Berlin Journals

Berlin: Little Time in a Big City

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A December 2006 trip to Berlin by Mandan Lynn

Checkpoint Charlie Museum Photo, Berlin, Germany More Photos
Quote: We only had one day in this enormous and activity-filled city, but we made the most of it.

Berlin: Little Time in a Big City

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Overview

Brandenburger Tor Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
With only one day to experience such a city, we had to focus our energies.The Topography of Terror exhibit and the Berlin Wall were amazing experiences. I learned more from the exhibit than I did in any history class, and the Wall gave me shivers that I can't seem to forget.Quick Tips: Berlin has such a rich history—take advantage of the opportunity to learn! The German History Museum is fantastic, as are Checkpoint Charlie and the Topography of Terror exhibits. If you visit at Christmas time, don't miss the big Christmas markets! It's a great place to pick up some presents or eat some great food. The smells alone are excuse enough for a visit.The train station, the...Read More

Badaro

Restaurant

Quote:
It was so cold the one day we were in Berlin, so we were just happy to see a place where we could go inside and stay warm for a few minutes. But Badaro turned out to be a satisfactory choice.It was quiet at noon, so we had prompt and friendly service. The menu was long and in German, which I do not mind but it caused my brother, who was with me on his first trip to Europe, some hesitations. The pizza starts at 3 euro and it was quite good— some of the better restaurant pizza I have had. (In competition with Pizza Hut, which is and always has been my gold standard for pizza.)Our friend Joel had the currywurst, which he seemed to enjoy.The menu also includes paella and some Mexic...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Badaro
Kochstrasse 16
Berlin, Germany 10969
030 2519108

Berlin Wall

Attraction

Berlin Wall Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
I don't know what I expected.I guess I have seen pictures before. I guess it looked about like I thought it would.Though most of it has been torn down, there still stands about two blocks worth of the Berlin Wall. We walked the length of it. This symbol of war and hate and division. This thing that, in my mind, has always been almost mythical, because how could people in the modern world actually believe it acceptable to imprison a group of people behind a wall? Not mythical. Real. I was looking at it.I tried to imagine what it would have felt like if I couldn't have just walked around the thing to check out the other side of it. I couldn't do it. I couldn't place mysel...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Berlin Wall
East Berlin, just a five min walk from station
Berlin, Germany

Checkpoint Charlie Museum

Attraction | "Checkpoint Charlie"

Checkpoint Charlie Museum Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
I will admit, I didn't really know what I would see when I went to Checkpoint Charlie. I just knew it was a good opportunity to feel a little bit of history. And that I did.There is so much information on the walls along the sidewalk. I even managed to forget about the cold for a while as I was reading. It gives a history, complete with photographs, through the war and leading up to the Berlin Wall's construction and eventual collapse.The concept of the Wall, like much of the second world war, boggles my mind. How could it seem right to fence people in, even just a mere 18 years ago? One moment that gave me pause was a picture of the world's leaders. Three men sat there, smilin...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Checkpoint Charlie Museum
Friedrichstrasse 43
Berlin, Germany 10969
+49 30 25 37 25 0

Deutsches Historisches Museum

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Attraction

Quote:
Talk about a lesson on Germany. There was so much information, and we only had a couple of hours to take it all in before closing time.There are many objects relating to Germany from the very beginning. We started with the early 1900s, sort of because that's just where we ended up. It is not the most easily navigated museum. Then we worked our way back to the beginning of German time. Captions are all in German and English. There is plenty to read. Everything is well explained. If you are a slow reader, you will want to schedule a lot more time for this museum. I found it difficult to pass anything up. I was pressed for time and trying to rush through, but every caption I saw, I had to...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Deutsches Historisches Museum
Unter den Linden 2
Berlin, Germany 10117
+49 (30) 20304-444

Holocaust Memorial

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Attraction

Holocaust Memorial Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
The first thing you notice is its size. The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, erected only a few years ago, takes up an enormous chunk of space. It consists of stone slabs on uneven ground, each one of a different size, dividing the walking space into a grid. On the edges, you can see across the entire thing, but as you walk through it the stones quickly swallow you up. The ground level varies quite a bit, so even though it looks like the slabs in the middle are only a little taller than the ones on the edges, they actually end up towering above your head by the time you get to the middle.This is the most moving, easily understandable memorial I have ever seen. It is as if you don't realiz...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Holocaust Memorial
Cora-Berliner-Strasse
Berlin, Germany 10117
030 263943-11

Topographie des Terrors

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Attraction

Topographie des Terrors Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
This is the best thing we did in Berlin. It was freezing outside, but I held my coffee close to my body, breathed into my scarf, and managed to forget about it as I read about the Nuremburg trials.The exhibit is displayed on the location that was once the headquarters of the Gestapo and SS. You start reading on one side of the wall and continue down the line. The trials are recounted in striking detail. There are even excerpts of dialogue—and sound bites—from the trials, as well as information about those accused, the lawyers who defended them, and the lawyers who prosecuted them. The men all had different accusations against them, but basically they were all accused of war crimes and/...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2007

Topographie des Terrors
Niederkirchnerstrasse 8
Berlin, Germany 10117
+49 30 254 86 703