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Berlin: From East to West

all seasons in one day
View Round the World on shoestring's travel map.

Our last two days have been something of a whirlwind tour of some of the sights of Berlin. Yesterday we started at the Reichstag, disappointingly finding the glass dome open only to those with a prior appointment. We then moved onto the Holocaust Memorial, an installation of 2,711 concrete slabs arranged on a grid. It wasn't clear until you started walking through it just how large the site was, nor how tall some of the slabs were - from the outside the heights seemed more or less constant, but the floor dipped so in places the slabs towered over you. It was a moving and unsettling experience.

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We wanted to find a section of the Berlin Wall still standing, and headed to Niederkirchnerstrasse. At this point the heavens opened so we ran for cover. This cover happened to be an open-air museum called Topography of Terror, an engrossing look at Berlin during the Third Reich, set amongst the ruins of buildings used as the headquarters of the Gestapo and SS. By the time we moved on the sun was shining again.

Just up the road is the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, which opened at its present location in 1963 and documented the various ingenious - and successful - attempts made to escape into West Berlin. A replica of the old checkpoint is there too - complete with actors playing border guards who pose for photos.

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The volume of information on display at the museum, though fascinating, was pretty overwhelming and, by the time we'd finished, we felt thoroughly drained.

Today was lighter in comparison, starting with the Bauhaus Archive Museum. Alongside the permanent exhibition looking at the art, objects and architecture of the Bauhaus was a temporary exhibit examining the career of typographer Erik Spiekermann, who was responsible for the fonts and signage we'd seen in use by Deutsche Bahn and the Berlin Transport Authority. The afternoon was rounded out by a visit to Potsdam and, for dinner, doner kebab. We'd been told that this was one thing we really should try, but were surprised to find none in the area around the hostel when we looked yesterday. Happily we had more success today, and thoroughly good it was too.

Posted by shoestring 11:42 Archived in Germany Tagged memorial germany berlin holocaust charlie kebab checkpoint potsdam bauhaus doner fonts

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I must say the Holocaust memorial looks immense in the size and staure of the layout. It also looks a little like a maze.
You need to try and see whether you can find any plaques or bricks or any evidence of the Berlin wall to say I woz ere. A lot of history you have managed to fit in as well, fascinating i can imagine and as you say quite overwhelming, atmosphere, visions etc.

by nessie noodles

Can I add that odd word in the first line is meant to read stature, apologies fatigued+ word blindness.

by nessie noodles

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