Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Berlin - Part 3

Berlin is a great city to spend a few days touring.  There is plenty of diverse sites to keep you busy and satisfy any sightseeing desires you might have.  There is a lot of WWII sites but just as many amazing museums to see as well.  We had a fantastic time (in spite of the 90+ degree temps) and enjoyed walking all over the city.  We did spend a fair amount of time visiting WWII sites as we felt it was important to share such a sad, yet important part of recent history with my 14 year old step son. 

The American soldier portrait stands in front of Checkpoint Charlie.

Not too far from our hotel is this amazing part of the Berlin Wall that was not torn down.  It was instead turned into an fantastic work of art.  Artists from all over the world came to Berlin to paint beautiful and interesting murals along this stretch.  Even while walking along this outdoor art gallery and admiring all the paintings I couldn't help but wonder what was on the other side of the wall.  I cannot imagine how terrible it must have been to be separated from loved ones for such a long time. 

These were just a few of our favorite murals, there is no way I could add all the photos we had taken on this part of our trip.  I don't know the artists that painted these but I would share the info if I had it.

I hope this short series of posts inspires you to want to visit Berlin.  This is a vibrant, youthful city with so much to offer its visitors.  If you want to read my previous post from July 2009 please click here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Berlin - Part 2

We visited the cupola located on top of the Reichstag Building.  It was an wonderful 360 degree look at Berlin.  As you make your way to the top of the cupola you get a decent history of Berlin and surrounding architecture, thanks to the headsets we were given on our way in.  The views were pretty amazing, inside and out.  It is an easy stroll to the top, even with strollers. 

This ginormous set of mirrors in the middle of the dome reflects light into the chambers located below.  The first photo is from the base looking up and the second one is looking down from the top.

In the first photo you can see rows of  stone rectangles with the Reichstag building in the distance.  We noticed this on our stroll in the dome.  It is a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  It is rows and rows of stone, all of varied sizes but lined up in straight rows.  This is just past the Brandenburg Gate and certainly worthy of a stop. 

The last photo for today is of the Ampelmann, the cutest crosswalk dude ever.