Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Berlin - Germany

The Place: Made a great weekend out of a work trip to attend the 17th International Energy Accounting Forum in Berlin with a work colleague and one of his friends.
Some features: Took a cycle round the city to see some of the sights including the Brandonberg Gate and Reichstag.
Spent a while walking through the vast and isolating holocaust memorial which is an area of 19000 square feet covered with 2711 concrete slabs. As you walk between the blocks which are knee and waist height on the outskirts you realise the ground slopes steadily downwards as you go further in, resulting in you ending up completely swallowed by the the surrounding concrete.
Wandered around the war museum at Checkpoint Charlie (the American checkpoint at the Berlin Wall) which was a fascinating museum showing many of the inventive ways in which the Germans would try to escape the East, history of the start and end of the Berlin Wall, as well as great pieces of art.
Had two great nights going out in some of the good spots in Berlin which included the 'Lucia' bar in Kreuzberg, some streets close to our hostel in Warschauer platz and the surrounding area of Lyschener-,Shliemann- and Dunkerstra├če.
The Berliner Dom is an amazing domed church to see, and on the right, set behind it you can see the Berlin television tower (Fernsehturm) which is one of the popular icons of the city (apparently built by the East to impress the West during their separation).
Also saw the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which was bombed in 1943 but still stands. It was unfortunately under restoration so we could only see the top of it.
Enjoyed sipping gluhwein and eating currywurst while perusing the Christmas markets that light up the streets at night.