The worldwide Augustana College experience

Berlin and Wӧrlitz

On Sunday, Professor Vivian took everyone to Berlin, where a former student of
his, now living in the city, gave us a brief tour on the more popular parts.
Professor Vivian urged us to go back to Berlin to visit those places more fully;
I’ve already been planning to go back to Berlin because I have a friend who
lives there.

Brief explanation: During the beginning of my junior year in high school, I hosted a
Berlin student, since a group of them came to experience American high school
and life. We’re still in contact, and we’re planning on seeing each other some
weekend while I’m here, only a train ride away!

Anyway, I saw some pretty cool things on my Berlin excursion. I have more pictures.

I love history, and did I see history.

This is the Reichstag, the parliament building of Germany. It’s gone through many leaders, and there is evidence of the old and the new everywhere.
“To the German People” or “For the German People” is written on the Reichstag. I just like how that’s a part of the structure.
This is the Reichstag again. Bullet holes from World War II still make their mark.
This is only part of the Berlin Chancellery. It is quite modernized today, but within its walls, actions and words made so much history.
The Brandenburg Gate, in the flesh.
This is a close up of the Brandenburg Gate.
Throughout Berlin, there are stones paved into the streets and sidewalks, marking the place where the Berlin Wall once stood.
I am standing in East and West Berlin simultaneously. It’s outlandish to think that a city used to be divided into two parts with a concrete wall. I try imagining my town being like that. Then I wouldn’t be able to go to a store or a church or even a friend’s house.
This is a memorial for those who had died while trying to cross the Berlin Wall. Even today, these people are remembered, which I think is important.
Another slice of the Berlin Wall, this time with more noticeable graffiti.
Madness: a valid definition.
This is a chunk of the Berlin wall itself.
Yes, here it is. The famous Checkpoint Charlie. It’s in the middle of the street, with American flags being displayed.
I snapped this shot when I was about to enter West Berlin. The sign stands on the sidewalk, so countless people have freely walked under if in the past couple decades. Go back any further than that, and the statement would not be true.
This is a fraction of the sea of concrete blocks at make up Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. Each block, it is said, is a different size, representing differences in the human race. And at the end of the day, they are still blocks.
This is an aisle in the Holocaust Memorial.

Since I don’t want to leave Berlin on such a heavy note, here are some pictures of various things I saw while walking around:

Some really cool buildings.
A beautiful cathedral in Berlin. It was very hard to not go inside it.
This is the Berlin TV Tower, which I captured in a black and white because my camera decided to switch to that setting. Anyway, the West gave the East some money to restore the churches after the war. So, naturally, the East, being disbelieving communists, built a TV tower with the money. Now, when the sun shines on it in a certain angle, you can see a cross, which some claim to be God’s way of getting back at the communists. Do you see the cross on the orb in my picture?

All in all, I enjoyed my day in Berlin. There was a lot of walking, but it was
worth it. I cannot wait to go back there.

***

On Tuesday, I biked thirteen miles to Wӧrlitz, a touristy town near Wittenberg.
There is an English garden that some princes built way back when. Everything
there is copied after another English garden, so the lake and ruins are fake.

It was a delightful day of walking around and climbing towers and going through
tunnels. The weather was a little rainy, especially in the morning, postponing
our biking, but the sun eventually shone.

Here are some pictures of my adventures there. However, Missie had my camera, and my
camera’s batteries died, so I only have a handful. If you want to see more of Wӧrlitz,
here’s a link for you: http://www.woerlitz-information.de/woerlitz-en/ho/index.php

This is the man made lake of the Englischer Garten.
Some pretty lily pads in the lake.
All of the ruins here are fake, but this castle type building was for the mistress of a prince.

That’s where my camera’s batteries die. But it was such a fun day!

***

Feel free to leave any comments you have about my trip thus far. Also, if you’re curious about something else of my experience in Europe, let me know. I’ll try writing about it in a blog post!

Tomorrow, I’m off to Weimar, so I’ll see you later!

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