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Germany: Berlin (March 31, 2002)

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Berlin is the capitol of Germany. Because of this, many things happened to it. During World War II, it was the site of Hitler's headquarters. It was also bombed a lot. After the war, a lot of countries were given to Russia: Hungary, the Czech Republic, and some others. All of them were on the east. The west countries were given to France and England. The trouble was, Germany was in the exact center. What to do with it? The answer was to split the country down the middle.

Berlin was on the east and communist side of the country. The west didn't want to make a new capital for their side, so they made a little road down East Germany to Berlin. Now Russia had a problem: people were escaping through Berlin over to West Germany. So they built a gigantic wall through Berlin.

Today, the wall has been torn down. But it has left reminders: tall skyscrapers with lots of modern things in them, and just around the corner are lots and lots of little square, gray buildings.

In Berlin, we went to lots of places. One was a church that had been bombed during World War II. The new one is not what I expected it to be like: first of all, it is hexagon and does not have a tower, or even a clock. All of its windows are blue, so inside everything is blue. After that, we followed the paved path that shows where the wall used to be. On the way, dad told me a joke that when President John Kennedy visited Berlin, he said "Ich bin ein Berliner." He meant to say: "I am a Berliner like you." What he really said was: "I am a jelly doughnut."

We went to a portion of the Berlin wall that was left standing and looked at photos of what was going on in the east side. We walked a little more and got to Checkpoint Charlie, the only gate on the Berlin wall. Near it was a big museum of different escapes and pictures of what people thought of the Berlin wall. At home we have a picture of the Berlin wall coming down, and if we didn't own it, it would be in this museum.

Next came Easter and Joss's birthday!!!!!!! When I woke up, I didn't notice the big chocolate bunny at the foot of my bed. I almost knocked it over until Joss warned me about it. When we went into Mom and Dad's room, they told us that there were twenty little chocolate rabbits hidden, ten for each of us. When we had found them all, we went to breakfast, and there were two chicks each for Joss and I. After breaking our fast, Joss opened his presents. Mom got him a stuffed dog, just the right size for his stuffed cat. Dad got him a box of Lord of the Rings booster packs, and I got him a Kattondo game.

We went out on another excursion, and Joss and I played at a big park. We also got big branches and practiced bow fighting. Dad threw sticks at us, and we had to block them. Berlin has been fun and interesting, and I hope to see more places like it.


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