Berlin, Backpacking in Europe Series

After 8 hours by train from Paris, arrived to Berlin recovered from the last day in France. The nighttime train trips are invigorating! The cabins are comfortable, with bed, blanket, pillow, air conditioning and locks on the doors. The cars also have a snack bar, with food and drinks, and bathrooms with shower, for whoever is in order.

Where modernity and history meet

By the Government’s official website, which contains the paths and values of the public transport, you can do all the planning to ride the subway, train or tram in Berlin. In fact, the city is one of the most effective and modern system of public transportation, competing with Paris.

Our first destination was the Alexanderplatz square, a square in the city centre. Maybe because it’s Sunday, there was a fair in place, with typical food, clothes and accessories of the local culture.

Still on Alexanderplatz, visit the tv tower (Berliner Fernsehturm), a very modern monument and that offers a beautiful view of the whole city. To climb the Tower, it is necessary to buy a ticket and wait your turn. While not enough our time, we went to get ice cream and we would like to meet other monuments next to the tower. We passed by a square with a sculpture of the Neptunbrunnen spotted the Berliner Dom. From there, we leave to the DDR Museum, a museum that contains several nice things from West Berlin: pictures, furniture, cars, everything brings us back to that time. You feel inside of them, of their lives.

A different energy

On the second day, we took the subway to the East Side Gallery, a gallery of art emblazoned in a part not torn down the Berlin wall. The “frames” painted there, outdoors, give a special lightness to a monument that a day represented so much repression, misery and conflict.

From there, we went to the Berlin wall Memorial, an area that counts in the history of the Wall, and is also the location where the Checkpoint Charlie, military outpost that divided Western and eastern sides of Berlin. And between a walk and another, looking at the ground, we found several points that make reference to what was once the wall.

Despite not wanting to belittle the rest of the countries and cities we know, because each one had its moments of conflict and difficult times, be in Berlin and go through each one of these places where such tragedy occurred gave me a lump in my throat, a strange feeling of what it would be like to have seen came at that time. Berlin undoubtedly overflowing history and an energy that I never felt before.

Leaving the Memorial, we decided to have lunch at Potsdamer Platz, an area of Berlin with several modern buildings and huge. It’s a contrast!

Next stop, Holocaust Memorial, made in homage to the murdered Jews during World War II in a Nazi movement led by Adolf Hitler. The site consists of an area composed of 2,711 huge blocks of concrete, where it is possible to walk the corridors between one and the other block. As expected, the feeling of being in the midst of these blocks is weird and disturbing.

Between wars and diplomacy

A little further, we arrive at the Brandenburg Gate, one of the main symbols of the city. The monument is huge and, in fact, very beautiful! Feels tiny under all that!

And this monument has a rich history, since your inauguration, which was held without much pomp, passing by Napoleon Bonaparte, who broke into the city across the gate, until the construction of the Berlin wall, which shut the monument for 30 years! Our last stop in this second day was in Parliament, the Reichstag, a sumptuous building, but only observe from the outside.

Changing the course of the script

The third and final day, the proposal was to go to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, one of the fields that Adolf Hitler built in the period of the Holocaust. He is 1 hour by train from Berlin, urban going to Oranienburg station Bhf. Well, I didn’t wake up this morning, and I wasn’t in the mood to go to the field.

I separated from my group and I went for a walk the streets where I finished, anyway, buying a cell phone – to restore what was stolen in Paris. The interesting part was to interact with the seller, which made me a lot of questions about Brazil, about football (of course), about my trip … anyway, the unplanned and moments that add to the script that forms naturally!

I found two friends who had not been to the camp, we crossed the city by subway, direction Zoo, intended for the Gedächtniskirche Church. Is one of the most famous temples of Berlin, because your tower was extremely damaged in a bombing occurred during World War II and remains so to this day, as a way to remember the destruction caused by the war. As the day was conducive for rewrites, we ended up finding no such Church. Don’t remember her name right-it will be for that, right? -and we ended up going to the opposite side of the road.

We decided, then, to sit in a bar/café on the corner of another Church. The afternoon was nice, beer was good and the conversation too! Indeed, this is the East side of Berlin, which is quite different from that already knew of the city. The buildings are older, simpler.

Even not having gone to some places planned, as the concentration camp and the Gedächtniskirche Church, replace those moments for other equally or more interesting. Out of the script and small talk, or sit in a corner, sipping a beer and watching the daily life going on, is something that is part of the travel experience. So open your heart and eyes and let the place amazed!

Berlin, despite being known as the paradise of ballads, was not a town where me from eating splurge in this sense. I ended up not taking advantage of this vibe there.

We took the train to Prague on the morning of the next day, and was one of the most beautiful train trips I’ve done in my life, because the landscape between the two cities is to fill your eyes!

The first part of Backpacking in Europe in Prague, is reported here, where I do a mix of two opportunities I had to be in the city, the first during the Eurotrip, and the second in the new year’s holiday of 2015.