Guten Tag! After 3 planes and countless coffees, we have made it to Germany. A little jet lagged, but we managed to make the most of our first day. We landed in Berlin to sights and sounds that seemed far from familiar. Luckily, we have an amazing tour guide, Asaf, who speaks German to help us along on our journey. First, we arrived at our hotel and got all checked in, then from there Asaf took us on a walking tour of the city. Because of the destruction of Berlin in the 20th century, the architecture and buildings of the area of city that we explored were modern and new. Some of the sights we visited included the Brandenburg Gate, the Sony Center and the Hotel Adlon (if you aren’t familiar with this one just type it into Google with the words Michael Jackson.) My personal favorite stop of the day, however, was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This memorial was created by Peter Eisenman and is really a bit of an optical illusion. Standing in a square, in the center of the city, are 2,711 concrete blocks varying in height and slope. Asaf said he was not going to tell us the intention of the designer and allow us to interpret the art on our own. As I began to walk through the rows upon rows, I realized how symbolic the whole piece actually was. Most of the slabs towered over my head—I could see the sky when I looked up but nothing to my left and right. I could see the street at the end of the row but it seemed so far away. Every time I turned a corner to see the finish line, I found myself lost in the maze once more. As the concrete looms overhead, the shadows darken the cobblestones at your feet giving the whole piece a desolate feel. Also because of the magnitude of each slab no matter how close you are to another individual, the concrete barriers in between leave you feeling alone. We finished the day with a traditional German meal consisting of sausage and potatoes. Overall it was a great day and I cannot wait to see what is in store for the rest of the week!