March 14, 2008

Student Post: Eberhardt

A note by Brian Eberhardt, AmbEx student from Corban College

This past weekend, Tim Krug and I took a trip to Berlin – Germany’s capital and largest city. After spending the night struggling with drowsiness and discomfort on an overnight train, we pulled in to Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof around 8 am. We were both struck by the magnitude and cleanliness of the train station, which seemed more like a small, multi-leveled airport. Most of our time in Berlin was spent either in a café (in our 8 hours in Berlin we ate 3 separate pastries, but didn’t manage to partake in the infamous "Berliner") or on our 4-hour "Insider’s English Tour".

Walking around the city under the guidance of our witty Australian tour-guide, I couldn’t help but see and feel the weight of the vast and influential history that had taken place within its borders. As we walked over, through, and under the various historic sites (including the Berlin Wall, the abstract Holocaust Memorial, and Checkpoint Charlie), we began to get a picture of the conditions that the people had lived under during the late-Communist reign. We were also able to see some modern effects of this oppressive 40+ year reign, such as its unusually poor per capita income of 14,000 Euros (about $21,000) and the great number of buildings that were being rebuilt and constructed throughout the ever-evolving city.

While Berlin is far from being charming in appearance, beneath the numerous layers of soot, ash, and rubble there is a history that is worth uncovering. Honestly, I believe that Berlin is among the most important cities in the world to visit, study, and absorb – a city that a day’s tour could never do justice to.

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