Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Berlin

Friendly, cosmopolitan, ever-morphing, history-saturated Berlin. What a weekend. I couldn't take it all in.

 'Pizza bag', otherwise known as Calzone.


Museums and historical hotspots were the order of the weekend - here you've got part of the ancient alter at Pergamon on Museum Island, a portrait of a Soviet soldier at the spot where Checkpoint Charlie used to stand before the Berlin wall came down, and the iconic 'We are the People' sign from 1989 in the Zeughaus Museum of German history. There's so much to see and do right at the centre. But the visit that made the biggest impression on me was by far our 20-minute trip out of town to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. 

 

It was completely harrowing but so important to see. The bitter cold made it all the more poignant thinking of those poor souls working outdoors every day in nothing but the thinest cotton clothes, hardly fed, taken from their families and facing daily brutality. I still can't get my head around the scale of the violence or what went on there. The Jewish Memorial back in Berlin was where we headed afterwards for an artist's take on the claustrophobia, fear and disorientation of Jews at that time.

 

I recommend visiting most highly! A long weekend wasn't enough time to do everything we wanted to see but I'd like to go back in the summer and make the most of the parks, Potsdam and the outdoor museums too. I'd love to spend more time just wandering. I didn't see one crafty shop while I was there and you lot promised me I would on Twitter! Probably saved me quite a bit of cash...

4 comments:

  1. What a great trip lara! Thanks for sharing the pictures and stories! As a German I just have been to Berlin once and that was just a few years after the change. And as I was so young we weren't much interested in the "important" parts! I definitely have to go there again! xxx

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  2. I went to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp on a school trip many, many moons ago and found the whole experience very compelling. As soon as you step through the gates it feels like everything is holding its breath.

    Sombre, powerful and humbling.

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    1. Hey Jodie! Such an apt discription of it. You have a way with words hun :)

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