Updated: Sep 14, 2021
This day, March 7th 2021, marks ONE YEAR of my living in Berlin.
One year ago, I was a redheaded, light-hearted woman ready to take on the biggest adventure I had yet to embark on. Having never lived in another country, I realized fully that this would not be easy. That being said, I also knew it would help me grow into the woman/artist that I want to be.
March 2020 marked the beginning of the pandemic and subsequent coronavirus lockdowns in Germany. The flight I was on was one of the last to touch down on German soil before we were all forced into quarantine! It goes without saying that this was not how I expected my life-changing move to begin. Regardless, Berlin was a city I had never been to, with a language I had never spoken (fluently), with a culture that was just familiar enough for my Irish/German heritage to find comfort. I decided the best way to discover Berlin in the current circumstances was to hop on my bike and go!
There are SO many things to say about Berlin, but I will start with one of the first things that had a profound impact on me - GRAFFITI.
Let’s just say, in my new home, it didn't take long for me to pull out the cargo pants and the Doc Martens. This is definitely a punk city. There’s a great rebellious vibe, and it’s obvious that art and freedom of expression is a main priority in these streets. I realized this the first time I saw the Berlin Wall. I did research beforehand, and had some expectations of what I was about to see, but nothing could prepare me for what I saw. The wall had a unique energy on each panel. It was late winter the first time I walked the sidewalk along the wall. It was quiet. My friend and I spent nearly two hours looking at a 12-foot high wall that was just over a kilometer long. This particular mural stopped me in my tracks. “Du hast gelernt was Freiheit heisst und das vergiss nie mehr.” This translates to, “You have experienced what freedom is, and never forget it.” This was the strongest message for me on this day, because I had recently felt real freedom, and I was afraid I was forgetting that feeling.
There are MANY other panels that I admired that day, and I posted a few of my faves here.
FUN FACT about the Berlin Wall Mural: The portraits on each panel are not permanent, and they are changed every few years. I was grateful to see the famous panel the Bruderkiss because it made me smile. :)
Hiking in Berlin is an adventure for many reasons, my favorite being there are so many graffiti treasures to be found. The more you look, the more you find. Graffiti is it’s own culture in Berlin, and in a way it keeps people together. We see a creation we can all relate to, we know we’re not alone.
And, just as Berlin likes to keep things interesting, some of these pieces may leave you thinking in ways you’ve never thought before...
Thank you Berlin for opening my eyes!