While we were in Berlin we were constantly trying to figure out whether we were in the former East Berlin or West Berlin. Sometimes the communist block architecture of the buildings gave it away, but most of the time, especially in the center of town, it was difficult for us to tell. However, for many of the Berliners that we met, they still function like the wall is still there since their daily activities rarely lead them to venture from one side to the other. There are a few remnants of the wall left, but most of what remains is a line on the ground like this or a row of cobblestones signifying where the wall once stood.
Remnant of the wall, as viewed from former West Germany
Same piece of the wall, but viewed from former East Germany
They were doing some excavations at the time of some prison/torture cells they recently found underground on the East German side.
The Holocaust Memorial
Walking in between the rows of stones in the memorial. The ground slopes down at points, producing a dark, labyrinthine effect.
Underneath the memorial is a great museum that gives a brief overview of the Holocaust and tries to highlight the names and faces of the Holocaust victims. In this room the name of each person who died is read aloud.
And now, on a lighter note....
We spent an afternoon relaxing in Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It is bordered by the Concert House, German Cathedral and French Cathedral. The French Cathedral was built at the beginning of the 18th century by French Huguenots seeking refuge in Berlin. The area around the square still has a French feel to it. After sampling some chocolates at the famous Fassbender & Roasch Chocolaterie, we chased pigeons with Penelope in the square.