Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Second Day in Berlin

To begin the day we went to Reichstag, the German Government Building – the equivalent to the American capitol.  Before our tour, we walked around the surrounding areas and learned a lot about the Berlin wall and divided Germany.  I never knew that West Berlin was entirely within the boundaries of East Germany.  There was a wall through the middle of Germany that separated East and West, but Berlin had its own wall to separate the city.  People from West Berlin were not allowed into East Germany, so they had to take planes or stay on designated highways in order to enter West Germany.  There is a prominent line throughout the middle of the city that shows where the wall used to be.  There are memorials along the border to remember those who died trying to escape.  Upon walking through the glass dome on top of the Reichstag, I could recognize prominent differences between East and West Berlin. There is a lot more construction on the East side. All of the government buildings are mostly glass to symbolize transparency (hence the glass dome on top of the capitol building).  They want the government to be visible by the people.  We were also able to talk to a parliament employee and sit in the assembly room.  After finishing our time at the government buildings, we made a short stop at the Brandenburg gate.  It is a strange feeling to look at something that you have always only seen in pictures.  It is hard to grasp the attraction as a real object when you are actually there.  We finished the day at Potsdamer Platz.  It is sad to look at pictures of the city before WWII and compare them to now.  Almost everything had to be rebuilt.  Most of the buildings look very modern, including the Sony Center and mall where we walked.  I was surprisingly excited to see a T.K. Maxx.  Another random thing I have noticed about the city is the stoplights.  Instead of just a yellow light before red, there is also a yellow light before green.


  1. Why is there a yellow light before green? Also dad wants to know if your employee discount would work at TKMaxx and whether you have tried any good German food yet. Dad likes hearing about all of the history within Berlin and he wishes he was there.

  2. The yellow light would be to warn drivers of the green light. It makes for quicker starts. I don't know if the employee discount would work and I did not ask. I think learning about the history and seeing the old pictures compared to now has been my favorite part of Berlin.