Monday, July 18, 2011

Mom's Trip to London: Berlin

I was very lucky to spend two whole weeks with my mom in April.  The first week we spent in London, as previously posted.  For the second week we went to Berlin!  This was both of our first times in Berlin and I enjoyed every minute of it.

In college I took several quarters of German and finally got a chance to put it to good use.  Mom did alright while there, I made a little list of key phrases for her on the plane.  But of course when we arrived, they all went right out of her head and she reverted to the little bits of Italian she learned on a trip to Europe a few years go.

The first thing we did, to help acclimate us to the city was to take a walking tour.  I was really struck by how open the city is.  The city has many wide streets and boulevards.  My favorite street was Unter den Linden.  The Brandenburg Gate below marks the end of the street.

Brandenburger Tor

My Mom and I were both impressed by the Holocaust memorial (pictured below) as well as the Jewish Museum.  Both were very respectful and at the same time discreet.

The Holocaust Memorial

As a student of European History, I very much enjoyed visiting Berlin.  The Berlin Wall and Check Point Charlie (along with the Check Point Charlie Museum) were two of my favorite historical sights.

Part of the Berlin Wall

Check Point Charlie

Berliner Dom

The TV Tower

Berlin is host to several great museums as well.  The Pergamon Museum, home to many incredible stolen antiquities was by far the coolest.  Inside were the reassembled Pergamon Alter and Ishtar Gate of the palace of Babylon.

The second day Mom and I were in Berlin, we parted ways.  She explored the area where we stayed (Prenzlauerberg) and I met up with my friend Laura who lives and studies in Berlin.  She took me to a really great outdoor market at Mauerpark.  The best part of the market was a traveling karaoke show.  A man, on a bicycle sets up speakers and a microphone at an outdoor stage.  Anyone can go up and sing.  I was pleasantly surprised with some of the performances.  If I had to guess, I would say at least 1000 people showed up to watch this.  The best part is that it happens every sunday!  If I make it back to Berlin soon, I will definitely coordinate my visit with stop at this market and take a bit of Karaoke!  Thank you so much to Laura for showing me around!

Karaoke at Mauerpark

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