The Berlin Wall is quite possibly the most iconic landmark in the whole of Berlin, if not Germany. There is so much history behind this wall, so many stories told, and many more lost. In part 1 of my post, I posted a picture of a small, undecorated segment of the wall. Bright and early one morning, we took the train to the East Side Gallery.
The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, and today exhibits many beautiful pieces of graffiti art from artists that hail from all over the world. The images are striking, and they portray the turmoil of the era, but more importantly, the hope of a better future.Looking up at the wall, I tried to put myself into the shoes of the Germans who were separated from their families, and those who risked their lives to get across to greener pastures. What a struggle it must have been.
We spotted some art from Singaporean artists too. My favourite was this psychedelic portion of the wall. I guess the wall now make many people happy as they admire the many pieces of art.“I painted over the wall of shame so freedom is ashamed no more. Inferno ruled too many years, until the people chose the light. I put my faith in you Berlin, and give to you my colours bright.”
This beautiful quote perfectly summarises what I believe the East Side Gallery symbolises today.
After spending some time appreciating and reading the many messages scribbled on the wall, we made our way for lunch nearby.Burgermeister, or Burger Master, supposedly serves up some of Berlin’s best burgers. Visit Tripadvisor and read the many positive reviews it has received. As of 5 June 2015, it is #18 of 6,108 restaurants in Berlin. I wouldn’t call it a restaurant though. Burgermeister is just a little kiosk (which apparently was once a public toilet) under a bridge.
There was a long queue and we had to wait about an hour in the cold to finally get our burgers. Fortunately, there were heaters around and I found myself standing around those half of the time. I am terribly bad with terribly cold weather.How would I rate the cheeseburger? I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5. I guess I was expecting much more from it because of the all the reviews from friends and just the sheer number of people who queue up for this. However, I would say for the price – under 4 Euros for a cheeseburger, it was pretty reasonable. Oh wait, Euros. Ok, it beats McDonald’s cheeseburger, but I wouldn’t queue up for it again. The thing that I found good though, was the bun – it was perfectly toasted.
I would suspect that the other burgers on the menu which sound much more decadent would taste better. The chilli cheese was better, the Meister Aller Klassen would be too. We also ordered a serving of cheese fries. Ok too, but once again, not anything special.
Address: Oberbaumstraße 8, 10997 Berlin, Germany
That night, we went over to a friend’s place to celebrate the new year with our fellow SMUdents. I don’t remember many instances where I have been so fearful for my life. We stayed in a residential area with many immigrants, and let’s just say that there were too many fireworks, and gunshots that night. I do not claim that those bullets fired were real but they were all too real for me. We hurried to the train station before we got into any trouble.
After a very long game of charades and fits of laughter, we made our way downstairs to partake in what seemed like Berliners’ tradition of setting off fireworks. This was my first time ever and of course, I was paranoid that someone might lose a limb of two. The hobo-haired boyfriendHappy new year!
The next day, we tried looking for the famous Baumkuchen bakery, but it was closed, and I was utterly devastated. So instead, I have a Berliner to end Berlin with a bang. If you are what you eat, then as John F. Kenny proclaimed, “Ich bin ein Berliner”, I must be a jelly doughnut.
That pretty much sums up our days in Berlin. Off we go to Munich!