On the second day we decided to get out bright and early and headed to the Aquarium and Zoo to see the sights there. It was called the Berlin Zoological Garden. The aquarium was adorable with UV lights making the area feel like we were actually under the sea and beautiful fish everywhere.
It was an amazing place which had exotic aquatic life I’d never heard of but also a zoo area with wild animals like lions and tigers and elephants, some of which was hard to look at since it was obvious they were dehydrated and nothing like the natural wild animals I had seen in Uganda. It actually made me quite sad when we saw the elephants since the day we were there it was extremely hot and there was just one little bucket of water for about four elephants to share and it just wasn’t enough for them all. Dreary and tired they were attempting to splash the water on their backs but it wasn’t enough.
After we had finished up at the aquarium we decided that it was time to do what all good sightseers do in places like Berlin and go on a tour of Berlin and learn all about it’s history. On the way to our first landmark which was to be the Reichstag Building, we passed the Berlin Victory Column, it was very beautiful. It represents victory of the Prussian victory in the Danish vs. Prussian war.
We saw the very famous Reichstag building which was quite strange considering it was a place I had learned about only in school a couple of years earlier and had never dreamed of going there. The Reichstag became futile after WWII but when in use, it housed the Imperial Diet of the German Empire.
The hotel that we were staying in and were travelling from was in Alexanderplatz wasn’t far from Potsdamer Platz which is where most of the amazing sights we wanted to see were. Potsdamer alone is a place which many consider a great sight to see whilst in Berlin. Potsdamer was one of the places that the Berlin Wall passed through, the Potsdamer Gate was along it. Due to the Berlin Wall being so famous. This is where we were off to next.
There are a few places you can go and see the Berlin Wall remnants in Berlin but we chose to go to the Topography of Terror, also know as Topographie des Terrors. Not only does the Berlin Wall remnants reside here, but it also documents the atrocities that happened between 1933 and 1945 when the Nazis reigned.
The Berlin Wall was an amazing thing to behold and as much as I am smiling in the images and appreciating the liberty that was achieved there, it was almost upsetting to remember the reason that it was built in the first place. You may notice the fallen bricks at the bottom of the images. These were the remnants of a school basement which was destroyed by Nazis after the war. The blue bear you can also see among the images is one of many that are dotted around Berlin in all different colours! This bear is a fibreglass sculpture originally developed in Berlin, it is called a Buddy Bear. Buddy Bears were created by German people; Klaus and Eva Herlitz in cooperation with sculptor Roman Stobl in 2001.
We got the tram after we had seen the Wall to head to our next destination and see some more things. The next up for us was the Brandenburg Gate. The gate was built as a monument in Berlin by the orders of Prussian King Frederick William II. It was really quite beautiful and the sculpting was so lovely. I cannot say there was much more to see than what is in the images, but it was certainly pretty.
Not far from the Brandenburg Gate was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This was an area which had grey slabs all over it on a sloping hill. It represented all the Jews that died in the war and there was a plaque with over 3 million names on it to remember them. Sickeningly there were people taking selfies with it which I found overtly disrespectful, however, it was an honourable sight to behold and I was glad to take a moment or two with my friends to view it.
We were getting pretty tired at this point and it was tempting to travel back, but we stuck with it and walked our way to the Berlin Cathedral. It may have taken us a bit longer than expected but along the way we also passed the Fernsehturm which is the television tower situated in Berlin. Though tired, when we arrived at the Cathedral, I have to say it was truly beautiful. Like, actually stunning. Just looking up at it was breath-taking.
You may be wondering what the statue is of on the right. Now, if I’m honest I can’t tell you that, however I can tell you how we got to see it! You have to pay to actually look around the museum and we decided that was something we were a) too tired to do and b) wanted to save money to do something else and therefore settled for a quick pit stop just to the right of the building where there was somewhere to sit.
My friend and I wanted to go to the toilet and there were some stairs just next to us leading down beside the cathedral. We walked down and located the toilets. On the left as you left the toilet it said “museum” we went through whilst the toilet lady wasn’t looking and voila! We were in. I was very worried as I’m not much of a rule breaker but it was lovely inside, well, as lovely as multiple crypts can be. But exciting nonetheless!
After all of that we headed back on the tram to our hotel and got ready for some dinner. We decided we wanted a chilled night in so grabbed two bottles of wine each and got a takeaway pizza from the place we had been to the night previously and spent all night chit chatting about our day together and how much we were looking forward to tomorrow when we planned to go on the Concentration Camp tour.