by Annette Dixon
Berlin, Germany is the Capital City with vibrant
young people flourishing with new development,
industrial designs, and unification still taking
place. Recently, in my visit to Germany, there
was still a distinct difference regarding the architecture between the east and the west. In another ten years, you will hardly know the difference, for this city is moving in development, most rapidly, as the cranes are everywhere.
We stayed at the Andels Berlin for two nights
also went sightseeing to the Brandenburg Gate,
the German Reichstag, now called the Capital
Building where parliament meets. The city
transportation system is great, especially the underground, which takes you to all the above mentioned buildings.
Checkpoint Charley, which once was the border
crossings between the east and west, now is a tour center of town which still has sites of barbed wire and portions of the once erected wall. Most of the wall is torn down but some people have chosen to have artistic graffiti cover portions of the wall.
In 1961, in our country, we had turmoil with President Nikita Khrushchev of Russia, friend of Fidel Castro of Cuba, with missiles aimed at Florida, East Germany, separated from West Germany, where walls were built. President
John F. Kennedy called the army reservist to duty to protect all Germans. Two million people escaped from East Germany in 1961 to enter the west. There were two walls, an outer wall and
inner wall, lookout towers, approximately 300 to
keep the eastern people from leaving the country, now only a couple are still standing, for tourist sights only. Checkpoint Charley has a museum showing how people were transported to West Germany. During President Ronald Reagan’s term of office in 1989, the wall was torn down and the cold war between Russia and the United States ended.
Outside of Berlin in Potsdam, we visited a Rococo Castle built by Emperor Frederik the Great and commonly called Germany’s Versailles. We also visited KuDamm and Gedachtniskirche, a memorial church.
In Dresden most of the town was bombed in World War II but a unique church called Frauenkirche (Woman’s Church) was restored to
the original design with the congregations resources. The town was restored to the original
buildings of the 1800’s which gives an authentic
look to many towns, although some cities were not bombed. For example Weimar was not
bombed, known for its classical city of poets Goethe and Schiller, who both resided and wrote
their classical pieces.
Rudesheim is the first city we visited after boarding the TUI Allegra, where there were beautiful sights throughout the 7 day tour on the
Rhine River. At the Loreley passage, which was
a narrow passage named after a beautiful mermaid. We continued to Cologne with local sightseeing and then to Dusseldorf. All of the towns and cities have their own unique and individual look, making it easier to select which city the classical musicians came from, such as: Beethoven, Bonn; Mozart, Munich; Wagner, born in Leipzig, spent time in Dresden, and had his friend Franz Liszt stage his Lohengrin in Weimar. When we disembarked in Frankfort,
we headed to Heidelberg by way of a tour bus and was given a grand tour of a historic town of
baroque buildings, surrounded by vineyards and
a castle that reminded me of Disney World. Our
last city for two days was Munich, where we visited every museum, church, government buildings and even had time for October Fest. That was what the new Germany is all about. Every culture imaginable was there as tourist and the vendors represented their city in ALL OF GERMANY. It is impossible to visit all of Germany in two weeks, but what we saw gave me a true insight of the magnificent country of Germany and the beauty of its landscape.