Thirty years ago Berlin’s wall came down. I was working in Germany when that happened from 1989-1992. After a nightshift at the military hospital, I went home to watch the news on the Armed Forces Network. It seemed surreal to visualize the East Germans and many others excitedly chiseling the stone wall away!
On my recent trip to Berlin, it was with the wall in mind that I began another day exploring my mother’s hometown. In my last post , I gave the tip to spend at least two days in the Mitte area. Tip two is to look at Berlin through the eyes of history.
I love history so this tip is natural for me. My own life is intertwined through six decades of influences that included multiple trips to Germany and living their three times.
In that vein I tackled the U-bahn from my hotel which included a change of trains midway to Bernauer StraBse that took all of 18 minutes. Bernauer Street is known as a place that east Berliners could flee if they acted fast. The apartment buildings had windows and doors that could lead to a quick escape to the west until the east government forced evacuations without notice and boarded the homes shut. Later tunnels were dug underground that led to freedom. Today the area is memorial.
As the sun was setting I felt haunted. It was either because it was getting late or I felt the hopelessness of the past human souls in my spirit. It was a strong feeling and my urge to get out of there was powerful. My mind could not get past the fact that this place was once a horrible reminder of the horrific Cold War tactics that separated families.
Although Berlin is so much more than this, it is wise to understand this history. I recently started watching a show on EPIX network called Berlin Station. It is set in current times and is a wonderful spy thriller with the breathtaking scenery of Berlin. Maybe I have watched too much of it, but who can beat a brainy conspiracy show with danger and lies at its core. I love the music in the show that includes David Bowie. I am afraid of Americans is its theme song!! WOW!
I took several photos throughout the day. Here are a few of those:
I fell in love with the borough Hackescher Markt. You will find one of kind shops, superb coffee( Rostastatte was incredible), and great restaurants ( Weihenstephaner has good authentic cuisine as well as good steaks). There is of course several other attractions that are in walking range. For example, I stopped at the Anne Frank Centre and spent almost 1.5 hours. I hurried also to Museum Island that is 10 minutes away. I wanted to get a lay of the land. I will share about it and the island’s amazing museums on my next post.
As day two of enjoying Berlin came to an end, I was invited by my uncle to have supper at an Austrian style guest Haus that he and my aunt have enjoyed for years. The owners know them by name. I love that authentic home feeling and great food and beer.
Until my third post on Berlin. Auf Wiedersehen!!