Grady spent six weeks working in and touring around Germany during this past April and May. In late May, I had the gift of joining him and we spent a week sightseeing together.
First stop: Berlin.
First stop: Berlin.
We had a FANTASTIC time and, as to be expected, there was way more to see and do than there was time to do it. But, because Grady knows how to make every minute count and knew we may never see Germany again, he ensured we saw and did and tasted and took in as much as possible. Our feet hit the ground running - or, for two days, biking - and didn't stop until we crashed each evening. With his trusted map in one hand and Google's GPS in the other, we covered a lot of ground.
With so many pictures and each one deserving an explanation or a history lesson for reference, this post will be brief and simply highlight some of the key things we saw and did.
Our hotel was across from a plaza with two old cathedrals and churches. Beautiful architecture and detail that you don't see here in the States. And the cafes - everywhere! Darling places to enjoy a simple bratwurst or a nice meal; cozy coffee and pastry options galore.
The hours spent reading and looking at historical documents and pictures brought a sickening pit to my stomach as I reflected on the depravity of man, and that because of God's grace I haven't lived to experience such things. But it also compelled my heart to seriously consider the ramifications of where our country and world are going today and the reality that what I saw detailed in pictures from Nazi Germany aren't altogether impossible to imagine in time to come.
The Holocaust Memorial, while wonderfully arranged and carefully thought out, was a difficult couple of hours. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe sits on almost five acres with 2,711 slabs of concrete in differing heights. Each concrete slab is representative of a varying number, so that together, the height of the slabs remembers the 6 million Jews that were killed in Eurpoe. As you walk among the concrete slabs, it gives the impression of an immeasurable amount in an endless wave - a very powerful image.
Notice all of this post contained pics of history that we visited. While we didn't do any fine wining and dining, we did enjoy some fantastic food - ranging from a simple bratwurst and pretzel from a vendor in a plaza, to a nice dinner of weinerschnitzel over candlelight. We stopped at lots of cafes for coffee and pastries. We sat on benches and people-watched. And we thoroughly enjoyed every second of learning and exploring together!