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    Wednesday, 6 January 2016

    DAY TWO OF OUR TRIP TO BERLIN

    So on Monday, I showed you around my first day in Berlin. There was beer. There was Christmas markets. There was a lot of food and today is all about the museums...

    Day two kicked off with a walk down to the DDR museum on the banks of the river Spree. Overlooked by the Berlin Cathedral, the DDR is one of Berlin's most interactive museums, giving you a look at what life was like in the GDR when Berlin was divided in two by the Berlin Wall. It's a real hands-on learning experience so I won't ruin it & I'll let you head there yourself to find out more....
    Of all the sights in Berlin - the cathedral was my favourite. Also known as the Berlin Dom, the original church was built in 1465 and has seen constant redevelopments over the years. The cathedral sadly suffered extensive damage during WWII and wasn't fully restored until 2002 - which I think adds to the pained beauty of the architecture. 
    No trip to Berlin would have complete without trying to catch a glimpse of the infamous wall which separated the city until 1989. Sadly there only very few signs of the Berlin Wall still left. If you walk towards Checkpoint Charlie, you can still see the original markings on the the road which once separated East and West Berlin and you'll find the only remaining sections of the wall - now elaborately adorned with graffiti. 
    Checkpoint Charlie is the best known crossing point which separated the sides of the city before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. It was manned by the allied forces to control people trying to cross the borders of the city, it now houses a museum where tourists can pose for pictures with 'american soldiers but also provides a great vantage point to see down into East Berlin. 
    If you find yourself in Berlin, make sure you hunt out one of the retro photoautomat booths. There are 21 dotted around the city and for €2 you can take your own black & white snaps. Be warned though - the camera starts flashing as soon as you put your money in so be ready!
    Another museum worth a visit is the Topography of Terror. The Topography sits on the sight of the former Gestapo/SS headquarters and documents the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. 

    It's fascinating, horrifying and truly outrageous to hear about the horrors which were inflicted and to the extent that those involved got away with it (the majority of the nazi officers/doctors were found either unfit to stand trial or escaped prosecution through pay-offs).   
    We took the train just a little South of the city so we could have a look at Templehof airport. Templehof was a huge Nazi airbase used by Hitler during the war but it's since been disbanded and is now a huge open-park. It's so big, it's bigger than Central Park in New York! Beautiful but still very eery way with all the landing stripes and tarmac.


    For dinner there was only one place to head and that was into the trendy East-side for some of the best burgers in Berlin.
    ...but you'll have to check back in next time to hear about those....

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