There is really nothing to see in Berlin, until you take a (free) walking tour and then there is context to every corner.

In one, there is the hotel Adlon famous for its royal guests like Queen Elizabeth until recently Michael Jackson had that scene with a baby.

Then the Holocaust Memorial composed of 2000+ concrete slabs right in the middle of a city so that passers-by will remember.

Then that spot where Hitler killed himself, now a parking lot. And the Berlin Wall that separated the east from west Germany and who dared cross did not see the daylight.

It’s hard to imagine that all these happened only 25 years ago. I am 29 and these things indeed happened in my lifetime.

This is a nice commemoration and a looking-back experience on the last day of yet another year. The band playing at the Christmas market was singing “Freedom”, something this city fought for before, something we take for granted easily.

Our Kiwi tour guide / historian shared that if ‘Paris will always be Paris,’ then seeing what it is today, ‘Berlin is becoming Berlin.’


The Pariser Platz in Berlin, named after the French capital


part of the Berlin Wall which divided the city between 1961 and 1989


at the Holocaust Memorial designed by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold, consisting of 2,711 concrete slabs right in the middle of the city


Berlin on New Year’s eve


Christmas concert in Berlin


Christmas market


WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt


Christmas market


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Berlin has a lot of great museums and good Turkish restaurants, plus easy access to Potsdam.


    • It’s a pity I wasn’t able to see any museums, we were there only to celebrate new year’s eve last year. I’ll definitely check out the museums and more restaurants when I go back. 🙂



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About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at


Europe, France, Germany, Travel


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