Thursday, March 5, 2015

12 images of Berlin

I was in Berlin couple of months back.Typical of me,  I chose to walk in  Berlin too. I feel walking can bring us closer to the soul  of any city. I couldn’t walk around as much as I wanted  though. I walked with  NewBerlinTour. You can try this out to get a glimpse of Berlin in 3-4 hours.I had only a day to explore the city. My first impressions of Berlin are here ...
    1. Friendly People 
    Contrary to my biased view of ‘Germans are not so friendly’, I experienced  very friendly approach from everyone I met. They were going out of the way to help. When we lost our way on the first day in Berlin, this gentlemen walked along with his cycle to show us the right direction until we are close to our hotel and even he showed us a piece of wall next to his office which was not dismantled due to art work on it.  When I was waiting for a  taxi to airport and whole city was running short of taxis due to train strike, a lady who was waiting along with me tried from her phone to several taxis to book for us.
      2. Cycles Cycles everywhere 
      Berlin looked like a cyclist’s paradise. Whether geared cycle or ordinary cycle, it was there everywhere. People riding cycle to office in their formals was very common. Similarly mothers  were carrying their kids in the front bar of the cycle. I even saw a lady riding the cycle having an extension of pram to her cycle with an infant in it.

      3.Construction across the city
      Construction work in progress and cranes in the skyscape was another  common sight across the city. I saw Berliners cribbing about this never ending construction work  ever since the day of unification.  
      Construction work in progress
      4. Berliners like theater
      There are many theaters across the city. I don’t remember the names but I saw quite a lot during my walk. In one of the streets near Checkpoint Charlie found this theater properties for sale.   

      5. Hitler’s bunker(Furerbunker)
      Can you see anything special about this parking lot. It is as ordinary as any parking. In fact it is a nondescript location without any pavements or planned parking layout. Exactly few feet below was Hitler’s bunker and this was the place where he killed himself in 1945. Apparently, post Hitler’s death, Soviet didn’t even want to retain his bunker and they filled the land to cover it. Then few constructions came up around to make this place insignificant and not to have any memories of Hitler. Recently they have placed an information board at one corner of the parking with layout showing Hitler’s bunker.

      6. Buddy bear 
      Buddy bear what they call them are part of the cityscape and can be seen everywhere in different posture and colors. I was told buddy bears were installed from 2001 as a public art and representing Berlin. It is the symbol of Berlin. Buddy bear souvenirs are available. How can I miss taking couple of pictures with buddy bear ?!

      7. Memorial to the murdered jews of Europe ( Holocaust memorial)
      Holocaust memorial is very close to Brandenburg gate, This was built as a memorial to the jewish victims after 60 years of world war II in 2005. There are about 2000 concrete blocks varying in heights. There is an information centre where all the names of the victims are available. I believe it is an artwork. For my poor taste, it looked like a cemetery than an art.

      8. Brandenburg gate
      The landmark of Germany, Brandenberg gate is an 18th century monument. My guide told that it was built to symbolize peace. Bronze Quadriga placed on top of the gate is driven by goddess  of peace.  But later when Berlin was under France, Quadriga turned into a symbol of victory. Now it is called as Victoria, roman goddess of Victory. Being right at the border between East and West Berlin during the wall period it was a major gate between East and west. During the  fall of wall in 1989 it was the place where people gathered and celebrated. I could see a lot of activists and tourists crowding around the open place in front of the gate.

      9. The Berlin wall
      Every Berliner I met were passionate talking about the wall. Whole Berlin was celebrating 25 anniversary of fall of the wall during my time of the visit. Hence there was naturally more importance in the air for the wall. I watched a video about the wall in the wall memorial.  It was very interesting to know how they built think wall. Not one but two walls separated by no man’s land. Legacy Berlin wall remainings are serving as a  canvas for  graffiti arts.

      10. Historic Monuments and Museums
      Every hundred meters we can find a museum and monuments. Cityscape is full of huge heritage buildings
      11. Vegetarian food
      All the meals I had there for a week were all very good vegetarian food. Wide variety of Vegan food is available across the city

      12. Graffiti art
      I couldn't  go around for Graffitti walk. I am definitely not going to miss this in my next visit to Berlin. This city encourages urban art and has plenty of street arts, mural art and graffiti.During my walk I also came cross many art studios. It is home for many art galleries and museums

      Other related post which might interest you 
      25 anniversary of Berlin wall

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