From Toronto to Berlin, Here I Am
September 1, 2011 marked my three month anniversary of moving to Berlin all the way from Toronto, Canada. The longer I’m here, the more that I love it and I hope to make it my home for the foreseeable future.
It was then I realized that I haven’t featured a lot of content about Berlin on my blog nor discussed my reasons for moving here. I want to change this and will start with today’s post for “Travel Photo Thursdays.”
One of the city’s most famous landmarks is that of the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor in German).
Even though I was living in Berlin, the city was entirely new to me. A perfect opportunity to explore the city arrived when some people I knew from Toronto were in town. We took a free New Europe city tour that started at Brandenburg Gate where we learned about it’s history.
This beautiful and impressive gate was heavily damaged during WWII and only restored to it’s former grandeur in 2002. A symbol of “division and reunification”, the Soviets closed the Eastern side of the checkpoint from 1961 until 1989 when they lost power. It was here that John F Kennedy gave his famous speech and where musicians like Michael Jackson, Genesis and David Bowie performed concerts that incited the politics of the time.
Check out this article about the file the Stasi (East German secret police) kept on Michael Jackson and for the full low-down of the gate’s history, read all about it on the Wikepedia and Berlin.de web sites.
One of the great things about living in Berlin is getting to learn more about it’s history and really get a feel for how recent events have shaped the city. Looking at the gate and knowing all it represents is a really powerful experience.