Our first full day in Berlin began with an emotional visit to the Topography of Terror museum. After that, none of us were quite ready to jump back into sight-seeing mode straight away, so we walked to the Tiergarten, one of Berlin’s largest city parks, for an hour or two of wandering along the pathways, stopping every so often to people-watch and rest our legs on an open bench. Our timing couldn’t have been better. The changing of the seasons seemed to be at its peak creating the perfect mixture of autumnal greens, yellows, and golds throughout the park.
In other words, combine the beauty of the park with the gorgeous late-October color scheme and you have the perfect conditions for me to take at least triple the amount of photos necessary. And so, today’s post will be dominated by the photos rather than my usually wordy ramblings. Nature always speaks bolder in photos than words, anyway. At least when I’m the one doing the talking!
I loved wandering along the paths that stretched around the park’s lakes and ponds, but the most interesting part of the park, for me, was the Global Stone Garden. Here, a German artist has arranged five stones that he collected from the continents (Antarctica isn’t represented for obvious reasons, and the Americas have been combined into one) and brought back here to Berlin on his sailboat. Each stone represents a step towards peace – awakening (Europe), hope (Africa), forgiveness (Asia), love (America), and peace (Australia) – and each has a sister stone that was left behind on the continent it came from. He has aligned the five on their continents of origin in such a way that, once a year (21 June), they reflect the sun’s light back to it, which then connects with the light from the five in Berlin into a single beam, at noon, representing a united mankind. (If that actually works, then big high five to the artist! Even if it doesn’t, it’s still a beautiful project.)
On our last day in Berlin, when we found ourselves with a little extra time before we needed to hop on our plane back to London, we asked Lexie what she wanted to do, and she immediately said, Go to the Tiergarten! She was either so adamant about her choice because she wanted to play in the leaves some more, or because the Tiergarten is one of the only places where it’s easy to find a place to sit down in Berlin. We do a lot of walking on these city breaks.
We got lucky with the weather in Berlin. Even though it was chilly and overcast most days, we didn’t have to deal with any rain. This was a good thing because we found ourselves spending a surprising amount of time outdoors on this trip. In addition to the Tiergarten, our walking tour, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and the East Side Gallery were also all completely outdoors. We’d have been spending a lot more time inside the museums if the weather hadn’t been so agreeable!
If you’re planning to visit the Tiergarten, be sure not to miss seeing the Global Stone Garden, the Victory Column, or the German Composers monument – there’s a beautiful little lake by that, a great spot for an outdoor lunch break. And if you get the chance, eat at the biergarten and restaurant on Neuer See Lake. That was one of our favorites when trying out Berlin’s food scene!
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