Monday, June 04, 2007

Berlin

21 days of absolute bliss is over…Was on a vacation for last 3 weeks and am sorry for the delay in replying to the comments.
I was enjoyin my stay at home as much as possible. Devoured obscene quantity of food. Traveled places…spend time with family…attended countless functions...met friends…
Never felt ever more that 21 days is such a short period…

Neways now I have ample time to read all the blogs since am back in my work place!! ; -P

Well wanted to write about my trip to Berlin before I left for India and it never worked out coz of hyper state I was in anticipating the home trip..


Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama..Well I feel like am in the same league now... Last weekend I went to a place I long wished to go. Infact I remember an old tag in which I mentioned Berlin as a place I wanted to go, but never did I believe I would really make it there…

This trip was peculiar for two reasons.. First I went to this place coz I am quite passionate about holocaust and the world war…Secondly I have never been on a solo trip as I usually travel in a herd…But this time I wanted to see Berlin solo and go on a trail along the Berlin wall..

I was in a jovial mood that day and didn’t want to start off with anything sad... Landed up at the Berlin zoo, which is quite famous being the largest zoo in the world and now in the news coz of a polar bear called ‘Knut’..


Well was amazed at how well the animals are taken care off...lavish space and barriers avoided as much as possible.. Infact no cages wherever possible. The zoo takes special care that visitors actually learn about the animals and educate us about why they should be protected..

It was beautiful to see children interacting with animals… They are taught from a young age that animals should be loved…(except chickens which we can eat)


Few movies, books.. and pictures.. The world war, which was never interesting for me in school is something, I find intriguing… Went to this place called Topography of terror along the Berlin wall where they explained the rise of Nazism.. Infact just reading them are chilling enough..

Visited the Brandenburg gate which has lot of history behind it..well am not explaining em all..The Reichstag.. if you remember the famous photo of a Russian soldier flying the flag..this place is now the most visited parliament in the world..

They have build a glass cupola on top of it from where you get a panoramic view of the city..

One good thing I like about Germans are that they don’t try to hide their past.. They are guilty about the past and they make sure that the next generation doesn’t forget it and understand the terror of war..Well some critics say the new age German kids are forcibly made to feel guilty about something which they dint do..


The city is strange... One part is trying to forget the past..New buildings on the stretch of the old Berlin wall. And replacing the sober building in the east side of Berlin with new modern ones..
Whereas other places where they try to retain some monuments as a reminder to chilling past like the remnants of the Berlin wall..the holocaust memorial..

I have never felt more haunted when I sat in the holocaust memorial for an hour..the place is a work of abstract art. Just stones arranged in a square. No inscriptions... No tombs...Nothing...Just grey stones..

As if to remember how colorless life was for the Jews...People do graffiti on the stones inspite of the sanctity the place demands...Weird that the chemical used to wash of the graffiti paint is made by the same firm which made the poison gas which was used to kill the Jews in gas chambers…the coincidence was too strange..

The brauer strasse shows the actually death strip..the strip between the walls..where people where shot when they tried escaping from the east side of berlin to the west..

The lone cross in memory of a victim..

I was kind off feeling sad after visiting the places..inspite that most people come there just for the photo-op value of it..

Check point Charlie another interesting place..
picture of the same place a few decades back..




Visited Potsdam the next day..absolutely beautiful place..old European charm..grand castles. Amazing.. .gardens..well I think I ll buy that place when I win the Kerala lottery next time..

Well was lucky to meet his guy at the Olympic stadium..Okay I know u are thinking who this guy is..well even I don’t know..But cant u see they are asking for his autograph..So he must be definitely a famous person whom I don’t know..There was a American football match in the stadium and this guy is supposed to be a big star..

Well how worthless to see a famous person if you never heard of the person before!! ;-P


A solo trip means you dont get a snap of your own..but just managed someone who had a strikin resemblance...






20 comments:

Mishmash ! said...

Hey!! nice to have you back ! and you have come back with a bang! well the pic of the holocaust memorial itself is haunting!

So how was your vacation..? hope to read some anecdotes from your trip...must be having a galore right :)

Shn

starry nights said...

Good to see you back.thanks for sharing all those pics from Berlin.some were sad but then thats life.I am glad you had a fun time with family.post more pics.

Srijith Unni said...

Wow!, this is the closest, i`ll come to visiting and touring germany.. Thanks a lot, Mathew, for sharing these awesome pics.

Have Fun, Take Care and God Bless!

with Best Regards,
Srijith.

SilenceKilled said...

So, u r back :)
Nice pics....

Neihal said...

hmm...being a loyal reader, I have to say I loved the last pic most. :P

I hope u ll not dare visit a zoo here now. I was just reading about a zoo in central India....the usual no space, unhygienic conditions and all.why do they cage animals when they cant look after them
:(

VIDYA said...

heya, :-) :-) ur backk..

aweesum pics!!!!

the two pictures of check point charlie were hmmm... err... real different!

Anonymous said...

Welcum back ......

Nariyal Chutney said...

Hey mate , You are having the time of your life :) . Kewl Pics :P

priya said...

Nice pics ther Mat. Good to see ya back. Hmm you did scare me the last pic' thou'. I am kidding.

silverine said...

I think I have read almost every book on the Holocaust. Chilling but compelling reading.

btw from your pic I feel you need to lose some weight after that binging in Kerala :p

Natasha said...

I've taken a fascination for the nazi regime n the holocaust, having read many books and watched movies and all.

And I envy you for the fact that you got to see it all first hand - something I plan to do in my life, to visit the place where hundreds of thousands lives were ended ruthlessly.

mathew said...

@mishmash!

thanks..my trip was amazing..infact couldnt get enough of it..already brooding over the next trip!!

@starrynights

Berlin reminds us a lot about how much human folly can do..I dont any other places expresses it more..

@silence killed

thanks..sort of get used to old routine!! ;-P

@neihal

well i look handsome in it..hehehe!!
yeah..I personally feel sad after visiting zoo's...but this left me happy..

@Vidya

thanks..yeah..that place is more touristy now..long way from a hot point between the soviets and allies..

mathew said...

@srijith unni

even i never expected i ll land up here..u never know the odds...;-P
thanks..

@anony

thanks..can i have ur name please..else i ll name you anony menon!! ;-P

@nariyal chutney

thanks..i count myself lucky!!

@priya

hehehe..aint i cute!!Lol!!

@Anjali

Lol!!i expected this from you..well that pic is after the diet control and liquid food am taking these days!! ;-P

me too WW obsessed..like u said chillin yet compulsive..

@natasha

thanks..yeah..i got to visit few more place..Berlin was one of em..dachau..and schindler's tomb are the ones remaining in the pilgrimage..

Anonymous said...

heheheh ....okk the next time u write a blog ....will leave a comment with my name ..:)

Ajith said...

Man..u r having a great time..Check point Charlie, Brandenburg gate ,potsdam... I too read history a bit..:)

Rupa said...

That was a great post!
Lively pics! Awesome truly! :)

Two things striking from the post:
-the irony of the same company selling something to kill people and then something to save the memorial!The description itself is haunting!:(

-on a lighter note, more than the worthlessness of one seeing a person without knowing who he is, I am thinking the hurt ego of the famous person :)

mystic rose said...

oh wow! awesome pics.

Di said...

hey those pics made me so sad.. :( even your pic cudnt cheer me after that! cant imagine being there live. :((

b v n said...

Great pics man ! and very nice selection. German history is chilling, sad.

but my fav was the LA zoo board :)
crazy ! nicely done - again, great selections.

Kusum Rohra said...

* A very travel-deprived Kusum reads the post and leaves full of jealousy *


May I recommend some clothes, a hair cut and some fair and lauly :)