Since the last blog, we went through several areas within Berlin and had our first weekend-day.
One of the places that I remember the clearest is Wald. Berlin. Klima., which is an exhibit based on climate change, located within the Grunewald forest. One thing I did wrong for this trip, was wearing my white Puma sneakers. The problem is not that the shoes got dirty, but that the sole was too thin, so I felt every rock and pine cone under my feet. There were also several hills that we had to climb up, and my feet were just killing me in the end. While the exhibits were very intriguing, we couldn’t really understand what the plaques that were provided really said because it was all in German. It would have been really nice if there were translations in English, but the exhibit is apparently not a popular tourist spot, and most of the non-German visitors are landscape architecture groups.
We were also taken to the railroad park, Nature Park Schöneberger Südgelände. This was an old railroad line that used to run before WWII. After the Berlin Wall went up and split Berlin into East and West, the East gained the railroad tracks but neglected them. The park was remained untouched for around 50 years, so naturally, nature took over and started to grow around the tracks. With some maintenance in recent years, they have successfully converted the area into a place for people to come and relax in. One interesting about this park is that they use sheep to maintain the meadow/grassland area. While this might be a slow maintenance process, it allows for a hierarchy to develop in the area.
We headed to Tiergarten Park today, and as it was my site, I had to give a little background history to the class. Tiergarten Park is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Berlin, especially along the main access from the Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Statue. Once we got to the Victory Statue, we were offered the option to climb up the tower to the top. It was one of the most intensive stair workouts I have ever had. The staircase was spiral staircases, so one end is more narrow than the other. Even though it took forever to walk up the stairs, we were welcomed with a wonderful view of how the streets stem off from the Victory Statue.
As we are landscape architecture students, we did not just walk along the main street. We weaved in and out of the park, even going down a narrow path with greenery that could almost bury you. We were asked to compare Tiergarten with Central Park, and the thing I noticed the most was that Tiergarten has more of a jungle/forest vibe than Central Park. There also seemed to be more diversity in the plantings in Tiergarten that could be found together, while my memories of Central Park focused more on typical park trees, such as Oaks.