Thursday, 26 July 2012

Berlin: In Three Days - Day 3

Day Three

Right, so it's the last day. And you've still got to see the one site that makes Berlin one of the most unique cities in the world. A division that almost destroyed the country, but the destruction of it gave Germany a new lease of life. It could only be the East Side Gallery or as it is better known as the Berlin Wall.

For 28 years, the Berlin Wall cut an unrelenting gash through the whole of downtown Berlin in an attempt to prevent the citizens of East Berlin and the German Democratic Republic from fleeing to the West. By 1989, the wall fell with the collapse of the GDR.

The East Side Gallery is now an international memorial for freedom, which allows 106 artists from all around the world to display their message of hope through art.

The build-up to seeing the wall is exhilarating enough for any avid traveller. On the M├╝hlenstrasse stretch, the nearest stop to the wall is Ostbahnhof (line S5, S7, S9, S75) and it being a beacon of freedom, it only seems apt that it's free.

Seeing it in person, is a whole other kettle of fish. It's truly bizarre to imagine that such beautiful paintings reside on top of a canvas that caused so much misery. Only 23 years ago, 136 people had died in shootings, were killed in accidents or committed suicide after failing to cross the Wall.

In between the cracks of the wall, there are places to relax alongside the river. Oststrand or the 'East Beach' is a bar on the banks of the River Spree. Apparently, it's Berlin's biggest urban beach, so when it's sunny, you may think your in the Mediterranean somewhere. At this point, public transport is in order, as the next destination is 4km away, and you may not be up for walking for a third day running.

Spend the rest of the afternoon checking out Museum Island, (Alexanderplatz S- and U-Bahnhof). It has its own micro-climate, like putting your foot in the past. From ancient History to modern art, you can see everything Berlin has to offer in this square. Choose wisely, as time and money becomes rather precious here. I went to the German History Museum to get a better feel for the country for a mere 5 euros. There's even The Ramones Museum, solely dedicated to the Punk band. This whole area has been deemed an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other Great Places to Visit

  1. Gendarmenmarkt - Reported as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. 
  2. Charlottenburg palace- largest palace in Berlin, originally constructed in the 17th century.
  3. Potsdam - 24km outside the city, contains the large baroque Neues Palace.
  4. Russian Memorial - Dedication for soldiers who died in the war.
  5. Tempelhof Park - Amazing abandoned airport, now used to host concerts and barbeques.

1 comment:

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