It’s day 6 here in Berlin, Germany. We have already walked over 30 miles since we have arrived. At first I didn’t feel like I was walking around Berlin. It felt like I was walking around NYC. The street scapes and train station felt familiar, but a little bit cleaner. As the tour went on, I noticed the architecture of the buildings, the bike path systems, and the tram cars on street for public transportation. These systems seem more advanced compared to what we have in New Jersey.
Some of the cool places that we have visited so far in Berlin were The Berlin Wall memorial, Bundeskanzleramt federal chancellor office, Berlin Cathedral, Sony center, and the Holocaust Memorial. See pics below)
The Berlin Wall memorial was built with is located where Germany was divided. It now represents to visitors, the past of German history and a memory of the communist victims. Some of the remnants that still remain are the old guard houses, a watch station, and parts of the old cemetery that were never moved.
When walking to the chancellors office also known as their White House, there was open lawn and gardens. There was also a bridge named after Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. The building is meant to feel very open and welcoming looking from the outside.
The Berlin Cathedral was one of my favorite buildings. It is so intricate and grand, I could just stare at it all day. At first impression, I was wondering why it looked so dirty because there was black covering it, but then I was informed that is was from the wars and they left it there to remember the past. That discoloration adds a lot more value and character to the story behind the cathedral.
The Sony center was another favorite of mine because it was an all year round outdoor plaza that had cover and protection for all weather. It was very open, had a nice infinity fountain, accent lighting many seats for people to gather, stores to shop around in. The design of it had aesthetic and was functional, I would love to see a plaza like it in NJ.
Lastly, the Holocaust memorial was something that I was looking forward to seeing in person because we had learned about it in my spring semester studio. We got to see how people were using the space and were judging if it was respectful or not. Some of the controversial pictures that people have taken were including yoga on the stones, running around playing tag and smiling, and various other questionable activities. The memorial stands in remembrance to the loss of Jewish victims. When walking through the site, I felt sad, and intrigued by the topography of the site. I felt tunnel visioned in that I could only see out one way at a time while walking through. I felt cautious to not run into anyone when crossing through intersecting paths. There’s beautiful/colorful buildings around the memorial, while the memorial is a simple grey. I like the unity and contrast that the memorial stands for.
Overall, it’s been an adventure walking around Berlin so far and I can’t wait to see more.
An interesting fact that I learned is that A symbol of Germany is Buddy Bear. Germany used to have white bear sculptures everywhere, but to celebrate the city’s 750th anniversary. Artists were hired to paint the bears and now there are colorful, vibrant and unique works of art around the city.
•You can save your water bottles and turn them into the supermarket to get coins back
•The city is very active and many people walk or ride their bikes everywhere
•The Tram cars are a lot better than busses for the public.
•They’re are many good pocket areas in the city that add character to Berlin.
•There are no water fountains
•There is no AC
•Bike lanes can be a hazard to new visitors