The City Night Line that we took was a train that travelled from the southern part of Europe to Prague. The cabins (with 8pt beds) were filled with families with children ready to take a long journey while the coaches (with seats) were filled with youngsters looking for cheap train tickets and disregarding the comfortable beds throughout the night. For a sleepyhead like me, it doesn’t matter what kind of seat, I just slept the whole 10 hours of journey.
We arrived in Berlin at 7 in the morning, and we rushed out from the train with our heavy luggage. We went to the tourism office at 7.30, which had just been open a few minutes earlier. Strangely enough, the tourism office was more like a souvenir shop because we had to pay for (almost) everything, even for a tourist map!
Anyway, we then went to the hotel by cab, and the driver was a friendly Bulgarian. dubre?
After a short visit to the hotel — checked in, dropped our bags, took a shower — we started our journey in Berlin.
The First destination was the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienburg, outskirts of berlin, just a bit up north. The camp was primarily used for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945.
Now that some of the buildings and sites are open for public, family members from the victims occasionally come to the site to mourn and give respect to their relatives.
However, there were not too many left in the site. There were still some buildings that were not torn down, and they were kept as museums.
We only managed to go some sites, like the museum, barracks 38 and 39 (the ‘controversial’ barracks, where the NAZI used to keep Jewish prisoners), the laundry room, and the kitchen.
Soviet Liberation Memorial
We didn’t even go to the mass graveyard because we had already walked around 2.5km from the Oranienburg station to the camp, and to go to the graveyard was an additional 1.7km.
So we went back to city centre of Berlin, and the next destination was to see a part of the famous Berlin wall (Berlin Mauer).
We went to Nordbanhof, a train station used to be known as one of the ghost stations, as it stretched the West Germany’s underground (S-Bahn) railway station stretched from south to north, but passing the eastern part of Berlin. And thus the train still passed the station but did not stop there, as the station was closed down until the fall of the Berlin wall in the 1990.
Just outside of the station, remained a part of the Belin wall, along with a mark on the grass where the concrete border wall used to stand, for higher prevention cause of the East Beliners fleeing to the west side.
We took some pictures there, and as we arrived in the afternoon, the sunlight was perfect. I took some nice photos of shadows and the steel bars thingy used as a foundation for the wall.
me and the berlin wall
ci ichay crossing the border
me and the pillars
Next destination was the Brandenburger Tor (the Brandenburg Gate). The Eiffel of Berlin. A must visit place for tourists. There we met a guy who sold one pack of souvenirs of postcards and mini bookmark of the brandenburger tor and a passport-like page stamped with the DDR (East Germany) stamp. The guy was really friendly and he even could speak Indonesian 😀
“yes, you can pass the border”
Next stop: the Holocaust Memorial. As Maarten had said, it was very close to the Brandenbuger Tor. So all we did was walking for around 15 minutes and we found the nice, grey concrete blocks. Well OK, the memorial was not meant to be nice, but they stillness of the concrete really impressed me.
Anyway, the Holocaust Memorial, as the name implies, was built as a memorial to the Jewish victims of the holocaust. The memorial was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold.
Unfortunately, it was already late afternoon when we reached there, so the light was not so good anymore for taking pictures. Soon after the evening fell and we decided to have a dinner in Argentinean restaurant near the hotel.
The next day we didn’t really have much plan. Koh Nanug just wanted to go to hard rock cafe to buy a t-shirt, while Ci Ichay just wanted to have a relaxed morning.
While for me, knowing that the train would leave at around 16.30 (so we still had enough time for another visit to some places), decided to go on my own.
I finally decided to go to the Bauhaus Archive (Bauhaus-Archiv), and I thought I had made a right decision. The gallery stored artworks from the teachers and students of Bauhaus, an art school famous for their designs.
The school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919 as a merger of the Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts and the Weimar Academy of Fine Art. In the following years the school was filled with influential contemporary artists at that time like Theo van Doesburg (De Stijl), László Moholy-Nagy, and Wassily Kandinsky.
My favourite ones were the chair designs by Herbert Bayer (of course), (a work by László Moholy-Nagy which I forgot the title), and the chess. Among other nice things.
I also went to the temporary exhibition “Complete with Bulb–Lights” by designer Ingo Maurer. His bulb design was indeed a really nice one, and currently he is developing lighting designs using LEDs.
Anyway, time flew when you were enjoying something and suddenly I realised that I had to go back to the Kurfürstendamm to meet Ci Ichay and Mas Nanug.
And so after a few walks, wrong ways and metro, I finally met them. We then took a metro back to the hotel, took our bags, and headed to the central station.
[ Summer in Berlin | Alphaville | Forever Young | 1984 ]
The blog is for Lily and Ian of Summer in Berlin.
ps: oh, and there were leafless trees in berlin! hurah!