Berlin - city of cranes and monuments

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jul 05, 2011

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What I did
Original Berlin Walks
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So Berlin wasn't exactly on my (Jen's) list of top cities to visit but Mom really wanted to go there... turns out she was right.  It had to happen eventually, I guess.   lol
Chris and Karen surprised us by meeting us at the train station when we arrived and we spent an hour chatting about our respective adventures since we'd parted ways in Fussen.  Then, Mom and I made our way out of the downtown center to our home for the next two days - we stayed with some new friends we met through the Affordable Travel Club website.  Carona and Thorsten were so generous with their time and we really enjoyed getting to know them. 
Berlin is an amazing city that is constantly changing.  There are cranes and construction crews all over the place, and apparently they've been there for the last twenty years.  So much was destroyed at the end of World War II or lost behind the wall during the Cold War
We took a wonderful city tour - the best yet this whole trip - and learned all about the history of Berlin.  Obviously, we heard a lot about Hitler and the Nazi party, but we also discovered that before all of that, Berlin was a very cosmopolitan, open-minded community. 
Tons of stuff to see and do and we only had one day!  Terrible!  We  could easily have spent four or five days here, visiting museums and memorials and monuments. 
Before heading back to the train station (which is like an amazing shopping mall full of layers and layers of train tracks) we stopped at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews.  It was every bit as sobering as it sounds, and a really great example of the way the German people are putting such a huge emphasis on educating the next generation so that this type of thing never happens again.

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