We circled around to see a beautifully lit building, the new Reichstag, and stopped to take some photos. Many of the historical sites in Berlin are within a very convenient walking distance of each other, and as it was a beautiful summer night, we were in no hurry.
We headed around ‘the loop’ to Hitlers old Reichstag and the ‘Topography of Terror‘ display which thankfully I had visited on my last Berlin tour – it was closed, but I was able to relate much of the information I learned within – it helps that much of the display is outdoor and openly visible!
A large section of the wall still stands at the site. We sat on the steps of the building Hitler spent his last moment, beside a pair of ‘blood painted’ and beheaded statues, feeling very much immersed in the history. Somber – to say the least.
Feeling satisfied that we had explored as much as we could at night and on foot, we headed back to our hotel.
Upon our arrival, feeling ravenous as our last meal had been approximately 4 1/2 hours earlier, we headed to the conveniently located (and still open!) concierge food stand to grab some snacks before bed. As we were rummaging, a beautiful, eclectically dressed German woman approached us. At first she said something in German, but quickly changed to English when she noticed the dumbfounded look on both our faces.
‘You are both so young and attractive, but not drunk! This is something not often seen!’
She then continued to say;
‘Please, do not eat this food, I have delicious falafel I would like you to have’.
Sensing a moment, we accepted her generous offer and followed her to collect ‘delicious falafel’. We all gathered in our hotel room, and had an extremely intellectual conversation for 4 am.
It turned out our beautiful new friend was also a bit of a revolutionary, very involved politically in the betterment of Germany. Our conversation spanned politics, world history, spirituality, culture and art. A moment indeed, the perfect end to a perfect day – and the falafel was delicious. With numbers and info exchanged, we all headed off for a brief sleep.
In the morning we realized we had seen everything we had come to see in Berlin, and now we were free to head out to the next destination. Thinking we were following the recommendations of our new friend, we headed off to the Autobahn, set in our orientation.
We would later realize we picked the wrong ‘H’ town altogether, and had actually forgotten the details that would have led us in our intended direction – damn the 4am conversatons!
I will say that there is nothing like driving the Autobahn. It was built primarily during Hitlers time, and the idea is that an airplane can be landed on it at any point. It is also essentially without speed limit, which to many of us not living in Germany, sounds dangerous. However once you are on the Autobahn you see that the lanes are wider and flat, the views are expansive and most importantly, the drivers are good.
Though I felt safe, It is true that I wouldn’t let my husband go over 180km per hour! And yes, we were being passed at that speed…by everyone (even large military vehicles)!
Bye Berlin, hello Hamburg.