Do you ever go somewhere where you feel like you’ve been before? I definitely felt that familiar feeling with Germany.
I visited the capital Frankfurt, along with Berlin and Hamburg. Hamburg strongly resembled my hometown in Washington state, from the park around the lake, the greenery, to the mild weather that early June day. The landscape of Germany, out of all the European countries, reminded me most of my homeland. Hamburg sits closely to where my ancestors came from. Through the many generations, I find it interesting that from my great great great grandparents to my generation, that we all would chose to live in such a similar environment. I’m sure if many of us researched our family lines we would find that we plant roots similar to those of which we come from.
The architecture of Germany incorporates the old German buildings with the contemporary American style. Downtown Frankfurt has high-rises sitting right next to others that had been built before WWII. I felt that the capital lacked culture and became just another cookie cutter city, and the adult stores on every street corner didn’t help class up the place either. If you think about visiting this town, I recommend passing by.
Berlin had much to offer from their massive forest park named Tiergarte to shopping, history and culture. Make sure to spend at least 3 hours at the park, the sculptures and trails will keep you entertained for a long time. I found the Holocaust Memorial on accident after wandering through the forest like park, there are absolutely no signs describing the monuments to let you know what you were looking at- walking through the site really gives you an idea of how many people died due to the Nazis, the experience is absolutely mind-blowing.
No trip to Berlin can be complete without visiting the Berlin Wall. The feeling cannot be described when standing with one foot on the east and the other on the west when thinking about the history of the what the people had to endure before the wall was torn down. On a train going into Berlin, I met a woman who lived on the west side of Berlin before 1989. She told me about those times and how she had never been allowed to met her grandfather who lived on the other side until the wall came down.
Lastly, how can I talk about Germany without mentioning the people. Out of all the people across Europe, from my experience, the Germans radiate the highest level of kindest, helpfulness, friendliness, and contain a great sense of humor. Whenever I had a question or needed help, they were more than happy to walk me to my destination to make sure I would find it and would go out of their way to even find lodging for the night for me.
Left Picture (On the left of the Berlin Wall sits the urban West Berlin and on the right lies East Berlin, which looks like the East hasn’t changed much in many many decades)