On our next two days in Berlin, we did some sightseeing! I saw Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish museum, went up in the TV tower, and saw the famous part of the Berlin wall- the East Side Gallery! This is post two, if you haven’t read post one, here it is!
Wednesday morning consisted of waking up around 9 maybe. My host dad went out and bought fresh bread and croissants from a bakery that was just down the street. I of course ate a chocolate filled croissant, does it get better than having one of those every morning for breakfast? This day we split up- my host mom and I decided to go to the Jewish museum, and my host dad and host sisters went to a train museum.
Our first stop before the museum was actually to a galleria for me to buy something. I bought a Longchamp purse that I’ve wanted forever and it was a lot cheaper in Berlin than in the States so this of course justified the purchase. Technically I “saved” money (Yeah I know if I didn’t buy it I would’ve saved more money, but when in Europe! :D). My host mom helped me pick it out and everything so I was just a happy camper! After this little pit stop we walked towards the museum. We walked through this beautiful part of town with some old churches that was really nice! We also ended up walking through Checkpoint Charlie so we stopped and looked at some information on that also.
After a short walk we made it to the Jewish museum of Berlin. It had exhibits revolving around all things Jewish and stories of people from the Holocaust. The design of the museum was built by a Jewish architect so when you were walking through the museum you could so to say experience how they felt during the Holocaust. There was one big, unheated, metal room with natural lighting. An outdoor area where the ground was tilted, so when you were walking through pillars you got dizzy.The last a room had hundreds of metal faces you walked over.The architect left the explanation of the designs open, so that everyone could interpret them how they wanted.
The museum overall was both compelling and somber to see. My favorite part was the room with the metal faces. Walking over the faces, in my mind, was an interpretation of the cruelty of mankind during the Holocaust. The Jews were treated like they were nothing, not equal people and if someone is not equal you feel like you can just step all over them. Each step you took the metal faces clanged together echoing off the high walls. That and their aghast metal faces, symbolized to me that even while they were screaming out frightened, no one really helped them.
After spending a few hours at the museum we walked to an area that my host parents love! There my host mom and I ate a late lunch at an Italian restaurant, then looked around some shops, and later met the rest of the family at an marvelous Italian ice cream shop! This ice cream was literally to die for, huge, over the top, ice cream sundaes were being served to everyone. I wanted to try every single one. In the end I had to decide, so I chose a Ferrero Rocher (they’re little Italian chocolate balls with hazelnuts) sundae with chocolate and hazelnut ice cream! I was satisfied!
The rest of the night was just spent relaxing. We ate dinner at a place down the street from the apartment. I’m not actually sure what kind of restaurant it was, a little bit German with some Indian and other Asian tastes? Not that it matters a whole deal. I had a chicken salad, because I was stuffed from eating such immense amounts of food during the trip! I personally like chicken salads and I thought it was delicious and still ended up being super full!
The next day, Thursday, we did some more shopping! We went back to the area we visited on the first day, a galleria called Kat De Ve. We had a later start this day, the first thing we did was get lunch on the top floor of Kat De Ve. It was really cool actually, because on the main floor this galleria has shops like Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and then on the top floor it has this food market! It had little restaurants with just a bar and a few small tables, delis and just everything! We ate at a rotisserie chicken place that my host parents had been to before! I love chicken.
After, we all split up to do some shopping, and we met back at the subway station at 4 so we could then go fika before we went up to the top of the TV Tower!
We took a fika at Starbucks, the first time I’ve had it since November! There were Starbucks everywhere in Berlin, but for some reason I was just not feeling it. I know, what is wrong with me. But it was nice to taste their sugary coffee again. When the fika was all consumed, we made our way to the TV Tower!
Berlin, as you can tell, isn’t a city with tall buildings, like most of Europe. The TV Tower was still shorter than the Hancock building (a skyscraper in Chicago), so it wasn’t like ‘oh we’re so high up, scary!’. The TV Tower is the highest building in Berlin however, so don’t get me wrong, it was still cool to be able to look out and see the beautiful city. I am really fascinated by the shape of the tower, reminds me a little of the CN Tower or Space Needle. We spend about an hour there walking around reading about the history of each of the segments of the city.
When we were done in the TV Tower, I decided to go to the East Side Gallery. I went alone because everyone else was pretty tired! I took the train there, only 2 stops away from the TV Tower. It was quite peaceful to walk and look at the art on the wall. The river runs parallel to the wall and I visited right at the Golden Hour, making it the best time of the day. My favorite piece on the wall was the picture of the chained thumbs up. That mural really made me think!
Two more exciting days spent in Berlin! It is an amazing thing to see places that you’ve learned about in books and in class. It’s so much more real experiencing the history, not exactly first hand, but where it happened anyways. This post has made me very hungry for some Italian ice cream, sorry if I did the same to you! 🙂
Last part about Berlin coming soon!