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... Just kidding). Seeing one block after one block of no-frills Soviet Blocks, reminds me of the happy time back in Poland. You move into the blocks, there’s no differences between regions, no extravagant decoration, each inch is so practical, and life is so simple. From the airport to the hostel, the quite grimy streets deluded me that I am now in the Soviet Eastern Europe, forgot Germany has been united again, and thought it is still divided into GDR and FRG.
... We then made it to the Berlin Gate. We learnt that the middle of the gate was purly used for royalty, the middle two are used for the upper class and the end gates are used by everyboady else. I also laughed when I learned that Napolion stole the statue from the top but after he was defeated the germans got it back and turned it into a statue of victory (from a statue of peace) and now it almost looks like the statue is watching the French embassy. Our next stop was ...
... so good? Because they have had to rebuild their entire country from scratch under a Soviet regime.
Overall, Berlin is a beautiful place and I loved it. The ghosts of the past - and there are millions of them, are with you today, but it is testament to the German nation that they are acknowledging the past and commemorating it. Berlin itself is proof that hate and mindless, fascism and racism never endure. Lets hope the rest of the world figures the same thing out very soon. ...
... and enjoyed a Hugo, a sparkling wine with lime juice and mint leaves - it tasted nutty. Later that evening I wandered about the local area and ended up going to the same restaurant in Alexanderplatz for another Wiener Schnitzel :). It was a freezing cold and miserable night but the restaurant was very well patronised and the (very extensive) outside heaters allowed me to sit outside and enjoy the goings-on.
... see from the roof.
If you can only visit a few cities in Europe during your vacation make sure Berlin in one of them. While there aren't any landmarks that rival those of London or Paris the people, food and history of this city sure make up for it. Skip Paris it's gross and over rated.
We are shortly heading out to Geneva, Switzerland so will have to update all of you on that!