Uploaded the pictures taken during a walking tour in Berlin last week but didn’t have time to press about them… Been such a busy week where I worked late and there was some work to do in between play during the past long weekend (as Hari Raya Haji fell on a Sunday).
What I really want to share is about walking tours. Those of you who are familiar with them would know that they are free and participants can give a tip if they enjoyed the tour. Participants are also free to join/leave the tour at any point! Most of the tour guides were locals who are really passionate and good at introducing their cities so we usually give a tip.
The interesting thing about walking tours is that some information shared or the places visited may not be found in the Lonely Planet guides or even online! Often they come with commentary that are quite personal, I thought. And each tour could be very well be different from the next depending on the guide.
This was the first walking tour of many during this trip and a very nice day of walking Berlin as you shall see!
First stop – Brandenburg Gate which has witnessed so much history in Germany and Berlin.
Next was the Holocaust Memorial (The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe). Below are the pictures I took the day before though – the sunset make the memorial looks more interesting, I thought. Mixed feelings – seeing visitors having fun and taking pictures around the blocks (yes, we did the same touristy thing) and remembering the significance of this memorial.
Random shots on Berlin streets. Love those windows of flowers. Thinking back, I wonder if this was built post WWII during the communist days – simple, utilitarian… If I remember well, this block of houses is near where Hitler’s last residence was. Today it is just a car park one will pass without a second look. We would not have known that this was where his bunk was if not for the walking tour.
Steel sculpture of Georg Elser, one of those who attempted to kill Hitler.
Gendarmenmarkt is one of the prettiest squares we saw in Berlin. It dates back to 1700 and the Prussian times which we didn’t know about till the walking tour!
Bebelplatz, another pretty square in Berlin where the State Opera Building, the Catholic St. Hedwig’s Cathedral and the library of Humbolt University (below picture) are located. Too bad we could not see it in its full splendid with the restorations of the opera house on-going… It was also in this square where the Nazis burnt books. A plaque in square was a line of Heinrich Heine from Almansor: “Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen”. In English, it means: “That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people”. Can’t helped but felt a tinge of sadness when the guide shared this with us….
Learnt so much. What a crash course of German/Berlin history in 3-hours of walking Berlin!