Believe me or not, my first trip to Berlin is so special to me, yet ironically it took me two long years to really blog about it! If it wasn’t for the photos I took during the trip, I wouldn’t be reminded of how it was to be in Berlin at that time.
Destruction to Restoration. A realization. Every wall is a challenge. I was awestruck by the depth and intricacies of Berlin’s history… – Perpie in Berlin, July 2012
Checkpoint Charlie or Checkpoint C, it was coincidentally our first point of destination in Berlin. It used to be a crossing point between East and West Berlin, which also became a symbol of the Cold War in the 60s between the East (as represented by the Russians) and the West (the Americans). We didn’t need to show up our passports though, neither we are restrained to cross over nor we needed to flee. Those days are finally gone.
Not so far from Checkpoint C is the Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror), an outdoor and indoor history museum that was also used to be the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, the principal instruments of repression during the Nazi era. There’s the remains of the Berlin Wall; the cellar of the Gestapo where many political prisoners are tortured and executed; and a long photo display of political prisoners and of Berlin Jews being deported to their deaths.
The Brandenberg Gate and the Berlin Tower – the true symbols of Berlin, past and present.
This 1.3 kilometer-long section of the Berlin Wall is the infamous East Side Gallery, an international memorial for freedom. It showcases over a hundred paintings by artists all over the world. Amongst the best-known graffiti arts is the depiction of Leonid Brezhnev and Erick Honecker kissing as painted by Dmitri Vrubel. It is oftentimes referred to as the Fraternal Kiss, given also the words inscribed in the artwork: “My God, Help Me to Survive this Deadly Love.”
I find the new building’s architectural design of the Jewish Museum in Berlin very impressive; and the exhibitions and installations too, very enthralling. There’s the Garden of Exile, the Holocaust Tower and the section of the Void where the Fallen Leaves can be found.
My home in Berlin was Hotel OTTO, which is located at Charlottenburg. Seriously, it was totally posh – both inside and out!
This sophisticated building is the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station located on the site of the historic Lehrter Bahnhof.
This is a typical train station in Berlin. A rustic beauty, isn’t it?
While I was in Berlin, I started craving for Asian foodstuff. And Asian cuisines had never been this really good, seriously.
I just did window shopping at KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), a high-end, luxury shopping mall. It must be Berlin’s version of Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
More shopping malls, I must be in another one in Berlin – the Alexa Shopping Center. The real shopping must have started here.
See? There goes the proof.
Do you want to see more about my trip to Berlin? I actually joined these two very cool Berlin walking tours from Alternative Berlin. Check it out at Berlin 2 Years Ago (Part 2) – Pub Crawl & Street Arts.