Wunderbar Berlin

Boo, we were leaving Prague but yay we were off to Berlin! It seems like we’re racing through these massive countries but that is the amazing thing about this trip.  We can get a taster of each country and decide if we want to go back or not.  I definitely think that you need to spend more than 1 full day in a city, however we seem to fit as much in as we can so I am not complaining at all.

So, we’re off to Berlin.  I was most excited as Germany has been a country on my bucket list for years.  I already know I will be coming back here, I want to see as much as possible.  On our drive to Berlin we stopped and had lunch in Dresden. Amanda took us on a short walk to the centre and gave us a brief history lesson.  Many of the places we have been to lately have started off the same “this country has had some bad times, mostly around the start of World War 2 and has continued…” but the story behind Dresden was heart warming during some grim times.  During WW2 the Allies wanted to bomb the town to send a messages to the Nazis in hope that they would surrender this was a crime against humanity and if it had failed they would have severely punished, they dropped heat bombs into the centre and the town gathered in the crypt of the main church, Dresden Frauenkirche.  The heat from these bombs caused the temperature inside the church raise to over 1000 °C which meant the giant dome on the roof started to glow red.  The building started to crumble and stayed in a pile of rubble for 45 years whilst under communist rule.  Residents started to collect stones which could be later used in reconstruction and in 2005 it was finally completed.  This just shows that the shared determination of a town can’t be dampered by war.

We jumped back on board and headed off to Berlin, as we arrived we had a driving tour around the city.  This isn’t like any of the other cities we had seen, everything was modern.  We knew about the war and the wall but I am not too sure if we knew much more than that.  Many of the buildings in Berlin were bombed, the city completely changed its face during the war and stayed that way until the wall fell, even then with the debts Germany faced after the war there was no money to rebuild, which is why everything is modern now.  They have paid their dues and are now no longer the impoverished city they once were.  We arrived at our hostel (yes! not camping for two nights woohoo) and checked in, tonight we were going to have a dinner with the crew and then a few were going to check out the Warehouse District nearby.  Berlin’s night life is something to definitely check out if you get the chance.  Anything goes here.
I decided to stay at the hostel and have drinks on site.  There are two bars on site, the main bar which is also the restaurant, or the beach bar which has a floor covered in sand.  Not something you would expect from a land locked country but finally my jandals and feet could feel the sand again!

The next day, we started bright and early for a Third Reich Walking tour run by Berlin Walks, I would recommend to anyone wanting a visual history.  We started at the Reichstag Building and saw the Brandenburg gate, Hitler’s Bunker (well above it), the Holocaust Memorial, the original Berlin Wall in its original state and finally Checkpoint Charlie.  After that grim start to the day we decided to make the most of being in town and had some fun.  We made our own chocolate at Ritter Sport went to the very fun Ampelmann store, and explored the city before walking the length of the Wall near our Hostel.  We had seen the wall the previous day but wanted to see it again while we were here.

That night, we had a pub crawl.  We were all to wear white tshirts which would get marked with messages from everyone on the trip.  That way we can keep them as mementos forever.  This turned into a crazy night and so much fun.  Needless to say I had a very late night and a long drive to Amsterdam the next day.  Berlin you crazy city, you tried to break me but didn’t have any luck this time around.

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