Berlin Travel Diary

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The day after I finished up my exams, I packed my suitcase and got on a plane to Berlin. In advance of my upcoming US move, I wanted to make the most of my short summer holiday and see as much of Europe as I possibly could before moving. I travelled with my best friend from high school, Sarah, and we stayed in the gorgeous Charlottenburg area of Berlin. Sarah and I took German class together in high school, so it seemed quite fitting that we travel to Germany for the first time together with each other. 

It was about 4 pm before we headed out to explore on our first day, after checking into our room at the Best Western Plus Amedia Hotel and having a quick lunch at a nearby tapas restaurant. The first landmark on the trip was the Brandenburg Gate which was absolutely gorgeous and then a rainy walk over to see the Reichstag. Unfortunately, the lighting was not in our favour for the gate and we agreed to return in the morning for some better photographs. After a quick ice cream, we walked from the Brandenburg Gate to Checkpoint Charlie, inarguably a must see for tourists in Berlin. We also took the opportunity to hop into one of the famous photoautomats that are around Berlin for some old fashioned photos. After a long day of travelling, we headed back to our hotel for an early night.

Our second day started with smoothies for breakfast at What Do You Fancy Love?, a quirky cafe near our S-Bahn station and a quick trip back to the Brandenburg Gate. Then we grabbed the subway to the East Side Gallery and walked along a stretch of the Berlin Wall, stopping to admire the artwork that now graces the wall and enjoy a chuckle or two at some anti-Trump graffiti. This left us in the perfect part of town to grab food from Burgermeister, the infamous burger under the train track place. Worth the hype!

By this point in the day, the heat was almost unbearable, the got the train back to the central area, admired the Berlin Cathedral from the outside and then headed to the DDR museum in search of some history and most importantly, air con. The museum was very interactive and gave a detailed insight into the lives of East Germans. It wasn't too crowded and despite a quick imprisonment in an East German prison cell, we made it out ok. We decided to take a boat tour along the canals of East Berlin as the student tickets were only £10. This was a great way to see a lot of the city without tiring ourselves out further.

After a trip back to the hotel to freshen up, we grabbed some dinner and headed to the TV tower for a view of Berlin. We didn't go up the tower until about 9:30 which meant there was very little wait. The view of the city all lit up at night was gorgeous and we had a cocktail from the bar - the highest bar in Berlin which was a great way to celebrate our last night there. Our trip to Berlin was rather short as we had to head straight to the airport the next morning but we both had an amazing time, seeing the sights, spending time with each other and practising our German!

I'm sure it won't be too long until you see me again Germany, aufwedersehen!

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(Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery on this trip so the photos are a mixture of Olympus PEN/phone photos).

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