Germany Trip!

17 Feb

Hello Everyone!

So my Germany and Czech Republic  trip was amazing! I went to Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. It was a nine day trip and we spent most of our time in Berlin. We left last Saturday and stopped for lunch in Prague.  The city was beautiful and I was sad I only got to spend a couple of hours there but I will be making a weekend trip to Prague sometime soon to meet with some friends.  After Prague we continued on to Dresden.  I think Dresden was my favorite city.  There were so many amazing building and churches and our tour guide was also amazing. The first morning we were in Dresden we had a 2 hour bus tour and then a hour walking tour. I really enjoyed the bus tour because we got to see a lot of Dresden and it was also freezing outside.  One of the churches I especially liked first because of the story about it and also because of the feeling got when I walked inside.

The church was called the Frauenkirche. Kirche is German for church.  This church is in the center of Dresden and is circular in shape.  Two months before WWII ended England bombed Dresden in retaliation for the all of the bombings that Germany did on London.  The night of the bombing people fled to the Frauenkirche  in hopes that it would protect them from the onslaught.  According to the story I was told people inside the church could hear bombs and other objects hitting the dome on the church but never any actually breaking through the church walls. The only problem was all of the fires that had started outside. These fires eventually got into the church and everyone had to flee the church. By this time the bombings had more or less ended and many people were saved. About two weeks later the Frauenkirche collapsed and was left in rumble for many years.  Then a project to rebuild the church was financed by England. Because they still had the original plans they used the bricks that were still on the site to help rebuild the church and put them in the exact the spot they originally were in. You can tell where the old bricks and new ones are when you look at the church because the old ones are black. The bricks are made out of sand stone so in about 30 years the whole church will again look the same because with the environment turns the sand stone black.  Another great part of this story is that either the grandson or son of the bombers that bombed Dresden made a replica of the cross that used to sit on top of the church.  He was also the one that put it on the top.  The old cross sits inside the church.  I really enjoyed the story and church and Dresden is somewhere that I will definitely return to.

In Dresden I also watched the super bowl at a bar call Jim Beans and it was a lot of fun watching some football from the United States. Go Saints! Although I would not have cared if either team won.  The next stop we made was Leipzig which did not thrill me all that much. We were also only there for a couple hours too and all they had was churches. By that time I was kinda churched out.

Then on Tuesday we made it to Berlin.  We stayed at a hostel called the Heart of Gold that was really nice.  We got breakfast every morning which was really good and I normally took a couple of sandwiches from breakfast and used them for my lunch to save some money. But the first morning we were there we had a 3 hour bus tour around Berlin which again was really nice because we got history of the city and some of the places we could visit. After that we got some free time and I went and explored some the city. We went to the Sony Center which has a bunch of shops and a huge dome.  It was a really cool place with some awesome architecture. After the Sony Center we went to the parliment building in Berlin called the Reitag which also has a large dome.  We got to walk up the dome which was awesome because we then got a great view of the whole city.  I then went back to the hostel and unpacked before we had dinner as a group. We had some pasta with chicken and mushrooms which was theme through out the week with our “family dinners.”  Almost every dinner besides one had pasta, some type of meat, and some mushrooms.

The next day went to a museum called Check point Charlie.  After World War 2 when Berlin was split up into three sectors this check point was one of the ways to get into the American sector.  The museum talked about the different ways people got across the wall to see their family members. Some people got across by suitcases while another family got over in a hot air balloon they created.  Many of the stories were amazing and people thought of so many creative things to make sure they could be reunited with their loved ones. After that I went with one of my friends to the Jewish Memorial.  Above ground are over 100 large stone blocks that are there to commemorate all of the Jews that lost their lives. Then underneath was a museum.  There were three rooms. The first room had a wall that told the story of how Hitler rose to power and began to persecute the Jews and another people. This was interesting because it gave an account of how things spiraled into the horrible death and destruction that occurred.  It is scary because it started out very small but as Hitler and the Nazis gained more and more support and as people keep turning an eye to what was happening the more horrible the outcome was. The next room had letters from family members that were blown up so you could read them. Many of them were really sad because it was a wife or husband or son or daughter writing to another family member telling them they loved them but this would be their last day alive. I can not image how that must have felt writing that letter.  The next room then had information about different families and their fight to stay alive and flee Germany. Some made it but others sadly did not.  I am going to stop here for now because I have to go to class and this entry is taking a lot longer then I expected! I will finish up with my trip on my next blog that I will hope to finish this week.

I hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for reading my blog and listening to my stories!

Benjamin

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