Hello everyone! Period 4 is done, and now we have a one week break. Most international students refer to this break as spring break, but at UCM, it’s known as reflection week. It’s my understanding that reflection week was just implemented last semester. I decided to spend the first few days of my reflection week in Berlin, Germany. My sorority sister is currently studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, so we decided to meet up in Berlin and see all of the wonderful pieces of history in the city.
The first day we were there, we visited the Victory Column, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and a monument dedicated to Atlas Shrugged and other mythological figures. Below is a picture of the Victory Column. My sister and I walked all 285 steps, and I must say, we were feeling the burn after the walk back down.
This next picture is of me with two “German soldiers” at the Brandenburg Gate. Being at the Brandenburg Gate was a lot of fun; there was music and people everywhere. As you can see in the picture, there were also people dressed up in a variety of costumes (most of them looking to earn money). In my opinion, these two “soldiers” were by far the best dressed.
Being able to see the Reichstag in person was an experience that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to explain. Just knowing that I was at a building that, for a period of time, basically served as the headquarters for Hitler and the rest of Nazi Germany left me speechless. This building is truly a part of Germany’s history and I felt privileged to be able to see it in person.
Seeing a version of Atlas and being able to recognize him as someone I’d learned about in school was a really good feeling. Below is a picture of me and my sorority sister in front of Atlas, Sybil, and some others.
The next day of our trip, we visited the zoo, the aquarium, and of course, the infamous Berlin Wall. The zoo and aquarium were both nice, but if I had to pick, I’d say the zoo was better, since it had a larger selection of animals and more variety. Below is, in my opinion, one of the nicest pictures I took while at the zoo.
Last, but certainly not least, was our visit to what’s left of the Berlin wall, which for so long divided Germany into East and West. I knew that if I didn’t do anything else while I was in Berlin, I couldn’t leave without seeing the remainder of the wall. As I walked along both sides of the wall, I honestly couldn’t imagine that this wall, which is currently beautifully decorated by artwork, was a source of division. It was mind-boggling. Non-tourists walked, biked, and drove past the wall without really looking at it, but for me, this was a piece of history that people will probably learn about forever and, once again, I just felt privileged to have been able to see this in person. In the following picture you can see a glimpse of the wall from both the East and the West side.