Friends, I am slowly overcoming my jet lag. I managed to sleep in until 5:00 am this morning. What an accomplishment! However, I woke up without a voice as a result of my ongoing cold. I am thankful though that I am getting my sickness out of the way prior to my classes beginning at Harlaxton.
Neele and I started our day off by getting breakfast at 9:30 am at the hotel’s buffet. I was thoroughly impressed with the wide variety of food options: fresh bread, cold meats and cheese, twelve different loose leaf teas, and yogurt with chia seeds. If you head to Berlin, stay at the Mercure hotel.
After eating, Neele and I headed to the train station to buy our train/bus tickets.
Side note: if you ever happen to come to Germany, I cannot recommend taking public transport enough! For 7 Euros, you are able to take as many trains/buses all day and can easily hop on and off to see the main attractions.
Our first stop of the day was the Holocaust memorial. The memorial is a series of 2,700 concrete blocks. The blocks vary in height and when looking between the rows, the ground is uneven and “hilly.” I found the memorial to be chilling and eerie.
After finishing up at the Holocaust memorial, Neele and I went to check out the World Clock. Then, we decided to start walking and happened upon the Red Town Hall. The exterior and interior of the building was gorgeous. On display in the town hall were pieces of art painted by Syrian refugees living in Jordan. I found myself wholly impressed by the art they had created.
Once we finished perusing the Red Town Hall, Neele and I hopped onto a bus back to the Berlin Cathedral. For 7 Euros, we had the opportunity to go inside the Lutheran church and let me say every cent was worth it! The dome from the inside contained so much detail as well as the alter and massive pipe organ. Below the pipe organ was an additional space that housed ornate caskets for early kings and queens of Germany. Neele and I then hiked up the stairs inside the Berlin Cathedral to see the panoramic view of Berlin.
After concluding at the Berlin Cathedral, Neele and I hopped on a bus and thereafter a train to head to the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery. The gallery is a series of murals on portions of what is preserved of the original Berlin Wall. No two murals were alike and other visitors were pretty respectful of waiting while you took photos. I found myself thinking how history repeats itself as I walked along the wall with the current political climate in the United States. After seeing the remnants of the wall in person and observing firsthand how the east side of Berlin is still trying to recover structurally, I cannot say a wall between two countries seems wholly effective.
Once we reached the end of the East Side Gallery, Neele and I walked for a while taking in more architecture and buildings. A neat feature of Berlin is that graffiti is EVERYWHERE! In some areas, the artistry seems to hurt the existing architecture but overall the graffiti adds so much character to the city.
Neele and I wrapped up our evening by grabbing dinner and just walking around and perusing the Christmas Markets near our hotel.
Leave a positive impression,