When you walk through the massive halls of the Louvre in Paris and admire the floor to ceiling paintings of kings that ruled centuries before us, it’s impressive but sometimes hard to believe that there used to be royal families that decided the world’s fate. When you visit the Colosseum in Rome, it’s difficult to imagine that thousands of people gathered to watch prisoners fight animals to the death for pure entertainment.

But when you go to Berlin and see Hitler’s previous headquarters, you realize that what we consider history – all those dates and numbers and facts everyone learned about in grade school – are actually quite recent. Unlike old cathedrals in Spain, prominent buildings during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party are still in perfectly good shape because they were built during the time that many of our parents or grandparents were alive.

As a group, we quietly walked from one side of the wall to another, a luxury people from East and West Germany didn’t have only 50 years ago. Now the remnants of the wall are covered by colorful artwork – “freedom of expression covering a structure of repression” as our brilliant tour guide stated.

Berlin-4555While this town is tainted with Nazi history, I found the city to be incredible, the people kind and friendly, and the nightlife to be vibrant. Berlin has made a serious effort to be open about it’s history and educate residents and visitors through museums like The Topography of Terror, which depicts every gruesome detail of Hitler’s life and Nazi power. They not only have the city’s history on display, but they just as proudly say we are not those people today and we are proud to be from Berlin.

Berlin-4608One of the only things that has remained as a positive contribution from East Germany is their loveable ampleman. East Germany actually hired a traffic psychologist and developed the ampleman who would make pedestrians want to respect the signals to walk or wait. It worked, and this figure has become somewhat of Berlin’s mascot. You can find stores overflowing with ampleman shirts, bags, mugs, even gummy sweets. I guess out of everything bad, you can always find at least one good thing. In this case the bad was really bad and the good is a tiny man that flashes throughout Berlin, but it’s a silver lining all the same.

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Last Stop: Amsterdam


3 thoughts on “Berlin

  1. First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question that I’d like
    to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how
    you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my
    ideas out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted simply
    just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?
    Many thanks!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear that you like it. To be honest I just start writing and let it happen… I often experience the same thing where my original idea isn’t exactly where the piece ends up going. But I just view that as a warm up, not a waste! I usually am writing about an experience such as a trip to a new place which makes it easy to get started since I’m simply telling a story, but sometimes I just grab inspiration from a photo I want to post with my piece. I think the best advice I can give is just to write… A LOT! I journal all the time too which I think helps me be able to clearly articulate my thoughts without “wasting” time first. Although I sincerely believe that no time spent writing should be considered time wasted! Hope that helps! Please come back and visit my blog again soon. I am flying overseas today and will be posting regularly again starting this weekend!

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