A little postscript to add to my recent Polish holiday, my stopover in Berlin! You see, I found myself with a few hours in between landing in Germany and heading off to Poland. And so I decided that instead of keeping warm inside the legendary Hauptbahnhof, it was better for me to venture into the chilly Berlin air.
My second time in Berlin, and again, another day trip, five years since the last visit. I really do like the German capital and one day, I will actually make a proper vacation out of this place. After all, Berlin is an artistic city of renown and everywhere you go there are official and not so official pieces of expression dotted around the urban area.
But this is a just whistlestop tour, a quick jaunt through some of the famous sites. The next time I am going to make a proper journey here. One of Europe's great capital cities, I cannot be expected to simply flirt with the wonder of this town...
(The Marienkirche with the Berlin Fernsehturm in the background - the EU's tallest structure, covered with low cloud!)
Berlin is a city whose recent past has unfortunately been shaped by war. First, the devastation of the Second World War which basically leveled the city. (For film buffs, check out Der Untergang a brilliant and haunting retelling of the last days of the Third Reich and a stark reminder of one of Europe's darkest moments)
Second there was the Cold War, which split the city between the Communist Eastern Block and the toe hold of West Berlin. It resulted in the Berlin Wall a structure that was the physical manifestation of ideological idiocy which unfortunately divides the two Koreas today and wrought so much devastation during the second half of the last century (with wars in Congo, Angola, Afghanistan and Vietnam to name but a few worthless conflicts).
(Yep that line of cobblestones represents the Berlin Wall)
As I have already mentioned, this is one fascinating city, and I will be returning. When I do, expect far more photos and fun, but for now, let me leave you with Berlin's symbol, the Brandenburg Gate: