There were many things about Germany that surprised me. The friendliness of the people. How the countryside looked just like the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, where I’m from. The way in which every city seemed a place unto itself, each so different from all the others we visited.
Berlin was the most strikingly different city. I’ve never been anywhere like it, not in Germany or anywhere else. My boyfriend called is a modern-day Paris, and I think he’s right. The city has great and terrible histories – the marks are everywhere. Buildings are riddled with bullet holes. Triumphant gates and columns. Small golden squares sit deep in the sidewalk, remembering those who were taken from their homes. A modern building hugs and supports a destroyed church. In fact, modern buildings seem to hug and support the whole city. There are so few historic buildings left, especially downtown. The city seems to be endlessly being restored and rebuilt, and it gleams with the bright reflection of glass and color. Bouyant structures are everywhere.