Because of the way our flights worked out, we only had two full days in Berlin. It’s tough to balance seeing the “things” with getting to see some of the real city in such a short amount of time.
On day 22, our last in Berlin, we took the metro to the popular Kreuzberg neighborhood for its Turkish Market. Dozens of vendors sell everything from fresh produce to freshly-made Turkish food to fabrics and handmade goods. It was exactly what we needed to lift our cold and rainy spirits from the day before.
From there, we walked around the aptly-named Museum Island, home to many of Berlin’s top collections. At one point, about 20 police vans went screaming by. Armed officers lined the streets, closing off sections of the area. Eventually we gave up and moved on to the Berlin Wall Memorial near our Airbnb (affiliate link—sign up now and receive a discount on your first booking!).
We’d later discover that the police presence was due to an official state visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The PM and his entourage beat us to the Memorial, but fortunately it was mostly open for us to move around.
The memorial is located around the only remaining original section of the wall. A guard tower and an area between the walls known as the “death strip” have been preserved as well. It’s a powerful memorial as it shows scenes from before, during and after and the impact it had on the Ackerstraße neighborhood.
The Turkish Market in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood was excellent, packed with food, produce, crafts, fabric and more.
A vendor at the Turkish Market serves up salep, a drink made from milk, starch, sugar, cinnamon and a glutinous flour made from orchids. It was delicious with a texture like tapioca.
A 3-D mural on a wall near the Turkish Market.
Climbers descending the sphere of the 1,200 foot tall TV tower in Berlin.
A police tank in Berlin’s Museum Island district. Hundreds of police vehicles and officers patrolled the streets due to a visit from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As a result, many sights were inaccessible as Netanyahu and his entourage visited the area.
One of the last remaining original stretches of the Berlin Wall at the Berlin Wall Memorial.
A cross commemorating the graves of St. Elizabeth Cemetery that were displaced by the building of the Berlin Wall seen through a crack in the wall.
A guard tower and the area between in inner and outer walls known as the “death strip” can still be seen at the Berlin Wall Memorial.
Very few pieces of the Berlin Wall remain today, but the path of the wall is still clearly marked by a double row of cobblestones with a plaque inserted at regular intervals.
A cross placed by the Church of Reconciliation at the memorial. The church’s membership was divided by the wall. In 1985, the church was destroyed by the East German government.
The wall was built over a section of graves at the St. Elizabeth Cemetery. When the wall was torn down, the cemetery kept the section that was built over the grave sites as a memorial to the disturbed souls.
More Photo of the Day posts from our January-March 2016 trip to Europe