10 November 2009

Fall and the Wall

Segment of the Berlin Wall. Much of the paint was recently refinished in preparation for the 2oth anniversary.
Much of the wall was removed, for the obvious reason that Berliners didn't want a visual reminder that such a history had been possible and could again happen. However, they decided to lay this memorial along the path of the destroyed wall. If the plaque is facing you, you are on the West, if it is upside down in your view, you are on East.
Beautiful K├Ąthe Kollwitz sculpture in the Neue Wache (New guardhouse). There is an opening in the ceiling that exposes the sculpture to all of the elements.
Fall in the Tiergarten. This expansive garden was once the hunting grounds for the Hohenzollerns (Tier referring to animals). Fall was in full-bloom in Berlin and the open spaces and tree-lined boulevards made it much more apparent. It felt like the Blue Ridge...

Visiting Berlin the week before the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was certainly a rare experience. We took a bike tour that followed the path of the wall and on that tour, met the brother of the first person to be killed attempting to cross the wall. Also, I found Berlin to be stunning. It was a hodge-podge of new and old with substantially more open space than many of the other European cities. We also visited the Jewish Museum which highlighted 200 years of life in the German lands. The museum actually focused very very little on WWII and, as a result, was a refreshing take on Jews in Germany.

Lastly, I reneged upon my previous abstinence from German food. Bratwurst... oh my.

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