Berlin

Trip Start Sep 30, 2007
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15
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Trip End Jan 08, 2008


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Flag of Germany  ,
Monday, October 22, 2007

I had the highest expectations of Berlin due to raving reviews from fellow travelers, and it certainly did not disappoint.  My travel in Berlin began with visiting the sachsenhausen concentration camp.  The camp does a superb job of demonstrating what the life was like for the prisoners held here.  It is far the most emotional place i've ever been to in my life.  It's one thing to read about in the text books, but standing on the ground where millions of prisoners, mostly jews, were burnt to death, history comes to life.  And the fact that this all happened in my parent's time made it even more difficult to fathom.

After visiting the camp, I made my way to the Berlin wall.  Only about 100 yards of the actual wall is standing today with photographs from the past.  Berlin wall was a direct product of the cold war and same can be said of the 38th parallel dividing the north & south Korea.  Looking at the demolished wall and the current state of Berlin, it made me hope for unification in Korea to replicate Berlin's success.  Berlin is now one of the most liberal, vibrant cities and becoming the center of Europe once again, but this time for all the right reasons.

While thousands of tourists come to Berlin for its historical significance in the 20th century, other half bombard the city for its well known nightlife.  Berlin is known to have the best electronic music scene and i wasn't going to leave the city without getting a taste.  Pumped up to dance my night away in Berlin, I headed to the club with few people i met at the hostel.  Long line at the club guaranteed a fantastic night but once we were inside the club, i quickly realized it was salsa night.  All night long, i might add...  Disappointed but knowing it was my last night here, I made the most of it by attempting to shake it up and drinking more beers than i should have.  Drinking all the way back to the hostel five in the morning, including inside the metro, Berlin became my favorite city thus far on my trip.

People that committed the worst atrocity in the history of mankind, Germans are indeed embarrassed of their past.  Many Germans i met didn't even feel comfortable talking about it.  But after suffering decades of depression and political struggle, i was pleased to see the resiliency of the people and therefore, creating Berlin of today.  I'd highly recommend a visit here if you're ever in Europe and you'll surely enjoy it as much i have. 

***i'll have to upload the pics at later time since the comp i'm on right now doesn't have usb port.  check later in the week for pics of berlin, prague, vienna & budapest.  My next stop is Italy beginning w/ venice, then over to florence before heading down to ROME. 
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