Berlin is a city that I’ve always heard of, but didn’t really know much about. If I were to list words I associated with Berlin, it would probably go like this — Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, graffiti, Bauhaus, techno, graffiti, art house cinema… honestly, I am probably just embarrassing myself here because these are such stereotypes, but it’s really all I knew about it. I wish I had more time to spend in the city to move beyond those surface characteristics. But since we only had a few days, we wanted to see the sites so indelibly associated with the city.
Graffiti was easy. We saw it as soon as we walked out the door.
And the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall was only one U-bahn stop away from our apartment. Well, one stop with an incredibly long transfer. And of course, there was a little walk from the U-bahn stop to get to the East Side Gallery. We learned the hard way to avoid the bike lane.
The East Side Gallery is a stretch of the Berlin Wall that has been turned into a memorial with over a hundred paintings. They were incredible, so I’m just going to post lots of pictures of it.
And of course, we had to take some photos of ourselves with the one of the world’s most famous backdrops. Don’t mind my goth-inspired attire. All of my clothes were still drying on the rack at the apartment.
And of course, we wanted to leave our mark. Cristen just happened to have a Sharpie in her bag.
As interesting as the East Side Gallery was, I was probably more fascinated by the graffiti art on many of the buildings that surrounded the wall. I was surprised at the large scale of them. They were just incredible.
We decided to stop by another Berlin landmark, Checkpoint Charlie. On our way back to the U-bahn stop, we walked underneath the Oberbaum Bridge.
We passed an old section of the Berlin Wall on our way to Checkpoint Charlie – one that hasn’t been turned into a memorial.
Checkpoint Charlie was exactly the tourist trap that you would expect. There were men dressed as officers (maybe they were real officers? maybe not?) posing with tourists for a fee. And you can get your visa stamped (or something) for another fee. There’s a museum. We mostly just passed by, after getting yelled at by one of the (faux) officers for getting too close to the visa stamps.
And since we’re just wandering around Berlin in this post, let me also point out another Berlin trademark – the crosswalk figures. I didn’t realize how well-known they were until I saw them in every gift shop. I admit, I bought a magnet of the Go man because he’s pretty adorable. I love that he’s wearing a hat.