As usual for a driving day, it was another early wake up. Fortunately this trip was broken up with a stop at Dresden. It was Sunday, so not much was open, but we still had a nice walk through the palace and had time to find lunch. Having learnt from our visit to Bratislava we didn’t waste time finding somewhere to eat – just sat and ordered. It still took a while though, and we ended up taking our unfinished lunch back to the bus. From what we saw it was quite a pretty city, particularly the palace and surrounding gardens.
The drive for the rest of the day wasn’t very long. We ended up in Berlin by about 4pm. We drove around the city upon arrival, seeing the main sights. We stopped at the Berlin Wall and took a few photos. I had been expecting a huge, thick wall, but it was two rather thin concrete walls several metres apart. The wall used to be guarded by armed soldiers, so if anyone climbed it and tried to cross ‘no-mans land’ (which was gravelled so they would crunch) then the guards would shoot them. So that would’ve been enough to stop people crossing, without needing to build a huge thick wall.
We also visited the Holocaust memorial which is an unusual arrangement of concrete stones/pillars set out in a maze-like grid.
There is no official interpretation, but we were told by a guide the next day that one idea is that while it looks very ordered, if you go in with other people and split up, you’ll only find each other once you get out. He compared this to concentration camps, where families and friends would go in, but never find each other again.
At one of our stops I bumped into a girl from uni (what are the chances!) who is travelling around Europe for a few months by herself.
Our driving tour was cut short because there was some sort of armed-forces activity happening and they had closed of quiet a few streets. Our bus actually got barricaded into one area while were walking around.
The hostel was really nice. Another Wombats hostel (they ran the hostel in Vienna) and it was opened in February this year so it was still very clean and fresh. They have good facilities as well which is handy – definitely somewhere I’d choose to stay again.
We had dinner in a local restaurant, then went back to the hostel for a quite night (doing washing…). We bumped into a few people from the UK at the hostel and had a chat with them while we waited for our clothes to dry. Overall a pretty good day!