The Berlin Wall, and More Street Art In Berlin
While visiting Berlin, we walked around many different neighborhoods in the city.
Berlin is really an exciting city to explore on foot.
There are walking paths along the river and through parks, and each neighborhood is full of ethnic restaurants, shops, cafes and galleries.
One of the neighborhoods we visited, called Kreuzberg, is home to students and artists, as well as a large Turkish population.
There are second hand shops and laid back cafes, as well as big wall murals and fabulous Turkish restaurants.
We entered one of these Turkish restaurants out of curiosity.
We were not really hungry, but the man working the hot oven, pulling out one fresh, steaming spinach borek after another, and the open market feeling of the place, drew us in.
We ordered one of the fresh boreks and a plate of Hummus, just to try it.
I also pointed to the pile of colorful pickles that I remember from the Arab markets in Israel and love so much.
We had paid only 4.5€ for our snack, but as we sat down, we were given two bowls of a fresh and most delicious yellow lentil soup, large bags filled with thin pita bread and unlimited Turkish tea.
The feeling we got was that they were most happy to have us in their restaurant and almost sad to see us leave.
Such a warm and delicious welcome is rare to see in a big city.
The shops selling sweets were like art installations.
A few streets to the east, we saw African markets, Vietnamese restaurants, Moroccan eateries and many vegan places.
Our Uber driver, who was a friendly Turkish woman, told us that she was born in Germany.
Her parents had moved to Germany in the early 1960’s.
The year 1961 had seen the signing of a labor recruitment agreement between West Germany and Turkey.
Similar agreements already existed with Italy, Greece and Spain, but West Germany was in desperate need of rebuilding after the destruction of World War II, and the demand for labor seemed endless.
After receiving vaccinations and passing a medical fitness test, hundreds of thousands of Turks boarded special trains in Ankara and Istanbul and were taken to Germany.
The workers arrived in Munich and were then distributed among the country’s industrial zones or wherever work was needed.
The immigration of Vietnamese people to Berlin started in the 1980’s.
There has been a history of resentment and even violence against immigrants in Berlin.
Let us hope the people of this great city will find peace and tolerance in their hearts.
The photos in this post are mostly from the long East Side Gallery, which are painted on the remains of the Berlin Wall which used to divide east and West Berlin.
Wishing you a warm and loving heart,