Euro04: Berlin + Prague

Checkpoint Charlie

Thursday, March 11th, 1:26PM

That's not Charlie.

The streets around Checkpoint Charlie have been completely filled in by office buildings and cafés. Only the "You now entering" sign and the guard's booth remain. And a lined made out of bricks indicating where the Wall used to stand, just a few feet behind where I took this photo.

A museum inside the buildings on the left has exhibits featuring stories of creative attempts to cross the border (by hot-air balloon, by tunnelling, by fitting inside of all sorts of configurations of luggage), art describing the emotional impact of living in a riven city, and histories of the "liberation" of East Germany and other former eastern-bloc states from their Soviet overlords.

I found these last exhibits the most interesting and had a good time looking over the stories of the liberations of Poland, the Baltic states, and Romania. As a child of the eighties, Solidarnost, Lech Walesa, Gorbachev, and the Berlin Wall form some of my earliest memories of international political news. A fascinating period of time.

I had to cut this short so I could grab the next metro back to Brenna, though. I was, surprisingly enough, running a bit late...