Even while in Berlin – standing right in front of Checkpoint Charlie – it was still surreal for me to put (not so distant) history and present together. I would have this feeling over and over, standing under the Brandenburg Gates, atop the paving stones that marked the former location of the ‘Berliner Mauer‘ (Berlin Wall), standing in Potsdamer Platz, sitting on the steps of Hitlers old Reichstag.
The signs of history remain everywhere. There is still visible damage from WWII, some of it left intentionally – as a testament to the past – lest we forget.
After our Checkpoint/landing meal tour, we decided it might be best to find ourselves a place to sleep. It was well past bedtime – though we had no intention of sleeping, yet. We drove aimlessly & landed on Stresemannstraße (Stress-uh-man-uh-straw-say), the place to be – though we did not know it at the time.
We tried to check into a hostel, but the few we found were booked full and the one that wasn’t would have had us sleeping in separate rooms. Not ok for our honeymoon, not ok! So we decided to ‘throw caution to the wind’ and rent a hotel room.
We were led by a glowing Ibis sign in the near distance. The rooms were reasonably priced, very modern and the hotel location was PERFECT (yes, for those of you who travel by hotel, I am recommending it). It was certainly around midnight by the time we checked in.
We stood in the room for a second, impressed, and then headed out into the darkness. I decided to take my rental car map and circle our hotel location, just in case. I don’t care if we get lost on our way out – I just want to know how to get back to home base when we are tired of being adrift!
Stresemannstraße appeared to be a main road so we decided to follow it. The way was paved with concert posters – Rod Stewart beside Danzig, I thought that was funny!
Within a block or two I recognized serendipity – fate herself had obviously led us to our location, Potsdamer Platz. Immediately I identified the area from my previous tours of Berlin – we were mere blocks from every site I had wanted to visit on our trek to the former capital of the Kingdom of Prussia – and we had already ‘checked off the checkpoint’!
Additional photos in the slideshow.
- So much to see in Berlin – Berlin, Germany (travelpod.com)