Currently sitting on a Flixbus somewhere outside Berlin en route to Krakow, Poland, we contemplate what we have experienced over the last three days in Berlin.
We had heard place names such as Brandenburger Tor, Potsdamer Platz, Kurfürstendamm and Check Point Charlie many times but had never visited Berlin, despite living so close for many years. Growing up in Denmark we could not fathom how they could, or why they would build a wall in Berlin. The wall was built 3 years before I was born. During my youth, this was just the way it was. We had both visited the eastern block, Prague, me in ’81 and Di in ’83. It became much clearer to us what it meant to live under a communistic regime, where you were not allowed to leave your country without permission. A freedom we have taken for granted our entire lives.
Our accommodation, Pension Ingeborg, was located about 4 kilometres from the centre and with so many sights to see and a fairly short period of time we tried something new to us; a two day hop-on hop-off bus tour pass.
We have crossed into to Poland now. Country number 27 in our quest to travel to 50 countries within 50 months. A quick restroom break and we have a flat white coffee in hand. So far the Polish highway is terribly bumpy. So bumpy I need to take a break from writing.
The washboard road conditions lasted for about an hour and thankfully we are back on smooth highway. We cross our fingers it lasts for the remaining five hours of our journey.
Reviewing our stay in Berlin we both agree it was a worthwhile stop. It was interesting to visit a city so noticeably marked by a wall dividing it into East and West for almost thirty years. A wall Berliners were ashamed off. Lessons have been learned from this and it was interesting to see how openly the Germans have chosen to share their dark history. A reunified Germany has changed the city into a modern metropolis. Construction and renovations are underway everywhere. This city has moved on, yet signals - we must never forget.