Germany’s capital, I had heard a lot about before we got there. I was excited to see this city as others had visited several times. Jan Ove had told me about the shared city and the shared Germany after World War II. The remains of the wall one can still see. My first impression was that Berlin is a big city, around 3.5 million residents. I also noted that Berlin is made up of people from all over the world. Among other things, it was fun to visit Sonnenallee, also called Little Beirut or the Gaza Strip. Almost exclusively people from Arab countries could be observed in the street. We ate at a very popular restaurant with the name Damascus. It was almost like I felt at home.
Berlin is a city marked by Europe’s recent history. Especially under World War II and later during the cold war between the Western Europe on the one side and the Soviet Union on the other. The Brandenburg Gate was a known structure. Reichstag building, the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, gave the impression of the war and the time afterwards. A boat trip on the river Spree was required.
Although Berlin showed their key European history, I was never quite comfortable with this melting pot of a city. The impression I’m left with is that Berlin is a big city, I had to learn about the U-bahn, S-bahn, trams and buses to get around.
The next stop was the city of Potsdam outside Berlin. I had there agreed with a former colleague and friend from Syria to meet. He was there on a holiday from Leipzig along with his wife and son. I wanted first of all to see my friend, but Jan Ove was clear about if you are in Potsdam, you have to see the palace of Sanssouci. It was really an experience to see the statues and all the gardens in the front of the castle. Potsdam was once an important city in Germany, the Preuss Royal family and his court lived there. Therefore, it was built many castles on the 17 and 1800 ‘s. Potsdam is also known for the Potsdam Conference after World War II where Soviet Stalin, British Churchill and American Truman, British met to find solutions for how the new Germany after the war were to be managed.

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