We took a visit to the Berlin Wall. It is an amazing thing to see. Only 1.3km (.8 miles) remains of the 165km (103 miles) wall. The wall is now home to the work of many artists, called The East Side Gallery.
We walked past the wall into “No man’s land”. It is sobering to think of what that land used to stand for. Around 5,000 people tried to escape over the wall and 136 people were killed.
Throughout Berlin there are stone pavers that mark where the Berlin Wall used to stand. It makes you think about how different their lives were before they could cross what is now a simple little line on the ground. Even tonight as we were walking to dinner we had to cross the line. We mentioned that if the wall were there we wouldn’t be able to go to this particular restaurant.
Not far from the East Side Gallery is Checkpoint Charlie, the best known crossing point between East and West Germany during the Cold War.
It is pretty much a tourist attraction now, with costumed people standing in front who charge for a picture with them, peddlers selling various American and Soviet patches, military hats..etc. But it is still interesting to see where it was and imagine what it was like with the wall still intact.
It has been interesting to attempt to explain all of this history to the girls. BZ understands most of it, but LZ doesn’t. When we walked through “no man’s land” she was concerned that we would get in trouble, or that someone would try and hurt us because we were there. They both asked a lot of questions about what happened to the people who had friends or family that lived on the other side of the wall. It has been a learning trip for all of us.