One of those “the scheduled blog post has gone out of the window” weeks! Probably not helped in part by the excessive heat – we had 4 consecutive days when it got to 40 degrees or above equalling the record for Perth set in 1933. Mercifully the sea breeze is back and it’s been in the mid 20s most of today, which is so refreshing! The heat did get me dreaming wistfully of colder climes (not rainy ones though!). Fortunately I have been putting the finishing touches to our forthcoming European trip in April. We’re mainly visiting family in the UK but have 9 days planned on the continent including a long weekend in Berlin, which I featured on “Five Places To Go Back To” some time ago and also “Remembrance And Renewal : Berlin”.
Berlin certainly isn’t the prettiest capital city in the world but it has a fascinating history and the juxtaposition of the new and old was striking.
We stayed in the former East Berlin in the Mitte district just by the River Spree and a comfortable 10 minute walk to the bustling Hackescher Markt Square. Flanked by cafes and restaurants we ate out here a couple of times and enjoyed the locality so much that we’ll be staying around here again.
Berlin doesn’t shy away from its often uncomfortable history. In fact we were there during the time of a city-wide exhibition honouring and remembering some of the many victims of the Nazi era entitled, “Zerstoerte Vielfalt’ (Diversity Destroyed). It was 80 years since the Nazis had first come to power in 1933.
One of the things that I’m looking forward to seeing is how far the rebuilding has come along since our last trip there in 2013. The main avenue, Unter Den Linden, seemed to be a mass of cranes and construction (like so many parts of Berlin). The former Communist Palace had been demolished and work was about to start on rebuilding the Berlin City Palace (Berlin Stadtschloss) – the winter palace of the Kaisers. At the end of Unter Den Linden you come to another traditional symbol of Berlin, the iconic Brandenburg Gate. It seemed a bit surreal to actually be there and even more so to be able to freely wander around, something that would have been impossible when I was growing up. Suffice to say I’m very much looking forward to seeing Berlin for the second time around and sharing more posts and photos from our forthcoming trip!
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