A day of adventure…and not by bike.

When we woke up this morning, it was raining. Most of us decided at breakfast that we did not feel like biking for four hours in the rain, especially with our photo equipment. Therefore, professor Freeman rescheduled our tour for Monday, and we decided to see the Annie Lebovitz photography exhibit instead. It was an amazing and inspiring exhibit that focused on her work mostly from the 1990s onward. She is mainly known for her unique portrait pictures, mostly of celebrities.

A few of us watched one of the films about her in the exhibit, and when we finally walked outside, most of the group was gone. Professor Freeman was waiting for us stragglers, and the six of us decided to go to the downtown area of the former West Berlin. It was a bustling and energetic area, and we stopped to eat at an Asian vendor next to one of the remaining bombed churches that they are trying to renovate.

The bombed church in downtown former West Berlin.

The bombed church in downtown former West Berlin.

After snapping some photos for a bit, we decided to walk to an outside flea market before heading back to the hotel to regroup before our trip to a carnival in a Turkish district. As we were walking on a shortcut through a park, I noticed a large crowd of people that seemed to be the remnant of a massive protest we had seen around the area earlier that day. I got really excited to learn about the context of the protest, so I hurried down the street to take some pictures with Kelley and Emily while the rest of our small group stayed back with professor Freeman to take pictures in the park.

As it turns out, there were many different groups  – social rights, farmer’s rights, worker’s rights, women’s rights, socialists, anti-capitalists – that all came together to protest the current state of economic collapse that is reverberating throughout the country and hitting hard in Germany. According to one woman protester I spoke to, there were about 100,000 people that joined the protest that was organized for today – and from what I saw then and earlier, it was no exaggeration.

 

Protesters walk by with a sign that reads: Millions are stronger than a Millionare.

Protesters walk by with a sign that reads: Millions are stronger than a Millionare.

As an activist, I was astounded and impressed not only by the number of people who came together from so many different groups for one cause and rally, but the cooperation and organization that was involved with such a large demonstration. There was of course police blocking off streets and maintaining peace with their presence, but they seemed uninvolved and almost bored since most of the people appeared to be passionate yet peaceful.

Waiting for Action

A police officer reads the paper while protesters are winding down after the demonstration.

I just kept thinking to myself: this sort of protest against the current economic crisis on such a large scale with so many different groups could never take place in America, at least not as a peaceful rally. Politics aside, I was awed by and envious of the Berliners and their ability to voice their opinions with such a well-organized protest.

After getting caught up in the excitement of seeing the remnants of a foreign protest, we realized we had lost the rest of the group and decided to give up on the search for the flea market to find our way back to the hotel. We soon met up with the rest of the group and left for the carnival, which was hidden deep inside a park that no local seemed to know where it was. We finally arrived to a small but colorful carnival that had rides, games and lots and lots of food. I found a great vendor that gave me a monstrous heap of cotton candy for 1 Euro.

 

Yes, it is almost twice the size of my head...

Yes, it is almost twice the size of my head...

I spent the rest of the time taking pictures and strolling along people-watching.

The Wellenflug, one of the many rides at the carnival, looked beautiful as the night sky slowly got darker around 9pm.

The Wellenflug, one of the many rides at the carnival, looked beautiful as the night sky slowly got darker around 9pm.

We left as it began to gt dark, and once I got back to the hotel, I began my mission of Skyping and blogging. I must sleep now though, because we are leaving at 10:30am for a four hour walking tour tomorrow that should be a lot of fun. I hope to have more time tomorrow night to create a separate page in my blog to post more pictures of the trip.

Until then, auf Wiedersehen.

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~ by friedlichewelt on May 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “A day of adventure…and not by bike.”

  1. Such a funny expression of yours with that huge cotton candy! Did you eat allllll that??? The pictures are looking good. The trip is like nonstop adventuring, makes me tired just reading it! I am enjoying seeing it from the comfort of my home. 😉

    • Haha, yeah, I took the picture of myself with my smaller camera, so I made a funny face. And yes, I ate it all, I loooove cotton candy! It really is nonstop, and I get so tired by the end of the day, but it is a lot of fun nonetheless. I’m glad you like it…I must find a way to post extra pictures so you all can see the other cool places I’ve seen. We aren’t supposed to post more than three pictures per blog entry (I definitely went over that limit on the last one).

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