Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Berlin really stands out as different to everywhere else on my trip. It is definitely Middle/East European though, in the sense that before the Wall came down, even West Berlin was just an enclave within the DDR (communist East Germany), lying behind the “Iron Curtain”, in Churchill’s phrase. Nevertheless, all the other places I’ve been seem like provincial backwater towns compared to Berlin (even Vienna). I have a slight twinge of intimidation actually. Not in a bad way though. Everybody has been very friendly. Of course, I knew Berlin was a major international city and would be exciting, full of life and non-stop activity, but knowing that theoretically and actually being here and experiencing it personally are two different things. The adrenaline rush of Berlin is a bit draining though. Everywhere else I’ve been I’ve been quite relaxed, but here I find I am just a little bit more on edge much of the time. All this is just subjective impression (as is most of this blog). There is no way I can do and see all the things I would like to in Berlin, so I’ll just enjoy being here, do and see what I comfortably can and look forward to another visit some day.
Here is the Fehrnsehturm, nearby Alexanderplatz and views of the city.
The last pics show the view up Karl Marx Allee to the roundabout at Strausberger Platz, which allowed me to judge the distance for my walk to my hostel in Friedrichsain.
Next, my walk down Karl Marx Allee (first named after Stalin in the post-war reconstruction, until memorials to him fell out of favour).
At last, the Sunflower Hostel. I checked in and went to look for the building where my friend Andrew had an apartment when he lived in Berlin a couple of years ago. I think I found it (on the corner of Warschauer strasse and Gruenberger strasse).
Maybe Andrew will post to let us know if I was right.
Well, this has been long enough for one post. Impressions of Berlin to be continued next time.