We visited some amazing places and I guess I was most impressed by the way the German community are holding their hands up about the whole WWII situation and saying never again! One of the first places we visited was the Jewish Memorial. The 'Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe'. It is really fascinating. It is a sea of cement blocks basically and from the edge it quite frankly, looks a bit boring. Just blocks that your eye tells you are not very exciting.
There are signs saying that you cannot jump from block to block. I assumed it was a respect thing until we started to walk along one side of the Memorial. Our plan was to walk along the side and head for the Brandenburg Gate, but that was not to be. It drew us in and made us think and talk about it ....a wonderful piece of art!
As we moved through the area we realised that the ground undulated and the blocks became taller and taller. We quickly realised jumping from block to block was a safety issue and not just respect! Some of these blocks would have been 6 metres or more in height. There were people wandering through it everywhere, but it was so easy to feel you were all on your own as they dissapeared in between the blocks. You caught glimpses and then they were gone. A powerful reminder of what happened to the people at that time. Richard's thoughts travelled to the representation of the volume of the structures and compared it with the 'volume of people lost'. I couldn't help but think of the mounds of shoes, hair, suitcases, glasses and clothes again! As you walked through there were occasional glimpses of the surrounding environment, but in amongst these towers of rock it was cold, quiet and lonely. The most amazing feeling and a brilliant memorial.
We continued our walk and visited the Brandenburg Gate next and started to get some ideas about how the wall affected life in Berlin. One side of this gate you were in the east and on the other side you were in the west!
From Brandenburg we decided to visit one of 'The Wall' sites. The part of the wall we first visited was the boundary between the East and what was the French Sector. The land was a Cemetary and was taken into the no mans land area between east and west.
Part of The Wall still in its original position.
A memorial to those who died trying to escape.
Some original Wall art!
We wandered around town a little longer and then decided to take a train ride out to visit the Olympic Stadium. Plan A was to just see it from the outside, but the Plan B option was taken and we went in! I am so glad we did just for the photos we got!
The view from outside.
Harvey was relieved we went in because he got to make another friend!
The Stadium from inside.
Love this shot of the stadium.
..and this one from the opposite end!
The original gate post for the entry to the race track.
We saw through the gates, but couldn't go in.
We also visited the DDR museum, Checkpoint Charlie and lots of other places....all fascinating! But I thought to finish the post I would add a few photos we took for our son Sam. We saw this Bugatti in a shop window and thought Sam would be drooling so we went in and took a few photos! (I know Sam, we are embarrassing but we weren't the only ones!)
Will be back soon with Ghent and Brugge and that will be our Spring break done almost in time for the Summer half term break in two weeks time!