It’s been quite an exciting three days in Berlin filled with lots of sightseeing and definitely lots of sleep — still trying to get rid of the jet lag. Hotel Transit Loft is awesome and I certainly can’t complain about the view from my window.
After we arrived Thursday, our group went to the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer to learn about the history of the wall and people whose lives were changed because of it. This section has been preserved, standing as a reminder of what the area once looked like.
Friday was our eight-mile bike ride through the streets of the former East and West Berlin. I haven’t rode a bike in years so there were moments of panic when I thought I was going to crash into someone. Luckily, my muscle memory kicked in and lovely bike, Bum Suk Lee, was awesome. Our tour guide, Julian, deserves a lot of credit too for putting up with our group as we went over the time limit a few times and got lost on at least one occasion.
On our ride, we saw a different part of the wall that had incredible, powerful graffiti with words like, “Thoughts are like traces of birds in heaven,” “Escape is a mighty method to destabilize dominion” and “No more wars, no more walls, a united world.” I could have spent hours, probably days, looking at each commissioned artwork and the graffiti covering parts of it. Each had something important to say. We also visited the Soviet soldiers’ memorial in Treptower Park, an abandoned train station and a former airport, which is now a public space.
Today was a dreary day and I spent it exploring the city solo. I discovered a market, frequented many bookstores, drank a cappuccino and ate a doner kebab. I can’t wait to see what the next couple of days will bring with these new friends in this new city. Bis zum nächsten Mal!