Monday, August 18, 2014

Berlin: some sightseeing

Although I managed to do a lot of sightseeing my first time around in Berlin, there was still so much more I hadn't seen.  I didn't actually go to a lot of the museums or typical sightseeing sites, but I did manage to get out a couple days and face the crowds of people downtown to explore everything Berlin has to offer.  

In terms of history and culture, Berlin is a fantastic city.  For a history nerd like me, I never get tired of the museums and memorials.  While Berlin has had somewhat of a dark history, I credit them for trying to come to terms with it.  I view it as a way to incorporate the past into the present, a part of a permanent reconstruction of Berlin.  In this way, Berlin will never be "finished."  It is constantly evolving, seamlessly weaving the new in with the old, because there is no strong distinction between an "old" city of historical buildings and a new city of business and fancy architecture.  It is all placed together, and part of what makes Berlin so special.

Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauerstrasse



 Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

 This memorial is absolutely haunting.  Whatever your thoughts on this massive memorial straight in the middle of Berlin, walking through the memorial is an experience.  I urge you to do some reading on this memorial, as it was quite controversial when it was being built, but what looks like very straight lines and perfectly measured widths actually becomes sloping paths and crooked lines.  The deeper you walk, the more it feels like you will not emerge from the memorial again.  However, the few shots I captured at sunset casted a beautiful light on even the darkest corners of the memorial.  It's powerful.

Last time I was in Berlin, it was dead in the middle of winter and absolutely freezing so I did not walk through the stelae, but I'm glad I did this time.  I also recommend the Place of Information underneath the memorial.  It has some fantastic information and stories from Holocaust victims and families.

 Museum Island

 Templehof Field
An airport-turned-park.  German genius. Also perfect tanning/biking/running/picnic grounds.

 German-American Festival
Why not celebrate American culture from a German perspective?

Hope you enjoyed the little shots of the sightseeing I did!

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