall. This was even more realistic and impactful than the East Side Gallery that we saw at the beginning if the day. 

These markers are found near Checkpoint Charlie which mark where the wall once stood in Berlin and continue throughout the city. 

We also visited the Jewush Museum in Berlin. A few displays were very amazing. The Holocaust Tower, The Garden of Exile and Falling Leaves (you walk on metal faces attempting not to make a noise - difficult to do. Simulating possibly a soldiers experience being involved and then wanting to not be a part of it. However you are too far already). Very impactful. 

The day ended with a farewell at the Berlin Wall - East Side Gallery. 

Oh an of course sang happy birthday to Reid. 

Farewell Berlin. Our flight leaves tomorrow and the journey was amazing. 

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