Following three amazing weeks of rehearsals culminating in two exhilarating performances, my time in Berlin was coming to an end. I had been so busy finding my way between language classes, coaching and the rehearsal spaces that I hadn’t really had much time to do any sightseeing.
My parents had come out to Berlin to watch my performance and to spend a few days in the City. On my last day with my travel pass in hand I met up with my Mum, Dad and brother Tom and we did a whistle stop tour of Berlin.
We started near to where I had stayed in Berlin in the area aptly called “Charlottenburg” which was an independent City until 1920 when it became part of “Groß-Berlin” Greater Berlin”. We wandered around the gardens of the “Charlottenburg Palace” and then decided to take a look inside. The palace was originally built in the 17th Century and expanded by Frederick the Great in the early 1700s. The palace had been wonderfully restored to its former beauty and each room gave you a little insight into the lives of the people who had lived there.
After leaving Charlottenburg we made our way by train and tram to Kleistpark where I had my last class of my course, following which I met up with parents again at Alexanderplatz. Tom wanted to go up to the top of the Berlin TV Tower so they went to get the tickets whilst I was in class. The trip to the top of the tower was really quick by lift and the views from the top over the city were fabulous.
We grabbed something to drink and then it was off to the “East Side Gallery” which runs along the river Spree on Mühlenstraße. It is the longest section of the original Berlin wall left standing and following the collapse of the Berlin wall the eastern facing side was converted into an open-air gallery by over 100 artists. It was quite surreal to walk along it and trying to understand what it must have been like to feel constrained by such an omnipresent construction.
We finished off the day at Potsdamer Platz where we stopped to eat. The area has changed beyond all recognition since the fall of the wall as the area has been reconstructed with new shopping complexes, public areas and office developments. However there is a permanent reminder of where the wall had been as a line of bricks makes its way across the square to where a small section of the wall still remains.
We ended the day walking towards the Brandenburg Gate and stopped at the Holocaust Memorial. The memorial was quite thought provoking as it has been constructed using 2711 concrete slabs of differing heights with the ground falling away as you walk between them. As you walk between the slabs you seem to just disappear to anyone watching, a very eerie experience.
Finally at the Brandenburg Gate we stopped to take few pictures but as the weather was starting to change we decided to run for the bus, as we passed the Reichstag we could see the bus we needed just pulling into the stop. We only just made it with seconds to spare and as the bus pulled away the rains started. After a little bit of shelter, I finished my evening with a great get together with the rest of the cast and company.
There is so much more to see and do, I do hope I can come back and explore a little more.