Monday, March 16, 2009

And the walls came tumbling down

What a day Ingy and I had today. First stop was the Mauerpark Flohmarkt - a big flea market full of a lot of crap and some interesting things as well. It was a dreary morning which meant that there weren't a lot of people around - apparently in summer it's absolute gridlock in the market, so it made the spits of rain more bearable.

Next stop was a short tram ride away to the Berlin Wall memorial. A lot of very interesting photographs documenting the history of the wall, and a viewing platform four or five flights of stairs up which meant you could see over the wall into what was behind it...another couple of walls!

By this stage it was time for some sort of refreshment and a bit of warming up, so the logical choice was Fassbender & Rausch chocolate shop and restaurant. Wow. I'd never drunk hot dark chocolate before, and my life has been transformed. There were 26+ years of life before hot dark chocolate, and now, everything is different.

Back downstairs, and I felt like a kid (or this kid) in a candy store...

yep, that's the Reichstag (parliament) building made out of chocolate. There was also the Titanic (because it's so very German...) and the Brandenburg Gate. Crazy delicious!

We then somberised the tone with a visit to the holocaust memorial. You've probably all read about the controversies surrounding the memorial (like the makers of the anti-graffiti coating on the concrete pillars being the same company that produced the gas that was used to kill Jews), but it all adds up to an intriguing experience.

The testimonies and stories held inside the centre are heartbreaking and amazing. It made me quite angry to recollect the article I read in the Weekend Australian magazine a few weeks ago about the holocaust denial movement.

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