On the 15th-17th of March, on a whim to make time to have fun, I went to Berlin with two friends. Berlin was not on the list of places I was really eager to visit (Hallo, Rome and Prague!), but I am very happy to say that it was far better than I expected. There is a perfect word in Dutch for this, het viel mee. Indeed, Berlin did viel mee.
It was not that I expected a lot of Berlin. I was only excited to visit one place, Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. It is a palace whose building was began by Friedrich Wilhelm I in the 18th century, and was mentioned as a majestic showoff of the glory of Prussia. After visiting that place (and assaulting my legs in the 2 km walk from the Neues Palace to the Sanssouci Palace), as far as I know I would be good. Sanssouci was worth the assault to my legs.
Berlin also was. But that is perhaps because we began our exploration by following a tour which happened to be guided by a history buff. THAT, I am pretty sure, helped to put everything in context. Because I think Berlin is only truly appreciable (I hope that is a word) when you understand the context. And yes, there is more to Berlin history than the Nazi regime and the Berlin Wall in the 20th century.
Notably among all the pictures would be the photo of people gathering in a parking lot. That is not just some parking lot, 10 feet below that used to be Hitler’s bunker, where he famously committed suicide with his wife Eva Braun. Without that guided tour (thank you Sadie from New Europe Tours Berlin), we would not have been aware of that, because there’s absolutely nothing that stands out from the parking space except for a plaque 10 meters away.
So, do visit Berlin. Auf widersehen!