Tuesday, 24 November 2015

what we did in BERLIN

Third year has been hectic so I haven't had a chance to blog about our trip to Berlin three months ago. It's settled down a bit so I've had some time to sift through pictures and throw a post together:

what we did in berlin 1

So after we spent 5 days in Prague, we hopped on a train across to Berlin. It wasn't the smoothest journey - the train was delayed for a few hours, and we had purposely spent all our Czech Koruna, so we just had to sit and wait it out. When we finally got to Berlin and figured out the transport system, we headed straight to our Airbnb.

The next day, we took another free walking tour (of course), again with the same company as I did in Amsterdam - Sandemans. Again, highly recommended!

We spent a lot of time walking around the city - there is so much to see! And loads of museums. Our tour guide pointed out to us that the really refreshing thing about Germany was that they didn't hide their history. But it feels so far from a lingering, uncomfortable memory, but more of an incentive to constantly make the future better.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe berlin 1
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe berlin 2
gendarmenmarkt berlin 1gendarmenmarkt konzerthaus berlin 1

One of my favourite museums we visited was the Topographie des Terrors (entry was free!), located on the Niederkirchnerstra├če, the former location of the headquarters of the Reich Main Security Office, SD, Gestapo and the SS in Nazi Germany.

topographie des terrors berlin 1

The open-air exhibition in the trench runs along the preserved section of the Berlin Wall. This section, titled "Berlin 1933–1945: Between Propaganda and Terror" is lined with glass panels of photos, newspaper articles, audio clips, and documents. The stories were so interesting, and I particularly found stories of Stella K├╝bler, a "catcher" for the Gestapo, and the stories of the attempts of those to get across the Berlin Wall into West Germany - one woman disguised herself as a car seat, and one family ziplined across from East to West Germany. 

topographie des terrors berlin 2topographie des terrors berlin 3
topographie des terrors berlin 4topographie des terrors berlin 4
The indoor exhibition focuses on the institutions and the crimes committed throughout Europe of the SS and police during Nazi Germany. There was an extraordinary amount of information, and because we had spent the day around all the Third Reich points of interests around Berlin, it was all quite overwhelming.  

Another museum we visited was the Neues Museum. Located on Museum Island, it holds the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. 

The most famous piece on display in the museum is the very well-preserved bust of Queen Nefertiti. No pictures were allowed but here are a few others:

museum island berlin 1neues museum berlin 1
neues museum berlin 2neues museum berlin 3
neues museum berlin 4
I've saved the best for last: the Reichstag building. Very luckily, we happened to walk past it the only day of the year the German Parliament open the building to the public - the German Bundestag's Open Day. Don't worry though, you can book a visit to the dome and roof terrace of the Reichstag, which I would 100000% recommend you do. Make sure to book a visit as far in advance as you can, as the slots fill up fast and you need to get your registration confirmed. 

The dome of the Reichstag building is amazing, and I took a lot of photos.

(try and spot us hehe)
Amazing right? 

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