It was November 9, 1989 and I was watching tv in the restaurant I worked at the time watching the Berlin Wall come down. I remember the excitement in the faces of the Germans the Cold War was over and they were all free at last. Some crossing into the east and others the west It was that moment I decided Berlin, Germany would the first city I visit when I finally went to Europe – fast forward to May of 2000 after nine hours aboard a Lufthansa A340 I finally heard that phrase I’d been waiting twelve years to hear – ‘Damen und herren willkomen in Berlin’ – ‘ladies and gentlemen welcome to Berlin.’
‘So this is Berlin?’ Well I couldn’t have picked a better to start my European travel. It is downright beautiful, rich and vibrant. The city had a good vibe and feel to it – it was alive. Berlin is a city and can just walk around with no specific place and somehow find something to fascinate you – but on my first day there was only one place I wanted to see since that November night in 1989.
I was expecting it to be much larger and taller but when you’re a wall guarded 24/7 with men armed with rifles I guess you can be any size you want to be. But no matter how it was still an amazing sight to stand before, The Berlin Wall. It was now adorned in fascinating murals – each one depicting freedom, powerful art work that demonstrated the strength of the human spirit and the a bond that unite every single one of us – the desire, want and need to be free.
These were murals, urban art that you could admire for hours at a time because each one told its own story, the artists wore their emotions on their heart letting the entire world know the feeling of freedom. Allowing all those that stood before the wall to understand the suffering, pain and anguish the wall caused and the freedom it ultimately stood for.
I couldn’t have asked for a better country to start my European travel or a better site to see – and this was only the beginning.