Berlin, Germany

During a motorcycle journey through south America in 2009,   I meet frank and gabi from Berlin who were on their own motorcycle journey.  Over the years we've stayed in contact and become good friends.   they would often extend an invitation to show me their city of Berlin. I finally took them up on the offer.

Berlin is a city I've always wanted to visit.    It's one of Europe's legendary capital cities With a history that goes back to the 13th century.   it was difficult to narrow down the history but what caught my attention was the Berlin Wall for several reasons.  The most obvious effect of the wall was the division of Berlin,  In an effort to keep its East German people in.  the communist east German government built the wall around the eastern half of the city in 1961.  in 1989 as the USSR started to fall,  the East and West Germans began to tear down the Berlin wall..  Germany was finally reunited in 1990.  

today many sections of the wall have been moved to various parts of the city.   One such location is the east side gallery.  This gallery is the international memorial for freedom.  Over a 100 artist have painted Murals along a mile of the Berlin wall.

Like many of the capital cities of Europe,  Berlin boasts famous monuments such as the Brandenburg gate.  The Monument was out of reach but within eye sight of West Germans.  After the fall of the USSR the Brandenburg Gate became the landmark for the Reunification of Germany.

a short walk from the Brandenburg gate is the Jewish memorial,  a sobering reminder to the 6 million Jews that were murdered during world war II.   One section of the wall's original location is at the Museum of Topography of Terror,  once The headquarters of the Gestapo.

Berlin today is a very lively and dynamic city which includes incredible museums of history and art.   The Museumsinsel (Museum Island) along the spree river is just one such example.

I Walked and visited as many different neighborhoods as possible,  each with its own unique vibe.  I also found impressive street art,  and a multitude of smaller hidden museums and art galleries.   I also discovered trendy eateries, bars, a thriving music scene, and a robust night life that without a doubt will have me returning to Berlin.

 

Frank and Gabi at Brandenburg gate

Frank and Gabi at Brandenburg gate

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe      there are 2711 concrete blocks of various sizes facing north to south on 4. acres

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe    

there are 2711 concrete blocks of various sizes facing north to south on 4. acres

DSCF6406.jpg

Dark Days

After World War 2 Berlin was split into two cities,  East and West Berlin.  For the next 50 years many East Germans lost their lives trying to escape from the communist East

Berliner Mauer

The Berlin Wall,  was erected in 1961 in a effort to stop the East German citizens from escaping

Today only 200 meters of the original wall stand in its original place

There are several sections of the original wall that have been relocated to different parts of the city

One such place is the the East Side Gallery.  This is a section of wall consists of 105 paintings by several artists. The Gallery purpose is an international memorial for freedom

Topography of Terror Museum,    housed the former Gestapo HQ  The museum also holds the longest remaining part of the Berlin Wall

Topography of Terror Museum,    housed the former Gestapo HQ

The museum also holds the longest remaining part of the Berlin Wall

East side wall gallery

East side wall gallery

DSCF6143 - Version 2.jpg

Street Art

With all the different districts and neighborhoods street art is everywhere

DSCF6623 - Version 2.jpg

Getting Lost

The best way to see Berlin is just to get lost

DSCF7035 - Version 2.jpg
The river Spree

The river Spree