When I was younger I really loved history, particularly that of the Knights of Malta, and the Great Siege. As I progressed through the education system however I started leaning more towards the scientific subjects, so I focussed more on those and only had general history at school. This meant that we didn’t go into too much depth about what we were studying.
However, there was another war which I really wished I had learnt more about: WWII. If I have to opt for a documentary to watch I also opt for ones about WWII and the aftermath, so Berlin always features prominently. So when Michael suggested we spend the last day of our Christmas holiday in Berlin how could I say no?
We arrived in Berlin on Sunday afternoon, and after grabbing a currywurst with Leif and Gisele we jumped on the S/U-bahn to our hostel. Having dumped our stuff there we the walked to a flea market close by. Unfortunately it was closing down, so there wasn’t much to see.
Our next stop was the DDR museum, showing life in East Germany. It was fascinating learning more about this period, especially in such a hands-on museum. If there was to be one complaint though it must be that the museum was really crowded! This was true also for the other stuff we did in Berlin. Is this work as usual in Berlin, or just a result of it being over the new year period? We finished the night by some flammkuchen and pork knuckle at a Marcus Brau.
Our flight was late on Monday night, so we aimed to make the most of the day. On waking up we checked out of the hostel, left our luggage in the luggage room, and went off to the Brandenburg gate. There we waited for the free Berlin walking tour to start. Rob, the tour guide, took us around the main sites of Berlin, from the Holocaust memorial, to the site of Hitler’s bunker, to the site of the book burnings by the Nazis.
Following the walking tour we had decided to go to the Germany Historical Museum. But first up was a small bite to eat and a rest in the museum cafe. Good idea? Not really! When we came to pay they said they did not accept cards (who doesn’t these days!). This meant a 15min walk to the nearest cash machine and back. I wasn’t too keen on the museum by then but oh well, Michael was looking strangely at my grumpiness, so in we went.
First off we went into the Hitler and the Germans special exhibition Rob had told us was good. Might have been good, but only the main banners were in English. I quickly went through it and left Michael behind while I went to see the rest of the museum. I think I understood much more of this part, and though not the most exciting museum, quite good I would say. My favourite sections (as I could have expected) where from 1871 onwards. Unfortunately time was pressing by then so I didn’t get to read them too well.
We then started making our way to the hostel to pick up luggage while looking for something to eat. We stopped at a nice cafe, where I grabbed a stew which though not that cheap was delicious! continuing on our way we collected our luggage and left to the airport.
Goodbye Berlin and goodbye Christmas holiday. I am sure we will return to visit both :).