We are well and thank you for the recommendation…
Berlin is a beautiful and edgy city. There is lots to see here. We went to 4 museums so far and today we went for a walk in their Tiergarten park, sort of like central park, beautiful and bigger actually.
The city is huge, its 900 sq. kilometers and has 3.6 million citizens. It also gets 9 million tourists a year…
We took the bus city tour pass, like we always do, and we got a feel for the city. Of course we also got the 3 day museum pass so we can go to as many museums as we want in 3 days. It’s amazing to see how Hitler and the Nazi party fucked this city up in every aspect possible. The city zoo, one of the biggest collection with over 4500 species was cut down to 70. The national museums were all but destroyed and the works of arts they had collected were taken by the allied forces or destroyed. In the center of the city there is a church which was bombed and they intentionally leave it like that, the roof and towers are in pieces and they keep it that way to remember. And of course, the huge mark of shame – the Berlin Wall, that cut this city in half and is still noticeable today.
The city is young but you see older people who have a good life. They go out to restaurants and enjoy the city.
The weather is beautiful, fall and changing colors. Yesterday was sunny and you see the locals all run out and sit along the Spree river and enjoy the last days of sun before the winter. The park was all orange and yellow and it was beautiful.
Yesterday, we went to a shopping areas called Hackensack Market in the Mitte district, what once was East Berlin, and it was great. You walk around between residential buildings in courtyards and each with little boutiques and specialty stores. The area is an East Berlin revamped suburb, young and edgy. We finished the evening in a good Thai restaurant..
We are staying in the Charlottenberg district, right off the Kurfustedam. West Berlin’s very high end street. Sort of the 5th avenue or Madison Avenue of Berlin. We are staying in a very modern hotel called XXX hotel and on the corner of our street is Cartier. The street is 3.5 KM and you can find every major fashion designer and brand on this street. XXX was very busy and visited them all 🙂
We enjoy a great breakfast every morning, salmon, cold meats and cheese, fresh bread and eggs and bacon. We have Wireless Internet everywhere in the hotel and its really great. When you walk into the corridor the lights turn on to conserve energy and the room looks on to a green treed courtyard (since we are here for a week they upgraded our room).
The first place we went to was the Jewish Museum, interesting place and the 3rd most popular museum in the city.. Its a significant part of the Museum trail here. German kids were there and they are all taken there to see and learn. Some don’t want to be there but at least they are taken there. Berlin had 180,000 Jews when the war started. Today there are 14,000 Jews… when you go to the museum and you see some of the pictures and stories of Jews in the city, you start to recognize the names of the streets they mention.. It’s eery..
You come across the effects of the war and that period of shame all the time. We went to the Helmut Newton exhibition, It’s Berlin’s photography museum. He was a Berliner Jew who left to Australia and became one of the best known photographers in the world. He lived in Paris, Monte Carlo and LA but not Berlin. His mother got him out of the country after things got dangerous in Berlin when he was young… Must really burn their ass..
Everything in Berlin is under construction! I mean everything.. They are building all the time and everywhere. It is once again the Capital of Germany and the Bundestag is the parliament. It’s also the festival of lights this week so they light up the main buildings at night and its beautiful. One thing that was a little creepy was the Brandenburg Gate. The gate with the 4 horses at the top and what once had the Nazi emblem. I saw a photo of it in 1945 right at the end of the war, it was completely destroyed and what’s interesting is that the Berlin wall was a few hundred yards from it so it was also in no mans land for 40 years..
When you walk through the areas where the Berlin wall ran, there is a double cobble stone belt in the road to show you the imaginary line of the wall. It’s a permanent scar across the city’s face, like someone slashed it and left the mark. Again, the result of Nazi regime and past mistakes.
All this makes Berlin an interesting city to visit. Food is great and its not very expensive. There are also lots of Israelis and a few times when we spoke, Germans asked if we were Israelis and recognized the lingo.
Yep.. The Jews are back motherfuckers ….