Wednesday 9 November 2016

Berlin Weekend Photo Diary and Thoughts

On this exact day in 1989, the Berlin Wall was destroyed and German citizens were regaining their lost freedom. Today in 2016, America has just given power to a man who wants to build another. I feel heavy hearted that so many years later, again on November 9th, the world could take what seems to be such a huge step backwards. After experiencing the hope and confidence of this wonderful city, it breaks my heart to know that people elsewhere in the world will be feeling the opposite right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited to share my incredible weekend trip with you, but I just can't help feeling poignant about the whole thing.

SO, Berlin. It's the most grey, vibrant place I have ever been to - with stark contrasts between the drab, melancholy buildings and the passion that you feel rushing through the streets. While Berlin is now a thriving city with masses of tourist appeal and so much culture to offer, it's so important to remember that the wall dividing the country (and families, friends and lovers) was only knocked down a few decades ago. As a result, the city's turbulent history can certainly be felt.

Like I said - drab. I can't really dress up the wall to be anything more than the concrete barrier it was. Some people might find the sight of such a famous 'landmark' disappointing, I mean how could a wall as mediocre as this prevent so many people from living their lives freely? Easy - because it was a symbol of fear, and if people were even to go near this "death strip" they would be instantly shot and killed.

I know this is a little gloomy, but I think it's so important to explore, understand and acknowledge the history of Berlin to fully appreciate the place of hope that it is today. Part of this included visiting the Holocaust memorial by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold - "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe".

This plaque at Bebelplatz reads:

'That was only a prelude, there
where they burn books,
they burn in the end people.
Heinrich Heine 1820'

and is placed here as part of the Book Burning Memorial - a reminder of the approximately 20,000 books that were burnt by the Nazis on May 10th, 1933 as they were perceived as a threat to the Nazi ideology. The quote is terrifyingly poignant and I'll admit I felt really emotional whilst stood in that square near the University.

Okay, let's lift the mood a little! 

If there's ever a sure-fire way to lift a mood, I think that a fluffy puppy being transported by horse and carriage comes pretty close! Here are a few other snaps I took while exploring the city...

I kept the pics to a minimum just because I was only there for the weekend and thought it was important to live in the moment as much as possible, but hopefully you can get a feel for the place from the collection of snaps on here. The restaurants were incredible - above is a place called Peter Pane with all the leaves and trees inside, and I would also seriously recommend an Indian restaurant called Amrit (go on my insta for pics!).

The nightlife was nothing short of legendary - we queued nervously to eventually get into Tresor and ended up having a totally unforgettable time. And in the day, there is so much to explore you don't even need me to advise you. Whether you're interested in the history of Berlin or just want to focus on the alternative culture scene (hipsters eat your heart out) that is prevalent today, there is absolutely something that will captivate you.

Berlin has completely captured my heart and I can totally see why Bowie spent so much of his time in this magical place. Have you ever visited? Would love to hear your thoughts on this post.

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  1. Oh I love Berlin so much! I went for 5 days or so when I was in college and absolutely loved it. It's so edgy and cool, but in a gritty kinda way, if that makes sense?? The people are really nice though and its just such an interesting place. I'm glad you enjoyed it. xx


  2. I'm going to Berlin for Christmas and New Year and I'm soooo excited! I'm a vegan and it's meant to be great for Vegans! Loved your Pics. I want to visit the holocaust museum to show my respect. Xo

  3. I've always been a bit of a history buff, so needless to say that Berlin (and the whole of Germany in general) has been on my Bucket List of places to visit. I especially want to visit the Holocaust Memorial.