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22/04/2015

Schöne Berlin Part 1: Flight There and Brandenburg Gate

Hi everyone! (apologies if the translation of the title is wrong, I wanted to put some German in my post, do let me know if its wrong I wanted to put 'Beautiful Berlin' as my title.) I said I was going to write about my experiences in Berlin. I know that some of the things I will write about in these posts are still very touchy subjects, so I will tell you now I did visit a concentration camp (part 3), and some of the images may upset you or offend you, if you feel like you cannot read it then don't, I don't want to upset anyone, I just want to tell people about my experiences in such a beautiful city.

I got to my college at 6:30am on 26th March. I was dead already. I found it hard to stay awake on the coach, but my friends managed to keep me awake by playing heads up. We had a 4 hour coach journey to Gatwick Airport, due to traffic we checked in, went through security and had 10 minutes before the gate closed. We all got food and ran for the gate, boarded the plane and left for Berlin Schönefeld Airport. The flight was turbulent to start with but was lovely the rest of the time. We landed in Berlin and it was a little rainy, but I was amazed anyway.

We got to the dorm in the hotel and had dinner, which wasn't great, but we ate it none the less. We met our tour guide Nigel, and went on a walk.

This is the main bulk of the day but I will describe the walk because it was pretty incredible.

Brandenburg Gate, taken on my phone, camera was in the hotel room.
We went on the Berlin Tube, S-Bahn and U-Bahn, to the Brandenburg Gate. When the Berlin Wall was still around, the Brandenburg Gate marked part of the border. Many people were shot here, and there are bullet holes in the columns, which I didn't manage to photograph. We then went further up the road to the Soviet Memorial, by this point everyone was flagging, it had been an incredibly long day. Nigel failed to tell us that this was a mass grave of about 35,000 people, which really creeped me out. There is marble at the base of the column, which is said to be from Hitlers Bunker, and said to have Swastikas on one side, hidden inside the column. We then trekked back to the hotel, showered in a temperamental shower, and slept.

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