At the begining of the european cold Spring, we landed on Berlin with the uncertainty of not knowing what to expect on the Easter Week. We had come from Madrid, that was so crowded that we couldn’t step one foot in Plaza Mayor.
Our flight landed at Schoenefeld Airport, secondary airport of the german capital where low cost flights operate and located about an hour from downtown. We relied on the german public transport, so we bought and validated our tickets because fines may be very expensive.
At last, we arrived at Wombats City Hostel, in the Mitte district. It was very early so we had to wait a few hours to do the check in, fortunately we could leave our luggage in the Luggage Room. The staff gave us a map from the counter and we went to look for a place to have breakfast. We were exhausted because we had only slept for three hours (the amount of hours that took the flight from Madrid to Berlin) but with some caffeine in our bodies, we fought against tiredness, so we left the coffeeshop and headed to see Bernauer Strasse, one of the streets where the 45-kilometers-wall divided the city from april 1961 to November 1989.
Bernauer strasse, or the street of tears, witnessed several escape attempts. Many of them now are displayed on huge white walls as a memorial. While we walked through the memorial, we could see photographies and read stories about the time the wall divided the city, families and lovers. At the end there is a part of the original wall. By standing in front of that huge wall we could make ourselfs an idea of how creative and brave a person had to be to get to the other side. Besides the wall, there were also watchtowers, soldiers walking from one side to the other, police dogs and the order to shoot to kill anyone trying to cross it. In front of the wall it´s the documentacion center, where we heard testimonies of survivors, saw the assembly of the wall that began with barbed wire, watched and listened documentation and observed everyday objects of the time.
It was time to do the check in at the Wombats, a chain of hostels with presence also in Munich, Budapest, London and Vienna. After receiving all indications, so we took the elevator to the fifth floor to go to our four-bedded room with private bathroom. It was very spacious, extremely clean and with a beautiful view of the famous TV tower, the 368-mtr symbol of the city. We slept a couple of hours but hunger woke us up, so we went to Alexander Platz where we found an Easter Market with stands to buy sweets, chocolates, craft beer and delicious sausages and many other german dishes.
It was getting dark and we decided it was time to came back to the hostel to refuel our energies because we had to get up very early the following day for one of the most moving tours of our itinerary: sachsenhaussen concentración camp.