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Midnight Train to Berlin May 24, 2010

Posted by Ethan Craig in Travel Log.
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As twelve o’clock approaches, our train begins to roll out of the station. In the morning, we will find ourselves in the largest city of Germany, it’s capital, Berlin. Once we got out of the train station, which is more difficult than it sounds, we took the day to explore. Berlin has an amazing history. It has been the strong hold of many different powers throughout the past. As the location of Hitler’s bunker as well as a key area during the Cold War, this city has been through a lot. The architecture reflects the changes in power than Berlin has gone through in the last centuries. One of the most profound structures in a remaining segment of the Berlin wall. To think a stretch of cement could hold so much meaning. To those who lived in Berlin or still do, the wall signifies a time of despair, hopelessness as well as entrapment. The contrast between East and West Berlin has faded but it is still prevalent enough to remind you of how things used to be.

The most memorable part of my day in Berlin was the walk through the Holocaust memorial. Consisting of over 2,000 concreete slabs, it expressed many emotions. It is difficult to reflect the murder of 6 million people in a piece of art but I feel that the memorial certainly did a good job of it. It makes you think many things. It reminds you how important it is not only to be a leader, because I think few would disagree that Hitler was a powerful leader, but that one most also maintain a sense of morality and justice. Without it, people can be driven to do terrible things.

As our day ended in Berlin, we boarded a train and headed towards Fussen in southern Germany.

What an incredible place Fussen is! It provided a very interesting look at the contrast between the man made beauty of Berlin and the natural beauty of the Bavarian Alps. While there, we got a chance to tour the Neuschwanstein Castle. The castle was an amazing piece of architecture and provided a stunning view from anywhere you stood. The builders certainly knew what they were doing when they picked a location.

Altogether, it was an absolutely incredible first weekend of travel. I can’t wait to see what else this summer will bring!

EC

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