Berlin >> London
The next day I took the tube to Bernaeur Strasse and learned a lot about the Berlin Wall.
The red/orange posts to the right represent where it used to stand and the land to it's left was technically "no man's land" - or rather, solely the government's land.
Representation of an old observation tower with the new (quite different) observation tower in the background.
There used to be a tunnel here used to escape from one side to the other.
When they realized that people were jumping from the windows of the buildings right on the border to the other side, they bricked them all up.
Remnants of those buildings. Can you see where the windows would be?
A church used to stand here in "no man's land." Members of the congregation lived in both West and East Berlin. Half the congregation was blocked from attending the church and eventually the church was demolished. This cross was originally on top of the church and fell off as the church fell to the ground (see below). Someone stole it and hid it in order to preserve a bit of the church's history, and now it is placed here along this part of the 'Berlin Wall walk'. It is bent from the fall.
The cross goes flying.
I then walked to Bertolt Brecht's house! He's a very very famous German playwright and theatre director who changed the face of theatre in the 20th century.
I've studied Brecht a lot so this was incredibly exciting!
This house is where he and his wife, actress Helene Weigel, lived for the last few years of Brecht's life. And the room above is where he passed away. His wife left the entire floor in which he lived untouched after his death, so it was almost like you could feel his presence there with you. I wasn't allowed to take pictures in the apartment, so the picture above is a picture of a picture that was located in the lobby.
Brecht and Helene's graves were located in the cemetery right next door.
Quite underwhelming for such an influential man, but I guess that's how Brecht would've preferred it.
Down the street a ways is the Berliner Ensemble - the German theatre company Brecht established in 1949 East Berlin. I got tickets while I was there to see a show for that night, cause...why not?
Checkpoint Charlie - the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between the East and West during the Cold War
The spot specifically was the American Sector
And there was a museum...which I went in of course!
Back at my show. I went to a concert of sorts that was made up entirely of Brecht's scenes and songs. It was all in German and I didn't understand a word, but it was still entertaining - at points.
Yet another eventful day in Berlin!
Sunday I slept in quite a bit and then headed into town near Potsdamer Platz to go to Berlin Connect - the beginnings of a new branch of Hillsong Church. It was great to find and connect with another church family while abroad. It was a bit of familiar in the vast unfamiliarity. The people were wonderful. A woman I had met while at Hillsong Amsterdam the week before put me in contact with another woman who was involved with Berlin Connect. It was perfect! And yet another example of how God can meet you wherever you happen to be.
I had a great weekend in Berlin, saw some beautiful things, learned a lot, and met some wonderful and quite intriguing people, but by this point (after a week of traveling through Europe) I was ready to head back to my home in London. Monday morning I awoke bright and early to catch my morning flight back so that I could make it to my required British politics lecture that evening. What a day. What a week. What a trip.
My fall break was certainly a success, with pictures and memories to last a lifetime.