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Day 12: Humboldt, East Side Wall and Berlin ghetto

The cost of the night at our hostel (A&O) had skyrocketed to more than the double of nominal price. I wasn’t sure if we should stay there. I was able to get better prices on places in prime locations. Our current hostel had luggage facilities. We packed our bags, checked-out, left our big rucksacks in the luggage room and went for a trip around the city. We would later return at night to shift to a different hostel in Alexanderplatz.

Yesterday Partho had left his card in a ticket vending machine, it was necessary for him to visit a Deutsche Bank branch, block his card and withdraw some money the old fashioned way.

A walk near the Berliner Dom

We were near Humboldt University. In front the building, there was an underground memorial commemorating the book burning by Nazis in 1933.


The memorial plaque for Nazi book burnings in front of Humboldt University. The memorial itself are underground empty shelves visible through a thick glass.


St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, beside the library and the law school building of Humboldt University.

I had asked Partho if anything medieval remained from the WWII era bombing. Partho, in turn asked an elderly man. He mentioned that a few things remained from the Prussian kingdom.


Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral Church).


Partho spotted this strange installation in front of the Berlin Cathedral Church by two architecture students. That’s Pete and Rika by Katherina and Arik.

East Side Gallery and the Ghetto

Later, we moved to the East Side Gallery. This was a long monument of open air paintings made in 1990. Many paintings have been destroyed by weathering and vandalism. Some were restored. Here are a few that I found interesting.


Sky and Viewfinder by Peter Russel.


I don’t know if it means Spirit world or Spirit of the world.


A fragment of Gamil Gimajew’s long untitled work.


Berlyn by Gerhard Lahr


Dmitri Vrubel’s Thank you, Andrej Sacharow. He is known for the iconic painting, “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love [10]


The Wall on The Wall, vandalised.

Partho had meanwhile struck up a conversation with three youths who were back from their Gymnasium [12] (advanced German secondary school; not gym) and were enjoying their evening. One of them, Valentine, was very candid and open about the past of Germany and his thoughts on the current generation.


Partho and me with Valentine, Simon and Anton.

They suggested that we visit the other side of Oberbaumbrücke for local restaurants. While walking, we were candidly greeted by the owner of an Indian restaurant, Sadhu. He offered us not one but two cups of complementary tea. We ordered our dinner from there. It was a decent, hearty meal.


Interiors of Sadhu restaurant. A+ for hospitality.

The area, Freisrichshine-Kreuzberg, was a ghetto where we found at least three Indian restaurants. There were also other restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. There were African people who were selling weed and other homeless guys who made shelters under bridges and archways. We even saw a minor bar-brawl. This place truly gave a feel of real Berlin—a melting pot of cultures.

Day 13: Jewish Holocaust Memorial and leaving Berlin [15]
Day 11: Indian food and Checkpoint Charlie [16]