Berlin is shaping up to be a wonderful experience. I’ve already been downtown three days and still have things I want to do. I wish I could stay longer than a week.
If you ever find yourself in Berlin, the first thing you need to do is go to the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe. It’s Germany’s main Holocaust memorial, and it is very effective. (My one gripe is that some people think the memorial is a giant playground! )
Right next door is The Brandenburg Gate (Tor in German)
This in the heart of Tourist Berlin. In the square there are quite a few tourist gimmicks, like getting your passport stamped with an East German stamp.
On the other side of the Gate, is the Reichstag, part of the German Government Buildings. The building that holds the parliament is from the Second Reich (When Germany was Unified and had Kaisers). The building was burned/gutted when the National Socialists rose to power and didn’t fare too well during World War Two. When Germany was divided, the Government of West Germany met in Bonn, because Berlin was divided and in East Germany. When Germany was reunited, they renovated the inside of the building while restoring the outside. The result is a cool mix of old and new. The German Parliament now uses the building again.
The Reichstag is an awesome building to visit on a clear day, despite the potential long line.
Dem Deutsche Volke (For/To The German People) symbol of the new German Democracy.
There’s a Dome at the top of the Reichstag that attracts all those visitors. A very unique view, and a lot of interesting history!
The next day, I went back to the Memorial and went to the info center underneath. The day I was at the memorial was Monday so it was closed. I spent the whole morning there, learning a very personalized version of the Holocaust.
After lunch, I walked to the Berliner Dom (Cathedral – but it’s actually some Protestant denomination)
It’s beautiful inside.