WANDERLUST: Berlin pt.1

Picture of Berlin Wall with colourful graffiti on it

Not all who wander are lost.

In August Mark and I headed off on a much needed holiday! Although Mark took the time off and I knew I would be off (due to the job quitting thing!) we actually didn’t decide on where we were going until the week before we left!

Berlin was somewhere we were both keen on and although each of us had been to Germany before, Berlin was a first for both of us. We flew out of Edinburgh on 3rd August, thankfully it wasn’t too early a flight but I still slept pretty much the whole way! I woke up way earlier than I needed to – must have been the excitement!

The flight took just over an hour and as we only took hand luggage it took us no time to get out of the airport and to the train. We were staying at the Park Inn by Radisson at Alexanderplatz, a convenient two minute walk from the train station. We got our choice of floor between nine and thirty! As I’m not the biggest fan of heights I opted for floor nineteen and we still had great views.

After ditching our bags and freshening up a bit we headed out to explore a bit of the city and grab some lunch. There were plenty of food places in the station so we just grabbed sandwiches and sat in the sun while deciding where to go and people watched.

Picture of windows surrounded by green leaves with red roses

We set off for a walk around the city. I’ll be honest, I pretty much follow Mark when we’re away anywhere. My sense of direction is so bad! One of the places on our list was Clärchens Ballhaus which is apparently considered an institution in the city. It originally opened in 1913 as a ballroom and is now a restaurant and nightclub. It’s meant to be really cool inside but we didn’t manage to get in so just had to admire it from the outside.

Picture of old building surrounded by green trees and hanging lights

You can’t be in Germany and not visit a beer hall. Our first visit dinner was at Hofbräu Berlin. The guys were wearing lederhosen and the women were wearing dirndl, and the beer steins were HUGE!

Picture of hand holding a pretzel with a water fountain behind it

Day two we were up nice early and ready for a packed day of sightseeing. We started our day with breakfast – I couldn’t get enough of the pretzels! We found what seemed to be the German equivalent of Greggs, this was our breakfast place of choice for the trip. After we had eaten and got a little bit soaked by the fountain we sat in front of we set off for the Brandenburg Gate. It was unsurprisingly really busy and mobbed with tourists!

Picture of Brandenburg gate, it has six stone pillars and a green statue on top with four horses

From here we walked to the Memorial of the Murdered Jews and then onto probably the most famous car park in Berlin. The car park was once the site of the Führerbunker, used by Hitler during WW2. Day two was by far our busiest day and we saw so much because we walked everywhere! It’s such a good way to see everything, the Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design was next up. Pretty cool if you’re into art and design and the tiny houses out front were pretty cool.

During our wander through the city we walked through Potsdamer Platz and this was the first we saw of a bit of the remaining Berlin Wall. We had lots of wee breaks throughout the day, we needed to make sure that we drank as much beer as possible! This kept us going until we hit Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, then we did even more walking! On the way back to the hotel we went via Checkpoint Charlie, they’ve kept the checkpoint hut and the signs telling you you were leaving/entering another part of Berlin. Even much later on in the day it was still mobbed with tourists, and by this point me and my wee feet had well and truly had enough! It was a really hot day we’d clocked up an unbelievable 13 miles (over 30k steps!) and I was wearing Converse…

I’m going to leave it there for now and I will be back with pt.2 in a few days.

 

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