Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Berlin Sights

As promised, here is my next vacation post. Here are some of the sights we saw in Berlin. The first is the Berliner Dome, an impressive cathedral right at the foot of Museum Island, a patch of land where there's a bunch of museums one after the other. The Berliner Dome was the cathedral to the royal family, who used to live in a castle across the street, and now it overlooks a grassy lawn that is awesomely named "Lustgarden". How appropo...

The second photo is of what remains of the Berlin wall...it's pretty crazy to actually see it and think about how it separated one side of the city from the other. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to live in Berlin at that time...knowing you couldn't cross the barrier. We also heard some cool escape stories...like one West Berlin man wanted to break his East Berlin girlfriend out, figured out how high the barricade was at the checkpoint, rented an Austin Healy, practiced driving with his eyes closed, went by the border, ducked and floored it, and made it through before the guards even knew what happened.

The third photo is of the Holocaust Memorial. It's just a maze of all these different sized rectangular blocks...but the further you walk in, the higher they get, and soon they are two and three feet over your head. The idea is that when you walk in, you all of a sudden disappear behind the blocks...I like that symbolism. It's also supposed to be confusing and disorienting, much like the experience of the Jews who only thought they were being relocated somewhere for a better life. It's a cool memorial, and the museum underneath it was sad and moving and really interesting.


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