The Berlin Wall & Concentration Camps

We had a great time the first two days we were in Berlin.  The next day was more pensive as we visited the East Side Gallery, the most famous part of the Berlin Wall, and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the closest concentration camp to Berlin.

I had no idea that the wall was so beautiful.  There was some real talent involved with its murals.  We walked along it for about half a mile until we turned back and headed to the concentration camp.

Seeing Sachsenhausen was a humbling experience.  To walk through the buildings where thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured, and killed made me appreciate the freedom that I have today.  It still blows my mind that the Holocaust only occurred around 70 years ago, and there are still survivors alive today.  It also makes me ashamed to be considered human, seeing what our kind is capable of.  No other animal could be capable of doing this.

The concentration camp dampened my mood for a little bit, but the next day I did my best to have a positive outlook.  The day was filled with more sightseeing, food, and shopping.  We went back to both of the chocolate places and ate more!  We ended our four days in Berlin with a drink and a lovely train ride back to our hostel.

Berlin has definitely been the most modern city that I have visited so far in Europe.  I could see how people consider it the culture capital of Germany.  Now it is back to Valencia where it will be Fallas next week!

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Berlin, Sightseeing and FOOD

After two amazing days traveling by myself, I met up with my roommates in Berlin.  Our time in Berlin was a stark contrast from my incredible day in Cinque Terre the day before.  Cinque Terre had beautiful views and nature, and Berlin was filled with buildings, history, and hipsters. (I never knew how hipster Berlin was.  It rivals San Francisco)

The first thing I noticed about the city was their extremely impressive train system.  I’ve always wished that Los Angeles had better public transportation, but Germany’s trains just made our metro system look like a literal piece of poo.  It really is embarrassing.

After settling in to our very trendy hostel, we set out to explore the city.  Our first stop was Checkpoint Charlie, the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin.  We snapped a few pictures and then set out for the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial.  The Holocaust Memorial did everything that it should.  It amazed me, made me feel overwhelmed, confused, and a little claustrophobic, very fitting for what it was representing.

My roommates LOVE chocolate, so when the front desk recommended a fondue place and chocolate store, we had to go to both.  I must admit they were both very good.  The first place was called Fassbender & Rausch, a fancy restaurant and retail store with high end chocolate, chocolate sculptures, and fondue.  It goes without saying I probably gained a few pounds.  The chocolate store was called Ritter Sport, a place where you could make personalized chocolate with anything you want in it.  It is pretty good chocolate, so I would be excited if you are in my family, because I’m bringing some back for you.

The next day, we met up with my roommate Nicole’s cousin, who lives in Berlin.  He showed us around the city and then took us to Ka De We, a mall with the most heavenly food court.  We went straight for dessert.

Finally, we ended the day with a visit to the Reichstag Building.  I was amazed that this building was free to visit given that we have had to pay for literally everything since we had gotten to Europe (I miss free water!).  I must say I’ve never seen a building like this before, and I recommend everyone visit if you’re in Berlin.

The only decent picture I got of the building because it was so massive that I could not fit it using my regular cameras.
The only decent picture I got of the building because it was so massive that I could not fit it using my regular cameras.
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