July 04, 2005

The many sides of Berlin

I've just discovered a completely new side of Berlin.

Earlier I was somehow too busy worrying about my accommodation and being robbed and raped on the dodgy roads of Wedding. Now I've seen more of Berlin and its history and my worries seem so tiny in comparison.
The history is everywhere. In the centre is Gedächtniskirche, a church with half a roof and smashed windows because it was left that way after the war. I went to the Brandenburger Tor on Saturday and they had a "timeline" with photos explaining the events of the war and the building and the fall of the Berlin Wall. When the Wall still separated the 2 halves, West- and East-Berlin, people on the west side would have to go through Brandenburger Tor to visit the east.
In this timeline they also had a picture of the ruins if Coventry Cathedral. It looked different but was still recognisable.
I can't possibly imagine, that the Wall still separated the 2 worlds just 16 years ago.

Berlin is really green. I live now near Tiergarten, the Berlin Zoo and within a walking distance to the centre. In fact I can walk through beautiful woods to Siegessäule and Brandenburger Tor. I'm getting to know my way around though it's taking a long time. On Friday I tried to walk from Berlin Zoo the Brandenburger Tor and conveniently I had no map on me. I thought I would know the way, but got completely lost. The walk should have taken maybe 30 mins at the most, but I was wandering around for an hour and a half…at least I saw some beautiful scenery.

Erika came to Berlin from Poland on Friday night. We had some dinner with her aunt Elli and her Polish relative(not grandma, but grandma's cousin or something…). It's so nice to see Warwick people here!
We had a wander around the western side of the centre, Kurfürstendamm etc.
Also Erika kindly gave me some bed sheets, a pillow and a cover, which were more than welcome. At the moment it's so hot here in Berlin that I don't actually need a bed cover so I use it as curtains instead. There's a road behind my window and before that I had no curtains so that was interesting…

On Saturday me and Erika went to the Live8-demonstration concert, which is part of the "Make Poverty History"-campaign. Concerts also took place in Philadelphia, London and Paris simultaneously and just in Berlin there were 200,000 people who participated.
That was really amazing especially considering that there are only half a million people in Helsinki which is the biggest city in Finland by far.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hiya Laura… it sounds like you're having some 'great' experiences… I wouldn't expect anything less, of course! It's great reading your news. Oh yeah, yesterday I was given a 20 cent euro coin with a nice picture on the back that I didn't recognise. I thought it must be fake until just now.. I looked on the web, and apparently it's a Finnish one!!

    I can't wait to hear your next episode.. take care, und Gruesse auch an Erika!!!!!

    06 Jul 2005, 22:02

  2. Lou M

    Hi there,

    I wandered into your blog a bit by accident, really… I got drawn in by your descriptions of Berlin. Great city. I've not long come back from there, and I actually miss it – so your talking about it kicked off some good memories!

    11 Jul 2005, 13:38

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