When people ask me about Berlin, I told them that it was the perfect mix of old and new. I’ve only been once but that was the way I felt. And coming from Seoul, where you can find traditional hanok houses, castles and temples, it may have seemed a bit puzzling. But the fact is, the old and new seems to be happening right now at the moment; moving on very old subway trains, passing by both old and new buildings and of course, there’s that moment when you are standing right on the road where the Berlin Wall used to be. You don’t really get to live in traditional temples or castles in Seoul, and everything you use and ride on are pretty high tech, let alone new.
도시 곳곳에 전쟁의 자취가 조금씩 남아있지만 새로운 건물이나 아파트를 짓는 공사현장도 엄청 많아서 말 그대로 과거와 현재, 미래가 눈앞에 펼쳐진 느낌. 독일에 사는게 어떠냐고 물어보는 사람들에게 들 하는 얘기지만 베를린은 스튜트가르트와 너무 다르다는 것. 우리나라만큼은 아니지만 베를린은 다른 독일 도시와는 확연히 다른 느낌. 각각의 도시가 저마다 특징이나 매력이 있지만 그 모든, 대부분의 매력을 느낄 수 있는 곳이 베를린.
Stepping on the actual line of what used to be the Berlin Wall was strange, and I believe like any Korean who may have been here, I couldn’t help but to wonder what would happen to the two Koreas after unification. Completely different scenario, both politically and financially, but that strip of faded road did feel distant and yet close at the same time. And as I said, you can actually walk along the line where the Berlin Wall stood, and I was personally surprised how it was right in the middle of the two “regions.” The Korean Demilitarized Zone or the DMZ is more of a strip of land across the Korean peninsula, not just a road, so it feels a bit more distant, but the Berlin Wall, it was like someone just ran down a line with a piece of chalk. This was fascinating, at least for me.
The famous “Ampelmaennchen,” which translates to “little traffic light man.” It’s the symbol shown on the pedestrian signs in the former East Germany. The concept and development of the symbol is quite remarkable. It was designed by traffic psychologist (I didn’t even know there was such a thing) Karl Peglau, who argued that the traditional all rounded signs that are only distinguished by colors were not helpful for everyone, especially for those who have problems differentiating colors, about 10 percent of the population. It was a success and remained until the unification, which eventually led them to be put down and renewed by a standardized traffic sign. But then it was revived following graphic designer Markus Heckhausen’s vision and also the East German nostalgia movement, or “Ostalgie.” Another living proof of old and new.
독일의 암펠만 신호등. 동독의 교통 인지심리학자였던 칼 페글라우에 의해 만들어진 신호등으로 전통적인 원 모양의 색으로만 구분되던 전통적인 신호등은 색맹인 사람들에게는 아무 의미가 없어서였다고. 독일 통일 이전까지 인기를 끌다가 통일 이후 사라질 위기에 처하게 되는데 그래픽 디자이너 마커스 헥하우젠의 비전으로 컴백하게 되었다고. 지금은 베를린은 물론 다른 도시에서도 조금씩 선보이기 시작했고 이제는 독일을 대표하는 기념품으로 발전했다.
The Schiffbauerdamm riverside is a great place to walk around and search for something to eat. Or drink. Or both. We stopped by the Berliner Republik and had beer and Schweinhaxe. Because that’s the thing to do. If you need to explore more about food in the city, check out my friend and fellow blogger Kaffee und Kuchen’s blog post on Berlin food and restaurants.
어디가서 뭘 먹어야할지 모른다면 일단 Schiffbauerdamm 강변 근처로 고고. 어딜 가도 일단 맥주가 맛있으므로 메뉴를 잘못 주문해도 다 용서가 되는 분위기. 독일 음식을 꼭 먹고 싶다면 (역시나) 소세지나 슈바인학세를 주문. 한국인이라면 중간에 김치나 단무지라도 먹고 싶어질 수도 있지만 독일의 대표적인 음식을 먹고 싶다면 고고. 또 다른 곳을 원한다면 여기 (영어) 참고!
I personally wanted to check out Checkpoint Charlie and yes, the “soldiers” standing next to the sign are actors, and yes, they make you pay to take a photo with them, but I was glad I went. There’s also a museum right next to Checkpoint Charlie, which was both good and bad. It has a lot of things to read and see, but it is a bit cramp and especially when it’s hot, no AC, which can be very frustrating. It’s not hard to get information on both Germanys anywhere you go, but this one was also quite informative, despite the cons.
체크포인트 찰리는 1961년부터 1990년까지 연합군과 외국인, 외교관 등이 동독과 서독을 드나들 수 있었던 유일한 검문소였다. 베를린 장벽이 무너진 후 검문소도 철거되었지만 지금은 관광지로서의 역할을 톡톡히 하고 있다. 예를 들면 옆에서 사진을 찍으려면 돈을 내야한다거나, 군복을 입은 연기자들과도 사진을 찍으려면 돈을 내야하는 등의 역할이랄까. 검문소 옆에는 박물관도 있는데 작고 뭔가 허술한 부분이 없지 않아 있지만 꽤 다양한 볼거리들이 있어서 가볼만한 곳. 대신 여름에는 에어콘이 없거나 거의 미미해서 굉장히 답답하고 더울 수 있다는 단점이 있다.
And by habit, I search for a place to go up and see the city. In the case of Berlin, it was the Berliner Dom. A beautiful cathedral, both inside and out. I was never a fan or believer of “locking up your love” with a lock and throwing away the key (also known as the “love lock”), but you can now find them everywhere. And if you haven’t already read it in the news, the French government decided to get rid of all those locks covering the Pont Des Arts bridge. There are numerous articles about it, and the best headline goes to “Lock and Load” and “End of a love too heavy to bear.”
높은 곳에 올라가는 버릇, 베를린에서도 빛을 발했는데 주인공은 바로 베를린 성당. 들어가려면 표를 사야한다는 단점이 있었지만 올라가면 대신 베를린 전경을 내려다볼 수 있다. 두둥. 어디서부터 시작된 전통인지는 모르겠지만 이젠 세계 어디를 가도 꽤 유명한 다리에 걸려있는 사랑의 자물쇠들. 파리의 유명한 다리는 너무 무거워져서 결국 다 없애버렸다는…그럼 그 사랑들은 다 어디로…
The view is beautiful and look at all those construction cranes! Berlin is going through quite a facelift. The way up to the top of the cathedral is quite dark and narrow, plus there’s not a lot of people heading up and it’s also a bit of a maze, so if you are scared of heights or very narrow, closed areas, think again. You also pay a small fee to get inside the cathedral, so there’s that too.
The Charlottenburg Palace is not the most touristic place in the city, but we were staying quite close to it so we walked over for a afternoon stroll. It’s beautiful. I wouldn’t say it’s a must-visit, but if you are in the neighborhood, I would recommend a visit. A reminder though, there’s not much to do around the palace, let alone eat, so maybe a walk after a meal or even a picnic would be better than just venturing out.
샬로텐버그 궁전은 사실 그렇게 유명한 곳은 아니었으나 우리가 머물고 있던 호텔에서 가까워 산책겸 나왔다가 발견한 곳. 볼게 많거나 대단하거나 하진 않아서 꼭 가야하는 곳은 아니지만 여유럽게 산책이나 피크닉을 하기엔 완벽한 곳.
All photos by rachelsanghee. July, 2013.