Berlin now: 27 years after the Berlin Wall came down
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I recently had the pleasure of exploring a beautiful city, the capital of Germany in fact. Many people visit here with certain ideas about the locals and lifestyle in mind. I had the same stereotypical grumpy German local in mind, opposed to my travels and smiling face full of adventure. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Berlin was devastated by war for over 30 years. The Berlin Wall divided Germany and caused a very long conflict. West Berlin was completely separated from East Germany due to the belief that residents there were ‘fascists’. The government claimed it protected the rest of Germany from the ‘bad people’ beyond the wall, although others believed it was the Wall that was the danger, and they were right. Guard towers and various traps were set along the wall to prevent escape incidents but that didn’t stop people trying to scramble over it to safety, usually resulting in shootings. In 1989 they saw sense and opened the wall, with its 2 year demolition starting months later. The people were finally free. This all sounds like a story from ancient history but this happened a mere 27 years ago today. Yes, people adventure to Berlin to learn of its violent history but never have I seen a place recover in such a strong manner until entering the hip streets of this little gem. The very wall that caused so many years of misery is now home to beautiful street art, a thousand colours and plenty of inspirational messages (plus a few abusive scrawls about Trump). Not only has Berlin attracted millions of tourists and made something horrific into something worthy of an art gallery (literally), but they’ve also risen from the flames to become a chic destination on many travellers' bucket lists.
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