Friday, November 11, 2011

A Berlin Weekend

We are LONG overdue for a blog post — as so many of you have told us! I am grateful to know that our little updates are actually read. It makes me feel connected to all of you, even an ocean away. 

We have been both busy, and not over the last little while. Last weekend a friend from Victoria was in town. He is taking a few months to travel and met up with us for a day. Steve had the FANTASTIC idea of renting scooters for a day and bombing around Berlin!

It was so much fun! Unfortunately, I forgot the camera :(. But we looked good on those scooters! 

We took them down to Templhof Airport, which is no longer used as an Airport. Originally built, but never used by the Nazis, Templhof was taken over by the Allies. This was the site of the Airbridge during the start of the Cold War when West Berlin was only accessible by air. 

David and Mary (an American couple we met at church and who will appear again in later blog posts), were stationed in Berlin when the wall went up. David worked at Templhof and told us that during the height of the Airbridge a plane was landing every 15 seconds. Incredible. 

Now the runways are being taken back over by nature: tenacious grass and trees are making their way through the growing cracks. It seems to be a great place for Kite flying - there were no less than 50 kites in the air when we went. It is a fantastic site in the middle of the city. Right now rather baren, but there are plans for new park development. I envision something like Carolina Park (for those of you who know Quito) in the future. 

On Sunday after we took our scooters back, we walked through "The Topography of Terror". This is the name given to the streets in Berlin where Hitler's government and the SS had their offices. And there is something truly terrible and terrifying about beautifully facaded buildings, where men went in uniform, to discuss and sign documents that led to the suppression of free-speech, the control of the German people, and ultimately the Holocaust, not to mention the thousands killed in battle. There is an exhibit, pretty thick with text, that outlines how this area was the nucleus, the think-tank, to carry out Hitler's agenda. 

After this rather heavy afternoon, we wandered through the Tiergarten. This is another huge park in the middle of the city. Berlin is actually a very green city. I had always thought of it as being rather grey and bland, but it is full of life, colour and nature—especially now with the golds of fall. 

1 comment:

  1. Just lovely. You evoke the sights you've seen so well.
    And your comparison of Tempelhof to Carolina Park is interesting considering that Carolina used to be the airport for Quito as well.