Trip Start Jul 03, 2011
Trip End Jan 17, 2012

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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Berlin is heavy, too heavy.  Everywhere you turn there is German history slapping you in the face.  By the time I got to the Topography of Terror (an outdoor museum documenting the history of the Nazi regime), I couldn't take it anymore.  I wanted to scream, "Okay, I get it!  Nazis!  The DDR!  The Cold War!  The horror, the horror!" and not because of the information, but because of the amount of it.

I read so many plaques, learned so much history, went to so many exhibits and memorials and museums this week, that I was in information overload.  My favorite three places in Berlin, therefore, were places I didn't feel the need to lament over history.  Instead, my favorite places were visually stimulating ones.

(1)  The East Side Gallery has to be my favorite place in Berlin.  The remaining portion of the Berlin Wall has been covered with mural art.  Art as a form of resistance is a powerful force, and the beautiful murals on one side are matched with well-formed graffiti on the other.

(2)  The Reichstag is really cool.  It is the world's only zero-emission parliament building.  You can take a tour of the windowed dome on top and look out over all of Berlin.

(3)  The Tacheles is an abondoned warehouse taken over by artists.  If you can get past the smell of stale urine, the entire building is covered in graffiti and visual art, inside and out.  It has the Berlin heaviness to it, but in the form of in-your-face art instead of in-your-face history.

If you are anything like me, and you prefer Boston to New York, or Barcelona to Madrid, then, while Berlin is artsy and hip and has a lot to offer, Hamburg might be the German city for you.
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Luz on

I just love that photo of you jumping!!!!

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