3 days to appreciate a city that has been the eye of 3 wars in the last 100 years. World War 1, 2 and The Cold War which saw Berlin physically divided in half by the Iron Curtain that separated the capital city and the world into two ideological spheres, Western Democracy, and Eastern Communism. Unique – is the only word I can think of to properly describe Berlin. The city wears its history like a patch work jacket. Everything is present. Evidence of Napoleonic times and before, remnants of the SS Basement and Nazi regime, sections of the Berlin Wall, historical monuments or buildings around every corner, and if there isn’t a building there will be a board erected on the pave walk, informing those who care to read it of the historical significance of the spot where you are currently standing. The city today is made up of this collection of the past, mingled together with the one remaining Nazi building, Soviet architecture, a handful of new high-rise buildings, graffiti, and expression. Berlin is a cultural hub where people born out of experience are allowed to express their individual unique personality. Berlin isn’t pretty. Berlin is unique. Berlin is special. Berlin is different. It is true Berlin is alternative! Encouraging expression Berlin is a city where graffiti is not painted over or considered to spoil, it is embraced as an outlet of emotion and is present everywhere. It doesn’t degrade, instead it adds to Berlin’s charm.
” One feels a little bit sick walking through it. But it’s accurate, because that is what perfect order feels like when you leave the history of Berlin” – Daniel Libeskind, located in the Garden of Exile at the Jewish Museum
Berlin needs to be explored. It is incredibly vast and has so much to offer! I wish I had allowed myself a week and a half – two weeks to properly appreciate Berlin. This is exactly what I will do when I return. One thing I will say now is that Berlin is a place like no other. For that reason I think it needs a certain level of life experience and understanding to appreciate it properly. I’m not pretending that I am in a position from which I can say that I am able to fully appreciate it based on my own experience and understanding. No. I am however saying that after having been travelling for 4 months now, and in tune with myself in a way that I wasn’t and couldn’t have been at the beginning of my travels, I can honestly say that I am more prepared today to experience Berlin for what it truly has to offer, than I was four months ago, or four years ago. Berlin isn’t your average capital city of Europe with sites to snap a pic with and to tick it off a list within a couple of days and be satisfied that you’ve seen what there is to see. Berlin is so much more than that. Berlin isn’t about ‘what there is to see,’ it’s about how the place makes you feel, and reflect, and find where you belong in the spectrum that is life and this world. So my piece of advice…When planning a Europe trip don’t start in Berlin. Let yourself explore and grow and live a little, experience, question yourself, change and get to know yourself first before you get to Berlin and I guarantee you will be glad that you did.