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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Berlin

GERMANY | Saturday, 3 August 2013 | Views [391]

Where they burn books, they will start burning people.
- A very apt quote from German poet, Heinrich Heine, from 1820, at the Nazi book burning memorial
 
I'm taking my second last train ride with my Eurail pass. My European adventure is about to be wrapped up! Though it feels like I've certainly been in the continent for a while, it also feels like it has just whizzed past me! 
 
Berlin was so-so for me. I found it highly depressing with the constant reminders of WWII and the atrocities of the Nazi regime. While I really appreciated the memorials and the unwritten messages they conveyed, being in Berlin, provoked me to think a lot. War creates so much despair and sadly the world is plagued with war. The past teaches us countless times that war is not the answer but somehow, people are still driven to start one as a solution.
 
While I feel terribly sorry for Germans having to live with reminders of their past, I have the strongest admiration for their sincere honesty in their representation of it - they tell it how it was without any sugarcoating.
 
The East Side Gallery, an amazing graffiti-decorated section of the remaining Berlin wall was definitely the motivation for my trip to Berlin. Unsurprisingly, it was the highlight too. Like the John Lennon wall in Prague, it is inspiring to see people's hopes visually expressed despite the circumstances. I wish I could've spent more time to explore the more alternative edge of Berlin. Maybe a few more days would've made my trip feel a little better.
 
I'm now on my way to Hamburg to meet Anna (my Inca trail buddy) and Anne (my hostel mate and Vatican-queue mate from Rome). :) Feeling a little worse for wear after a late night of drinking games and cocktails before currywurst, it's nice to be on a comfortable train!

Tags: cities, european adventure, history, sightseeing, trains

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