Sunday, July 3, 2011

City Snapshot: Berlin

I have been a little sick for the past few weeks- on and off. One of the reasons why this blog has not had many posts (the other reason is I have been too busy!). When you are sick there isn't too much to do but watch movies and read. Being a creative person, I find sitting and doing nothing really difficult, so I have a little more time now to blog...

I have been looking through some of my old photos recently, and I realised that I haven't finished doing my city snapshots. It is a fun excuse to look back at my travels and show you! So without further ado, here is my city snapshot of Berlin!

I visited Berlin over 6 years ago. This was around the same time I visited Paris, Rome, Vienna and Budapest on my own. So because of the time lapse, I can't tell you the names of the buildings or other landmarks, but I can tell you a little bit about the impression Berlin gave me.

Every time I have been to Germany, the locals have always been the friendliest I have ever met when travelling- and Berlin seemed to be no exception.

I can remember some of them mistook me for being one of them- which is always quite funny when they start speaking, and I reply in my Aussie accent, "Sprecken ze English?". This kind of happened to me all over Northern Europe.

They had loads of war memorials, "checkpoint Charlie" - where you once crossed from East to Western Europe, and loads of buildings where you could see the damage that bombs had made.

I thought it was really interesting how they had kept some of these bombed buildings- an old church, like the one pictured below- and created something new and exciting from it. Some of the old facade is still there, but from memory it had atleast three huge holes on the side where the bombs had hit it. The modern sky-scraper type building to the left is actually part of the church, and another part went through the middle of the church.

I guess it is a reminder of their past, but also a way of moving forward and looking to the future.

Berlin is very big city, with many suburbs. Some entirely modern, and others with buildings that probably hadn't changed for over 100 years- in Australian terms, that is a long time.

I was there in late March or early April, and the weather was perfect, as you can see. Much warmer compared to my first ever visit to Germany, in Frankfurt!

From memory, I quite enjoyed Berlin. It was easy to get around, clean, friendly people, great food, and full of a very interesting history and culture.

Obviously if you are a history buff, Berlin is one of the places you should go, but I think Berlin has much more to offer than just relics from the war. I think the modern parts of the city were very pretty (which is unusual for me to say- as I usually would say the older the better), or maybe its the ingenious way they have mixed their old and new together. Either way, if you were into architecture, perhaps Berlin would be a place for you to visit too.

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