The streets of Berlin : Part 1

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I had just completed reading a book by one of my favourite authors, Douglas Kennedy. The book, The Moment, is a haunting Romance  set “amidst the stunningly atmospheric portrait of Berlin in the final dark days before the Wall came down” (extract from book summary)

So it was serendipity when I was invited on a Business trip to Berlin about 5 years ago. I couldn’t wait to walk the streets of this piece of dramatic history, trying to capture all I had imagined while reading my novel . Join me  as I walk you through some of the streets of Berlin, my experiences and observations. I must state up front that I loved modern day Berlin and we all had a great time especially  since we visited in Summer.

 

This street leads to Check Point Charlie which was the name given by Western Allies to the main crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War (1947–1991).This was the wall which controlled emigration between East and West Berlin and controlled and separated many families and friends.

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Many years later, it’s part of a tourist adventure to pose for a photograph at this entrance which was once the source of pain and hardship for many.

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Below is a sample of passports combined in a collage  which I discovered in a shop along this street. It symbolises the control and passport to life in those bitter-cold years.

img_3723_1024 For some, the Berlin Wall was one of the most abominable structures ever built.Over its 28 years of existence, it was decorated with political slogans,paintings, declarations of love and served as a form of protest. Below is a remnant of the wall. Such remnants became a collector’s item after the fall of the Wall in 1989.

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The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century neoclassical monument in Berlin and one of the best-known landmarks of Germany. A beautiful sight when lit up at night , the gate  was initially designed to showcase freedom and triumph. Though still a great attraction, the Brandenburg Gate became intimately entwined with times of intense turbulence including it’s significance in the cold war and the Berlin Wall.

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In place of the old Berlin Wall, a memorial wall was established  to depict the history of the wall and what it stood for. I watched on that Saturday afternoon as  someone cried uncontrollably while reading the stories on that wall – over 20 years after its fall.

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Fortunately, change eventually comes and I like to think that the picture below, on the other side of the memorial wall, represents a picture of the modern day liberty and fun in the sun in Berlin. I stopped here to enjoy a delicious Currywurst roll, soak up the sun and admire this makeshift piece of beach heaven and haven.

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Not too far away, I found this colourful block of buildings, though near to Checkpoint Charlie, far removed from the grey hardship and bleak history of what  was once East Berlin.

img_3736_1024 I love stories with good endings. Join me next week for more street walking in Berlin.Thank you for reading and you are welcome to comment.

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The streets of Berlin : Part 1

  1. I love it!
    I remember when that wall came down back in 1989. I only wish that I had been there to see it.
    I love how you tell stories with words and pictures.
    Nothing is lost on you, I am specifically thinking about the person who was crying ‘uncontrollably’ while reading the many stories. Some might have left that bit off but I think that it is of critical importance; it offers a rich and deep emotional impact (At least for me.)
    By the way, what is a currywurst? LOL!!!
    Looking forward to the next installation.
    You know how much I love Germany 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Gwin. It’s amazing how time flies. I remember the newsflashes about the wall coming down as well but that was over 16 years ago!

      On the person crying, I wondered at the time whether the person was perhaps someone who had been personally affected by the tragedy depicted on the wall. If it was, it means that it still hurt so badly after all those years.
      I love weaving a bit of my experience because I think that’s what tourism is about – really relishing the experience apart from just visiting the sights. Inevitably, I’ve always returned home appreciating my own country more but learning what we could do differently or better.
      The currywurst – I guess it’s a German hotdog. Those are frankfurter sausages, sometimes cheese-filled – served with lashings of tomato sauce (ketch-up) and served with french fries. Again, I think I associate the taste with that beautiful sunny afternoon, watching people relaxing like they didn’t have a care in the world.😀🎈

      Liked by 1 person

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