Berlin, Germany

The last stop of the Germany tour was Berlin. I also added the two nights I spent in Braunschweig, my grandparents’ hometown.

I always associate Berlin with the Berlin Wall--but surprisingly, very little of it remains since it came down in 1989. Further, it was more than just a wall--it was a 60-or-so foot wide strip, which has been reconstructed here.
I always associate Berlin with the Berlin Wall–but surprisingly, very little of it remains since it came down in 1989. Further, it was more than just a wall–it was a 60-or-so foot wide strip, which has been reconstructed here.
The Holocaust Memorial (to the murdered Jews of Europe) is a striking construction of 42,000 massive blocks. Unfortunately it also is a playground to many kids who don't appreciate its significance, and instead run over or through them.
The Holocaust Memorial (to the murdered Jews of Europe) is a striking construction of 42,000 massive blocks. Unfortunately it also is a playground to many kids who don’t appreciate its significance, and instead run over or through them.
It's guides like these (India here) that make you realize how difficult it is to say you've
It’s guides like these (India here) that make you realize how difficult it is to say you’ve “seen” a country. In fact, I would probably say that I’ve never really “seen” a country, ever. Maybe a first will be one of the European microstates since there isn’t as much to see. On a logistical note, why would you not break this up into smaller books…
A Pegida protest at the Hauptbahnhof. Pegida is a right-wing, anti-Muslim group. This picture actually shows the counter-protestors, as well as the police, who seem to outnumber both groups combined.
A Pegida protest at the Hauptbahnhof. Pegida is a right-wing, anti-Muslim group. This picture actually shows the counter-protestors, as well as the police, who seem to outnumber both groups combined.
The toy history museum had gems like this PainStation, which burns, whips, or electrically shocks your hand whenever you mess up. I'll confess that I didn't last long playing it...
The toy history museum had gems like this PainStation, which burns, whips, or electrically shocks your hand whenever you mess up. I’ll confess that I didn’t last long playing it…
Playing retro games was fun! It's also crazy to see how video games started, and how much they have evolved.
Playing retro games was fun! It’s also crazy to see how video games started, and how much they have evolved.
The boat was my hostel for 2 nights!
The boat was my hostel for 2 nights!
It featured 3 forms of renewable energy, seen here: solar, wind, and solar-water
It featured 3 forms of renewable energy, seen here: solar, wind, and solar-water
Camping on top of the boat was a great way to get a private room for cheap, although the morning sun made the tent unbearably hot by 9 o'clock.
Camping on top of the boat was a great way to get a private room for cheap, although the morning sun made the tent unbearably hot by 9 o’clock.
Shower, with a view
Shower, with a view
I decided to try a club, since that's what Berlin is known for--it was pretty crazy inside.
I decided to try a club, since that’s what Berlin is known for–it was pretty crazy inside.
Graffiti is a big part of the culture in Berlin. Big parts of town are covered in it, and there are recognized artists doing the work. An entire section of the Wall has been converted into a gallery. Here, artists work on a building belonging to a public beach.
Graffiti is a big part of the culture in Berlin. Big parts of town are covered in it, and there are recognized artists doing the work. An entire section of the Wall has been converted into a gallery. Here, artists work on a building belonging to a public beach.
Bikers in Berlin don't seem terribly concerned about safety...most don't wear helmets and this cyclist wouldn't hear you even if you yelled out to him.
Bikers in Berlin don’t seem terribly concerned about safety…most don’t wear helmets and this cyclist wouldn’t hear you even if you yelled out to him.

And a quick stop in Braunschweig…

On the right side of the picture you see 'Wagner Stoffe', which is the textile store my great-grandfather and his family used to own.
On the right side of the picture you see ‘Wagner Stoffe’, which is the textile store my great-grandfather and his family used to own.
Even villages have parties! This one was loud and late enough into the night that my grandpa booked himself into a hotel for the duration of the 3-day festivities here (that is, to get away from it). Beer, folk music, and dancing were the big things here.
Even villages have parties! This one was loud and late enough into the night that my grandpa booked himself into a hotel for the duration of the 3-day festivities here (that is, to get away from it). Beer, folk music, and dancing were the big things here.
I'm always impressed with how much jam my grandma makes--the whole shelf is filled with this year's vintage! Then it tastes better too :)
I’m always impressed with how much jam my grandma makes–the whole shelf is filled with this year’s vintage! Then it tastes better too.
My dad gave a
My dad gave a “frozen” piece of the Berlin Wall as a gift to my mom’s parents in the early days of their relationship. He had chipped it off himself in 1989.
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