Continuing my little tour through Eastern Europe (yes, this is a trip I took last summer…it’s taken me over half a year to go through all the photo), our next stop was Berlin.
I actually lived in Germany for a few years as a kid and used to speak the language. I’ve never used it since so I’ve completely forgotten it, but it sort of creeps back up when I’m in Germany. I often can understand the gist of the conversation but I don’t know what each individual word means.
It was mid-June yet we seemed to be having super cold and dreary weather. That’s why I don’t have too many photos of the city because we just hopped on a bus tour and then hid in restaurant for the rest of the trip. Ok, I’m exaggerating, I do remember walking around a little bit when there was a break in the rain.
I’ve always heard great things about Berlin and I’ve actually been there before several times, although with me horrible memory I could only remember the Brandenburg Gates. The last time I had seen them, 7 years ago, they stood alone surrounded by vast, empty spaces. This time around, the Brandenburg Gates were dwarfed by the American and British embassies on either side. Construction is in full swing throughout the city, especially in the former East German side, which used to be full of ugly 60 concrete buildings. One of the fun things accompanying all the construction are the colourful pipes running throughout the city above ground. These pipes pump out water to keep constructions sites along the river from flooding. Different companies use different colours, turning parts of the city into a bright maze.
We also went to see the German Parliament in the Reichstag building. The building has had a complicated history, which is why it has historical façades but is completely modern on the inside, with a really cool dome at the top. If you get a chance, I really recommend visiting the Reichstag building (you need to make an appointment first and go through security). There’s a winding staircase that gives a great view of the city and a giant “visor” that provides shade by continuously moving to match the position of the sun. The entire dome is made out of glass and has no electrical lighting inside.