What To Make Of Berlin

Ha Berlin, what can one say about this city which is still trying to establish its own identity. Steve and I often felt perplexed by Berlin’s constant transformation. How does a country/city deal with her past history and establish a strong positive future identity?????

Lots of reconstruction (more than last year) and many memorials for victims of the Holocaust and for the many who died during the war.

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Here are some facts I thought might interest you about Berlin.

Berlin is Germany’s biggest city and the most multi-cultural one (on this I hope Hitler is turning in his grave). It’s the greenest city of Germany with approximately 400,000 trees just on the streets alone, which is good because they love owning dogs:  its about 3:1 ratio trees to dogs.

Berlin has over 2000 bridges, around 170 museums and approximately 11,000 places where you can eat and drink i.e. restaurants, bars, cafes, bodegas etc. What Berlin is most famous for it is known as the city that never sleeps as quite a few eating and drinking establishments are open for 24 hours.

One of the more harder things to find are historical buildings as many had been blown up during the war and some deliberately torn down afterwards. This church is one of the few buildings even though damaged (fire inside from the bomb) left standing as it had a important pre-nazi history.

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Throughout the Third Reich walking tour, Derek (my son the tour guide), gave us pictures to view of buildings that no longer exist. Another time we found ourselves standing in the middle of a apartment complex that spanned several blocks where once stood the Reichs Bureau, which held Hitler’s football-field sized office.

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The transit system here is great, a day pass gets you anywhere using all various modes of transport, however you almost need a course to fully understand the map.

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One of the sites we visited was the Olympic stadium where a certain athlete made Hitler look stupid, I am speaking of Jesse Owens of course. One can only imagine what Hitler must have been thinking when he had no choice but to shake Jesse’s hand.

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Hey look Canada did win a medal that year. Out of the 23 or more events women were only allowed to take part in 4. Even in gymnastics they only did the team event, no individual events. Boy ladies, have we come a long way.

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One of the most fascinating thing about Berlin is it’s continual transformation. As one walks through and around derelict buildings some surprises can be discovered. Beach bars along the canals, a beach volley site that held 21 courts.

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The most surprising of all an old barge sitting in a canal that had been changed into a pool. The Berliners find unique ways to provide fun and relaxation.

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Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour and next time we will be in the mountains of Austria.

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Published in: on July 24, 2007 at 9:13 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Renee: great to see the opinions that you are expressing. Is that hottie in the red swimsuit your husband? Mady just watched a show on frigates on the weekend so it was great to see the picture. Looking forward to having you back. Keep enjoying your travels. I can’t believe the things that you are seeing and how relaxed you look.

    Take care,
    Nadeige

  2. Wow, Berlin looks Beautiful, i love the Canal!


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