Historical Berlin

Day 19: Berlin, Germany to Berlin, Germany.

This morning we woke up early as we had a horrible smell in the van. That washing, again. Just kidding, we woke up early because we had a tour booked for 11AM and we needed to get the washing done before then so that we didn’t have to touch it during, hopefully, a sunny day in Berlin.

On the bikes with coffee in our bellies and washing on our backs by 8AM. A beautiful morning in Berlin. The sun was golden, the fog was clearing and the light was magical. We’re staying in the middle of the parks here so our cycle was through them. The light shining on the water, bird song a loud, runners galore and plenty of cyclists presumably on their Friday morning commute.

The first waschsalon was closed so it was another few KM to the next one. Not so bad but when you’ve got washing on your back and in your hands, it’s a little more difficult. Whilst we waited for the washing to finish we ate croissants in the sun, not a bad Friday morning to be fair. With the washing done and us 5KM out from home we needed to floor it home.

Luckily we did and we made a 22 minute cycle into a 13 minute one. A quick change, drop the bikes off, unload the laundry and we were on our way to our Free Tour of Berlin for 11AM.

A short walk across town and we met the Free Tour and signed in with our guide. We were originally signed up for a Cold War tour (Post WWII) but thats because I didn’t see the Nazi Germany tour. When we seen that was available we switched tours.

Our tour essentially walked us through all the prominent landmarks and points through Nazi History. Both Pre WWII and during the War. I won’t like, my history isn’t great, I know bits and have some interest in WWII stuff, but what we learned today was mind-blowing. There is so much behind all of this and we barely even scratched the surface of what’s here.

We went through the Old Jewish quarter, cemetery and went through the history of Judaism. What they suffered during these times was frightening and scary. Words cannot describe what horrific times these were for Jewish people (and others).

Then moved on to the old SS and Nazi buildings which is now a museum all about them. We learned of the Nazi’s rise in Germany and what it took for them to get into power and eventually leading up to the horrific and heinous crimes against humanity. So horrifying you can barely believe it’s true.

Onto the bunker where Hilter eventually took his life, which is now nothing more than a car park, thankfully.

Then finished with the Memorial of the Murdered Jews and its museum. Having been to Auschwitz and Birkenau we’ve been exposed to this level of emotion before. I can’t really say much here because I genuinely don’t know what to say. The memorial and museum are saddening but worth the visit. I feel learning and been exposed to this part of history is important and would encourage you to come to Berlin for yourself.

After a heavy day on our feet we did a few more little walks around to places the tour had missed. Popped into a couple of museums but both agreed that our feet hurt but our brains hurt more. It’d been a busy day for the old brain.

Retiring back to Doris we sorted the washing out, had some dinner and chilled out for a couple of hours. We decided about 8PM to head out for a sunset walk and see the main trio that are directly around us.

That’s the victory column, which stands impressively from where ever you look.

The Brandenburg gate, pretty much the symbol of Berlin.

The Reichstag, burned to pretty much nothing pre WWII and renovated to remain a German Parliament building today.

This city has so much history and so much to learn about it’s mind-blowing. We’ll spend tomorrow going through some of the other stuff that Berlin has to offer and we’re planning to get out early early. Which will likely be before 7AM. We think there is some form of party/protest here tomorrow so we want to make sure we’re out of the way before that starts at 2PM.

By far the most incredible city I’ve ever been too and would urge you to come here if you haven’t already. Also, tonight’s sunset might have made it a very special day indeed.

Tonights camping location: Berlin, Germany. (Park4Night: Click here)

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