Exploring the Homeland...

Berlin Travel Blog

 › entry 26 of 59 › view all entries
Berlin Dome

...I guess it's kind of a stretch for me to call it the "homeland," but whatever- I have a German heritage.

The culture is really fun! I am not sure if they like Americans or not (I'm going to go with no) but it is all very interesting and fun to be in! We are staying in what used to be the East where it is apparently supposed to still have a little edge, but it seems cool and it certainly is nice everywhere in the city.

We had class at the hotel this morning (after an amazing breakfast) and we basically prepped for the museum visits and art lectures for the rest of the weekend. After that, the bus immediately took us into the city, and we had some time before our museum site visit for the day. I spent this with a few people basically walking around and getting to know the city, and where the division of the wall would have been.

FABbers (05) Unite!
I really find all the history and significance of the former division and hostility to be really interesting, so I enjoyed our walk.

We started off in the Eastern section of the central city, and walked down the main boulevard towards the Brandenburg gate. The gate was pretty interesting and full of tourists. It is pretty historical and a prominent part of the Berlin Wall. It is also where on the Western side, Reagan gave his famous "tour down this wall!" speech. In continuing walking, there was the huge city park just across the former line and into the Western side. The main street continued down to a large monument in the middle of an intersection. Apparently this monument was built by the Germans a long time ago to commemorate their victory in the Prussian War.

Brandenburg Gate
 Interestingly enough though, on the way back we came across a Soviet memorial. Apparently it was built immediately after the war in 1945 before the lines were drawn, and once they were, it ended up on the wrong side but the British army protected it.

There were ads for the Blue Man Group, which is in Berlin this weekend, and the people I was with wanted to see about tickets so we walked to the theater in Potsedam Platz. It just south of the Brandenburg gate that centered around a major intersection in the roads. Apparently when the wall existed, it was awkwardly trapped between the two sides so it became a no man's land or a "death strip" where no one dared to go. Therefore, it was desolate and barren wasteland. But therefore, it's been built up since the wall came down and the area is now the very modern part of Berlin- as seen by the amazing architecture (including work by Renzo Piano!).

Soviet Monument
We found the theater and it was too much money for tickets. By then it was almost time for the museum lecture and so we walked quickly back across the city to the 'museum island.'

Our class lecture site visit was at the Altes Nationalgalerie today, which is one of their big art museums. It was ok, but nothing too special as it contained similar works to everything we've seen so far. Honestly, the museums aren't that significant anymore and we tend to go to them just so we have class visits somewhere. But that's ok! I appreciate the effort by our professor.

After I was through with our assignments we had to do at the museum, I met back up with several people and we made our way into the city to see several things they were interested in seeing. This included various government buildings and the Deustche Dom and Opera House.

Sony Center
It was nice to basically walk in a different part of the city and see most of the sites. We also went to the holocaust memorial- a sea of concrete pillars in all different heights along a rolling terrain. I thought it was strikingly beautiful, but most in the group understandably thought it was overly abstract.

We then found dinner at a genuine German food stand which included a pretzel, curry wurst, and a turkey wrap thing for me. I want to eat healthier later, but for now it was very good. After dinner, the group wanted to see a few more things but I was so tired and we are going to have so much free time the next few days that I decided to come back to the hotel. I just took a nap and now I am enjoying the outdoor patio by the river as I type this! Tomorrow will, of course, be exciting as there is much to look forward to.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Berlin Dome
Berlin Dome
FABbers (05) Unite!
FABbers (05) Unite!
Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate
Soviet Monument
Soviet Monument
Sony Center
Sony Center
Sony Center
Sony Center
Tower built by the Communists sole…
Tower built by the Communists sol…
Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial
Holocause Memorial
Holocause Memorial
Einstein at the entrance to LegoLa…
Einstein at the entrance to LegoL…
Berlin
photo by: CFD