As we continue to walk along the banks of the Spree River in Berlin, we find lots of great art on the buildings of the city and small parks in the neighborhoods offering rest and recreation.
Along the Spree
Buildings as canvas
A few blocks south of the river, we find Markthalle Neun, which first opened as a food hall in 1891, getting its name from being the ninth of fourteen market halls in Berlin. This market has everything!
Heading northwest, in the general direction of the Brandenburg Gate, we reach Checkpoint Charlie, the site of the legendary border crossing between East and West Berlin ("Charlie" because it was the third border crossing to be set up). The guardhouse and sandbags are preserved in the middle of the street, with a small museum nearby.
Pictures from the time
Continuing on, we find the contrast of old and new architecture intriguing and delightful the way the styles merge and complement each other.
Old and new
Ant then, there's the truly new, such as the British Embassy, behind the US Embassy.
British and US
Across from the US Embassy is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe set in what used to be the "death strip of the Berlin Wall," 2,711 concrete blocks form a grid pattern with themed rooms offering background on victims of the holocaust.
Walking past the US Embassy, we return to the Brandenburg Gate (on the west side this time) and the Bundestag, following the other side of the river past the government offices and back toward the train station. A series of seven crosses serve as a memorial to all those who lost their lives fleeing from East Germany to West Germany when the border was closed. (This bank of the river was in West Berlin and the river was in East Berlin.)
Brandenburg Gate, Bundestag
German government buildings along the river
Crossing the river, we return to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof to catch a train back to Hannover.
Looking back at Berlin from the station
Catching the train
Soon, at 300 km/hour (186 miles/hour), our train is charging across Germany to find other adventures.