Day 25

Today we did excellent things, today the weather did awful things. Nowhere has been as cold as Germany. Nowhere. I thought I’d been cold in Florence but I was wrong. It’s probably not going to help my health situation either… However I do feel slightly better than I did yesterday. The meds are helping. This morning we had eggs for breakfast at a local cafe before going to part of the Berlin Wall. Very cool to see up close.

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Next to that was something called the ‘topography of terror’ it was a very detailed history of the Third Reich from 1933-45. We spent a couple of hours there. It was really moving and also anger inducing. Very powerful. There were lots of explanations as well as personal stories of both victims and persecutors. Not including the actual war (people dying in battle) the Germans murdered around 10 million people. It’s hard to get my head around a figure like that. I learnt a lot more details about WWII today. I really like that the Germans are so determined to tell their history exactly as it was to stop it from ever happening again.

After that we went to see Checkpoint Charlie. That was the place where people crossed from East to West Berlin.

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We then went to an exhibition about the Berlin Wall. There were a couple of things there, but here is an amazing panorama that someone had painted of the wall when it still stood.

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Then we went to the Brandenburg Gate, which we also went back to at night to see lit up.

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After the first time we saw the gate we went to the holocaust memorial. This was also a very intense place. The memorial is special in itself, but there is also a museum/educational centre underground that gives very detailed information on what really happened to so many Jews, both in Germany and around Europe. Again, very moving. Here are a couple of photos of the memorial.

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After all this heaviness we thought we’d do something fun and go to ‘panorama punkt’ to see a 360 degree view of Berlin, but our tourist book (which we’d been given that day) was wrong and it was shut 😦 Then something cool and horrible happened. It started snowing! It was really beautiful but really freezing!!! The wind blew it sideways and we had to duck into a coffee shop to stop from getting hypothermia. Not brilliant for me at the moment being sick and all… But the lovely cup of tea made me feel much better!

After that we went back to see the gate at night then had some trouble with the trains, but finally made our way to dinner. I accidentally ordered beer with lime cordial in it, but it was surprisingly good. Now we’re off to bed before our last day in Berlin before flying to Bristol.

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