Berlin Pictus

This summer, I spent two weeks in Berlin and I had an amazing time. The stay gave me a unique insight into the life and history of Berlin. Paraphrasing David Bowie: „Berlin is the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.“ I couldn’t agree more. It offers a fusion of old and new, western and eastern, capitalist and communist, in a very specific, unmimicable way. In the next few lines and images I’m going to describe my stay in Berlin.

A typical day would obviously start with breakfast, both at campus and the hotels. Then the afternoon activity (e.g. boat trip on Spree, visit of Futurium exhibition or biketrip around Berlin wall), this would be followed by german classes, dinner and an evening activity like East Side Gallery, Evening at Spree riverbank or Intelligence rally through the Prenzlauer Berg where GLS Campus is located.

The campus facilities are really nice and comforting in a way. You don’t get feeling like you’re in a „normal“ school. It feels more familiar. The teachers are super friendly and helpful, not to mention classmates, who for the time you are here act as your best friends. There are so many exciting people with countless different backgrounds and origins. Regarding the activities I really liked the guides, they were very well informed and always could answer even the dumbest question. Basically any actvity they did, was good and funny.

Evening at East Side Gallery, intact part of the Berlin wall with paintings symbolising pain that Berliners went through and what events happened in Berlin during the Cold War. In this image there’s Breznev, USSR Socialist Party Chairman, kissing his DDR counterpart (on the cheeks, obviously).

Futurium, museum of the future, located just outside Hauptbahnhof, is a very nice showcase of thoughts and assumptions about the future. The exhibition tackles topics like climate change, robotics, deep learning, future of housing, new materials and art.

Futurium roof looks like this, covered with solar panels and on a sunny day they can run the entire exhibition.

Teufelsberg, which would translate as Devil's mountain. It's a completely artificial mountain and during the Cold War, the buildings served as a spying outpost for the allies. Most notably British and US armies. After the German unification it was transformed into a graffiti gallery. 

The "regime" at GLS is very liberal, there isn't something as curfew or 24/7 attention from the GLS, basically only thing you have to do is show up for classes, in the meantime you can do anything you want, this includes the activities organised by the GLS or you can make your own program. I, for instance went to visit the Karl-Marx-Allee. It's a boulevard with old communist buildings. This was a showcase of communist architecture and efficiency. It was all built in less than a year and from standardised panels of concrete. Like a big Lego.

 

It roughly starts at Alexanderplatz and ends around Frankfurter Tor (shown above). 

The Karl-Marx-Allee is littered with interesting buildings and walking through feels as if you went 50 years back.

Similarly, I went to the Sony-Center at Postdamer Platz, main attraction of this building is its glass roof. 

So, this is it, my stay Berlin. It was one of the best moments in life. Frankly, I'm going to miss this city. It totally changed my view of the world, and I will carry memories from this experience long into the future. I sincerely hope that one day I will be able to say: "Ich bin ein Berliner."