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Published: October 4th 2019
In order to head to Southern Europe, we need to backtrack, from Stockholm to Malmo to Copenhagen to Hamburg, and finally to Berlin, GERMANY. At Rodby, Denmark, the train is driven on to a ferry for a 45 minute ride to Putt Garden, Germany. Quite an experience. A thirteen hour day of travel.
Guten Morgen Berlin. First off is to go and book reservations for our future travels. At the wicket, I ask the fellow assisting us how long he has lived in Berlin and if he likes it here. He responds that he has been here three years and that in Berlin, he feels safe, as he came from Afghanistan. He worked for the military, assisting the U.S. soldiers. The agreement was that in three years time he would receive a green card, and his family would be allowed to move to the States. After two years and eight months, he was informed that his services were no longer needed. Needless to say, he needed to get out of Afghanistan.
Afterwards, we view the East Side Gallery which is murals painted on the remainder of the Berlin wall. My favourite is chains from a prison cell connected to
the talons of a dove. At Check Point Charlie, there is a gathering of tourists snapping pictures of the border crossing used in the Cold War from 1947 - 1991. This was established to separate communist East Berlin from West Berlin.
The impressive Brandenburg Gate is an 18th century monument built as an entrance to the City Palace of the Prussian monarchs. Today it represents a symbol of unity and peace.
Sitting outside having lunch, I notice a glass wall monument by a city park. This turns out to be a time line memorial for the Roma (Gypsies) Genocide 1939-45. The Germans deported 23,000 Romas to Auschwitz. Police even seized Gypsy soldiers who were in the German army and home on leave. It is believed that the Germans and partners murdered 250,000 Romas.
October 3rd is German Unity Day, and is a public holiday. Therefore, we need to make a reservation for breakfast. To view the menu, we are given ipads. Next it is off to the Jewish Memorial which presents 2,711 concrete slabs. It was constructed on the original location of the Berlin wall. On the opening of this memorial, a Holocaust survivor emphasized that “the
children of the perpetrators of the Holocaust are not responsible for the actions of their parents.” The architect describes the design as an abstraction of how complex human emotion is.
After all of this history, we enter into the early days of Oktoberfest 2019. There is food everywhere, bratwurst, knackwurst, currywurst, and every other delicacy imaginable. We sample the bratwurst, and have a beer. All food tastes better when it is cooked and eaten outdoors, and that is the case here. It appears we will have to adjust to eating our meals on the streets. Berlin is truly an interesting place. Stay tuned....
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