Germany lies geographically and philosophically at the heart of the European Union.
And at the heart of Germany, lies Berlin.
The city is something of an oddity amongst European capital cities. Upon arriving at Schönefeld airport you will not be greeted with the grandeur of Paris, nor the vibrancy of Madrid, instead, a subtle humility runs throughout Europe’s second largest city.
Over 3 and a half million people call Berlin home, but you would be forgiven for thinking that only half as many were present in the historical city.
As a 20 something Brit wandering quietly down Unter den Linden, I could not help but marvel at the quiet determination at the heart of the German capital.
We British often pride ourselves on our ‘no-nonsense’ attitude in the face of adversity, but as Brexit continues to dominate policy and headlines at home, I must admit I was envious of the comparatively calm country I found myself in.
As a city, Berlin will forever be known for the horrors that plagued its’ history.
They are difficult to forget when walking past what remains of the 11’9″ Berlin Wall (now adorned with memorial artwork and political graffiti).
But as Britain capitulates into a self-inflicted political and ethical separation, Germany, a country that until 1989 was quite literally separated, continues to rise as an economic powerhouse, and an example of the quintessential modern European country.
You may wonder how a bemused journalist came to these conclusions whilst craning his neck to glance up at the Fernsehturm.
The truth is Berlin is acutely aware of something; its progress.
Cranes adorn the skyline as more buildings are built, refurbished, and reinvigorated.
Berlin has risen from hell, and in 2018, it refuses to be dragged back down, by Brexit, the far-right, or its own historical demons.
Instead, it continues to aim for the heavens, in a typically quiet, and considerably German way.
Words by @joeliamthompson | https://joeliamthompson.com/
Photos by @RichHolmesPhoto | https://richholmesphoto.com/