What a busy day! We started with the Third Reich Walking Tour that takes you around Berlin. We saw the Brandenburg Gate which is a famous landmark symbolizing the division of Berlin and Germany during the Cold War. On top it has a very impressive sculpture representing the Goddess of Victory.
The Riechstag was constructed to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. It was severely damaged in a fire in 1933 before WWII. The reconstruction was only completed in 1999.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was really interesting. The idea is that you get lost, feel disoriented and experienced what is was like during the Holocaust. When looking at it from the outside it doesn’t look that bad but once you start walking through it the blocks get taller and the ground is uneven and waving. It is made out of 2711 concrete blocks all with the same length and width to depict how all the Jews were made to look the same, how they were dehumanised. Each block is a different height which shows that they were all different. It was a really powerful memorial.
We also had a look at the Topography of Terrors. It has a part of the Berlin Wall and underneath was where the Reich Security’s main office was during the Second World War.
We ended the tour at Checkpoint Charlie. This was one of the crossing points from West to East Berlin.
After a delicious pizza for lunch we headed for the German History Museum. This was fantastic. This museum covers everything from the Middle Ages to the Fall of the Berlin Wall. So many amazing artworks and artifacts displayed here. It also holds Napoleons hat and sword which was very exciting.
After that we did some shopping and more walking around the streets. We ended off walking down the East Side Gallery. This is an open-air gallery consisting of a series of murals painted on over a kilometer of the original Berlin Wall. It is so wonderful to look at but at the same time gives you a sense of what it must have felt like having this wall blocking you from freedom.
We did over 22 000 steps today and so decided to enjoy supper close to the hotel. We ended up finding this lovely burger joint before heading home.
Tomorrow we make our way to Amsterdam. Auf Wiedersehen!
Collette is a foundation phase teacher at a prominent boys’ school in Cape Town, South Africa. After 4 years of University and into her 2nd year of teaching, she has decided it’s time to see the world.