A quick stop in Germany

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  ,
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

After leaving Istanbul, I flew to Berlin for 2 days, before heading to Naples, Italy. A bit out of the way you might say...well, yes. But it was considerably cheaper to go that way than it was to fly direct, and as I have nothing but time on my hands these days I figured I might as well!

Berlin has a very laid back casual feel to it, given it's astounding history. I took a walking tour that was about 4 hours long, when I go back I definitely intend to do the full day tour! There is so much to see and learn. A couple of the highlights: there is a new Holocaust memorial that opened a few months ago. It is hard to describe, so here is a http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/4532239.stm link. There has been a lot of controversy over the memorial for various reasons, but I have to say I found it stunning. Not in a visually appealing way, but in the sense that in the middle of it, you are completely isolated from the city around you, there is hardly any light that enters as the blocks are so tall, and you feel completely disoriented.

Another major site of course is what is left of the Berlin Wall. A few feet really, and the rest has been maked by a cobblestone path that follows where the original wall stood, as well as plaques along the way identifying it. It is so hard to believe that the wall only came down 16 years ago, the transformation is incredible. New buildings stand where others have been torn down, and the city is marked by construction everywhere.

Anyway, I won't go on forever about all the little details, suffice it to say if you ever make it that way, plan to spend a few days in Berlin. And I now fully understand why Ber did the tour twice! I think I will do the same hopefully in the spring when I have some more time to spend.

Next stop, Naples!
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