I took a tour this morning through one of the pricier residential areas of Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg. I learned a bit about the history of the area and the city, but what really hit me the hardest was when the tour guide held up a list of population in Berlin over several centuries. In 1871, when it became the capitol, the population went soaring. It jumped from around 900,000 to over 1,300,000 in just a few years, and it kept on climbing until it dropped by about half between 1933 and 1945. For some reason, seeing the numbers kicked me in the gut a little.
Another particularly exciting point for me was a playground, specifically the Abenteuerlicher Spielplatz. It is a free pedagogical playground focused on crafts, construction, and education. The kids, anywhere from five to young adults, get to help build structures for the playground itself, learn basket weaving, have bonfires, smelt metal, even make and shoot their own arrows. On top of it all, parents have to stay in the so called "parent corner." This is to allow the kids a bit of time without their parents hanging around them, which in some cases can be very stressful for the kids. If I had been young enough, I would have marched right in and refused to leave. I mean really, who could say no to metal working and hut building?
I did not, as I said yesterday, attend the lecture being offered. I was simply too tired, which seems to be a somewhat perpetual issue. I'll have a bit of alone time this weekend to reboot and hit the ground running next week.