Helpful guys at nearby Train Dept, printed out all directions with ticket in English (thankfully since we had to take three trains). Hop on-off bus, East and West, so much modern history, so much war. At the Gendarmenmarkt, the Konzerthaus is flanked by the Deutscher und the Franzosischer Cathedrals. We thought the Rathaus a great name for a Town Hall!. So many impressive buildings, old, restored, new.
|President's residence - Bellevue Palace|
Hopped off to walk through the more infamous places - Brandenburg Gate topped by its imposing chariot, Checkpoint Charlie, remnants of the Berlin Wall.
|Checkpoint Charlie daily re-enactment|
|Original Checkpoint Charlie|
|Helping bring down the Wall|
The interpretations, permanent exhibitions and memorials were thought-provoking, poignant, sobering: Blackbox Cold War exhibition, Topographie des Terrors, memorial to Jews, book burning site (great to see Humboldt Uni having book sale on other side of street!!), and the Tiergarten with its memorial crosses on fence, the melodic Carillon, and the Global Peace Stones (we read that once a year on 21st June the light of the sun connects all ten stones by reflection). The unashamedly-named "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" (Holocaust Memorial) is an undulating maze.
|Photo Exhibition - impressive scene|
|Topographie des Terrors|
|Slate slab memorial to politicians who opposed Hitler|
|Peace Stones in Tiergarten|
|The Carillon has 68 bells|
First impression - surprised not to see a picture of Hitler or swastika, or hear his name in commentaries (maybe tomorrow when we have time to explore memorials and museums). Although "the War" is often referred to, it's as if Germany's Nazi icons have been firmly put out of sight. Reconciliation and remembrance are however firmly on the agenda, as Berlin joins the rest of the world as a cosmopolitan city. Buddy Bears started as an artscape project (the bear is on Berlin’s coat of arms). Brightly coloured, they are scattered throughout city - promoting tolerance and understanding.
|Not tempted to take a flight...|
Stood for almost an hour on line to book a tour of Reichstag in morning. Wound down with dinner at outdoor pub before heading back to our bed at the stellplatz.