Having already seen the hotel in Berlin where Michael Jackson dangled his baby out of a window……we weren’t expecting to see more of his antics so soon. As it turns out, the Prague Metronome, which stands on the hill on the opposite side of the river to the city, just to the right of the Prague Castle, used to be home to a giant, imposing statue of Stalin, reminding the citizens who was boss. After the fall of communism it was replaced with the metronome.
When Michael Jackson played in Prague in his ego seems to have been at its peak. Not only did he rent out the entire top floor of the Hotel Intercontinental, but he also put a giant inflatable statue of himself on the very spot where stalin used to be. Is that not the definition of innapropriate?!
As well as the Old Town, there is the new town, which in 2012 could for the most part easily be confused with the Old Town. Possibly something to do with it being founded in 1348. Aside from a few more modern (read: ugly concrete and glass) buildings, the pre-communism majesty of the city is really on display, if looking a little unkempt and run down. You can just imagine how magical it used to be.
Berlin has to be one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Everywhere you go, there is something to see and learn about. The Berlin Wall was definitely one of the things I found the most interesting. Largely because I’d only glossed over that part of Germany’s history prior to actually arriving in Berlin.
I had expected to see memorials/some parts of the wall remaining, but I certainly didn’t expect to see so many bits of it scattered around town. It is incredibly distinctive and it gives you quite the visual realisation that the city still hasn’t fully recovered.
It really does amaze me how despite the atrocities of WWII, it seemed like a few crucial lessons still weren’t learned. It is truly astonishing how those in power in many places still put their own people through hell, whilst remaining convinced/trying to convince the rest of the world that their societal model is the ideal one.
It was fascinating to learn about some of the perspectives on the wall. As well as learning how many people died whilst trying to escape East Berlin, whilst pondering how soldiers could just open fire on their own people in the “Death Strip”, the interesting point was raised that on the one side, in Western Germany, there was freedom, but on the other side there was security and many people actually preferred security. Still though, you have to wonder how a country gets to a state where so many people are trying to escape (and being murdered for it) and they still think they are doing right by their people.