Berlin was nothing like how I expected, but was nothing short of amazing. The grungy city is filled with memories of a long, difficult and shameful past. The remnants of WW1 and WW2 are still prominent, and the make-shift way the city was rebuilt during reconstruction after all of the bombs that blanketed is clear. In spite of its difficult past, the infusion of culture that came after WW2 created a diverse city filled with different types of food. My favorite being doner! (picture attached below).
My favorite two site seeing places were the Berlin Cathedral and the Berlin TV Tower. The Berlin Cathedral had a beautiful view of the city, which had very few sky scrapers and a lot of church steeples and red roofs. It was a long walk up narrow stairs, and on the way down we saw a crypt in the basement. The TV tower was a bit more of a splurge but was an absolutely beautiful view. It reminded me of the Sears Tower at home. Even better than that, there was an amazing burger place underneath the building!
The first day we got into Berlin we went to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. It was a 40 minute train outside of Berlin, and was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Our tour guide was phenomenal and explained where everything used to be and the awful conditions the prisoners endured. The atmosphere shifted and the air felt heavier since stepping into an area where thousands were murdered. You could feel the solemnness and seriousness that surrounded you. We felt the wind cut through us and our pants and jackets in the frigid February weather. We then realized that the prisoners were only given a thin shirt and pants, and all of us stopped complaining about hunger and the cold immediately.