After another breakfast in the sun my friend and I decided it was time to head into town. While my foot was looking better it was still quite sore, so I hobbled along beside her as we made our way to the main boulevard in Berlin, to “Unter den Linden” (under the lime trees).
This street was chopped in half by the Wall, which ran right in front of the famous Berlins landmark, the Brandenburger Tor. This meant that while the people on the West could see the Tor no one could actually approach it as it was heavily guarded and blocked off.
Right next to the Brandenburger Tor is the Adlon Hotel (east side) this five star hotel was built in 1907 but was nearly totally destroyed during WWII but one wing was open until 1984 and in 1997 the entire hotel was rebuilt iinspired by the original. Once one of Europe’s most famous hotels the Adlon is still a fashionably posh place to go … and if you don’t mind paying a fortune for a coffee a great place to sit and relax. However no photos allowed.
Just around the corner from the Adlon is the Holocaust Memorial, which took 17 years of discussions, planning and construction. It is an interesting construction of 2711 concrete stelae or slabs, all the same size but set at different heights. It creates a maze that you can wander around in, at first you are not quiet sure what it is about, but the play of shadows and narrow passageways are the perfect metaphor for the confusion and disorientation Jews must have felt during the Holocaust and the time that followed.
looking up from the memorial
From the Holocaust Memorial we walked down to the Potsdamer Platz. Built during the 90s it is a messier reconstruction of the bustling hub it use to be surrounded by modern architecture and cement constructions.
From there we took the U-Bahn to the Alexander Platz, which most simply call the Alex. This was East Berlins main square and is still one of the busiest shopping districts in Berlin. The all overlooking landmark the Fernsehturm stands in it’s center, surrounded by the Neptune fountain, the Alex Shopping Center and many other interesting shops, cafes and small squares.
Although we were already quite tired and our feet where starting to hurt, well mine even more, my friend and I decided to take a train to Kreuzberg and look for the Night Flea Market in SO36 and do some shopping with the paupers of Berlin. This famous or infamous club started as an artist squat in the 70s. Today bands like the Aerzte, Einstuerzende Neubauten and the Wild Kennedys give gigs and DJs spin their tunes. And on the odd night they host different events, like the flea market we went to.
After browsing the stalls my feet were falling off and if was definitely time to go home. The clock told us it was just past 11pm and I knew pumpkin-time was near. As we both sat on the S-Bahn heading back to Friedrichshagen we reminisced about the wonderful day, both happy but unable to go any further.