Berlin 25 years later

Child playing on the Kurfũrstendamm

In July 1990 I bicycled from Copenhagen to Prague, and I passed Berlin on the way. This was done eight months after the fall of the wall, but some month before the reunification, so I spent a week mostly in the DDR.

I entered the city at the northern end of the wall, where workers had removed a small wall segment blocking a road, and I crossed the border while some workers were clearing out 30 years’ growth of trees and shrubs, while others were laying new asphalt on the soon to be reopened road.

As I pedalled through the western part of the city, at some point I noticed that it had changed somehow, and I stopped to figure out where I were.

I was on Unter den Linden, well inside eastern Berlin.

Somewhere I had crossed the border again, but I have no idea where. In just eight months large parts of the hated wall was removed, to a point where I didn’t even notice crossing it.

This month I went back, to attend the ITB Berlin travel fair, but I decided to stay three more days to see a bit more.

While I walked many of the same places, I didn’t recognise one single place.

I have no photos from back then, but Berlin 25 years later could just as well be another city.



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