In the year I was lucky enough to study abroad, one of my best friends and fellow Alpha Gams was living in Berlin. She came to visit me for a week in September/October, we met up for the Harry Potter tour in London, and then I finally was able to visit her in Berlin in May! My sister-daughter (in Alpha Gam) visited me for three weeks in May, and we jumped on an Aer Lingus flight to Berlin to see Tiff!
Berlin is a beautiful city, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that a lot of bombing had occured in WWII, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of surviving buildings. However, there is a mix of old and new buildings, and it is a warm city that does not shy away from it’s past. I was struck by the remnants of the Berlin Wall; the first image is the memorial wall at Potsdamer Platz, while the second is the East Side Gallery in East Berlin.
Apparently the Germans love Christmas; I am hoping to go to one of the famous Christmas markets at some point in my life!! As for right now, I had to take a picture with this Nutcracker at a Christmas store.
The Berliner Dom/ Berlin Cathedral- an absolutely breathtaking United Cathedral that is over 500 years old! The architecture is stunning, and is surrounded by countless impressive buildings on Museum Island. I actually made my way up to the top of that dome! Very interesting to see where damaged/unused statues are kept in parts of the dome.
The Reichstag is another impressive building, as most parliaments tend to be! I was surprised to find out a few things: 1) it was only finished in 1894, and 2) it was not used as the house of government between the end of WWII and 1999. This is an excellent example of historical restoration, as they restorers kept some of the Soviet graffiti when repairing it in the late twentieth century.
The Brandenburg Gate is one of those famous monuments; if nothing else, you probably see it on New Year’s Day when the CBC/BBC/ABC (Insert news station here) shows you “New Year’s Eve around the globe”! This was very cool to me, as one of my seminars focused on the Reformation in Germany, and Brandenburg came up quite a few times.
If you aren’t sure by now, I ADORE palaces, so of course Tiff took us to the Charlottenburg Palace! It is quite a large palace, and seems to stretch for kilometres. While feeling so huge, it also felt incredibly peaceful and quiet. The back has some lovely gardens that I would recommend visiting even if you don’t want to go into the palace!
If you would like to see more pictures or hear more about Berlin, leave me a comment! Have you been to Berlin? What was your favourite thing to do?