Journal #18 - Northern Germany
Guten Tag from Germany!
We are enjoying our travels in Berlin. This city is packed with history and is chock full of beautiful museums. We stayed mostly in and around the city during our stay since we have plans to visit other parts of Germany hopefully later this year. Which meant that we could really focus on everything the city had to offer. We started off with the Berlin Wall. The exhibit, the museum, and everywhere else around the city we could see it. We learned all about the evolution of its construction, how it morphed into the construction we are familiar with from the 80s, what life was like for people on both sides of the wall, and about the people who died trying to cross it. We particularly appreciated the exhibit with different painted sections of the wall. There were so many different artists, each decorating a stretch of the wall in their own style with their own message.
Besides the wall, we got some older German history, from the world wars, and took in the monuments to commemorate those that were lost. This included the ever-impactful Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, and the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism. Berlin has played such an active role in the history of the last century and, visiting it, you can feel that abundantly. They have taken care to recognize, and memorialize, so much of their history and you really appreciate that when you are visiting.
The sights are not all so emotionally impactful. There are plenty of parts of Berlin that you would expect to enjoy in any city. There is a stunning parliament building with a bold strong and modern glass dome. The Brandenburg Tor/Gate is an iconic landmark, and that is not to mention how beautiful the architecture of the homes in Berlin are. The most stunning view of all though was of Museum Island. A little cutout of the city, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was packed with beautifully crafted buildings, each with its own character. There were so many beautiful parts to visiting Berlin, and we truly enjoyed our time here in the city.
That is not to mention how much we also enjoyed the food we ate during our time here. We enjoyed brats, pretzels, and so much more. The part we were not prepared for was the size of the steins. We had seen in old movies, pictures of the giant steins, but forgot what we were getting ourselves into. Some of these beers were as big as my head, and considering the price of buying a bottle of water, those beers were very tempting. One thing we found anecdotally to be true though, was the pace of dining was much slower. To explain, we were offered a table at a restaurant one night at around 5:30 PM. Our hostess said that she could only seat us if we made sure to vacate our seats before the following party (with a reservation) arrived. She really leaned into this point and made sure we knew she was doing us a favor. Well, that reservation was not until 8:30 PM, which meant she had nothing to worry about because we had ordered, dined, cleared, and paid before 6:20 PM. We are speedy eaters apparently.
All in all, Berlin was a beautiful, clean, safe city, with efficient transportation that is easy to maneuver. We appreciated all of those aspects of stay. While not originally on the agenda for this time of year, we are very happy to have gotten to check it out. But now we are ready to get back on schedule and visit the country known for having the world’s largest castle. Our bags are packed, any guesses on where we are off to next?