First stop – what remains of the Berlin Wall. Considering its dark history, it is now a display of colour and creativity! Incredible paintings of the weird and wonderful, from abstract hallucinatory bursts of neon, to simple and powerful messages of peace and freedom.
Then to the beautiful Berlin Cathedral. Badly damaged from the 2nd world war, it is now perfectly reconstructed to its former palatial glory.
Onto the Berlin Wall memorial, a tribute to those who lost their lives trying to escape. Situated on an old graveyard (which was dug up and used as a death zone during the cold war), it is now a peaceful green area with information on some of the lives lost and tributes to the graves that were destroyed. A very sombre experience indeed.
Trying to keep things light, I took a train to view the Brandenburg gate. Bigger than I expected! Fun fact: the statue on top (as impressive as it is) caught the eye of Napoleon in 1806, so much so, that he stole it. Obviously returning to its rightful place in 1814.
Just down the road, I visited the Jewish memorial. 2711 concrete pillars, all different heights, to acknowledge the estimated 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust. Underneath, is an information Center with details, names, pictures, videos, diaries, letters of farewell of the victims, and more.
On to something light again. (Definitely needed after the heaviness of the memorials) I saw another beautifully grand site at the Tower of Victory! It was made to commemorate the Prussian victory over the invasion of the Danish, then the Austrians, then the French. It stands 8.3m high with a striking bronze sculpture of Victoria on top.
Finishing my day with Checkpoint Charlie (the last checkpoint Berliners had to go through before crossing east-west), then home to have some Kasebockwurst!
8 trains, 1 bus, 23,000 steps, I’m looking forward to sleep!