Cycling trip to the north coast (at Bouley Bay)
La Corbière Lighthouse
St. Aubin’s, Jersey
View from the Portelet Inn, Jersey
Precious cargo, made it to London
Snowy day in Chi, pints at the local with @braycolleen
Last month, Tu and I went to Berlin to celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to post until now. We both took the Friday off work, and for once having not booked a 7 am flight for a trip, caught a midday flight out of London to Berlin, with a relatively short flight time of about an hour and 20 minutes..
Getting into Berlin should’ve been relatively straightforward; since Ryanair, Easyjet etc charge a not insignificant amount to check a bag, we both just had carryons, were traveling within the EU so customs should be a breeze, and had requested directions from the airport to the hotel from someone at the hotel. What we didn’t realize, however, was that in providing us the directions, the hotel concierge had neglected to tell us which direction train we needed to get on. After getting on one train then scurrying across the platform to the other one, once the train started moving we soon discovered we were on the wrong train, headed away from the city. We ended up having to ride the train for about 15 minutes, get off, and check train times for going back into the city. It was a long wait until the next train, so we ended up getting a taxi to take us right back to the airport. Needless to say after quite an adventure getting in, we finally made our way to our hotel, a boutique hotel on a quiet sidestreet in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin.
I’d booked dinner reservations for that night at Katz Orange, a restaurant not too far from our hotel that I’d read pretty good reviews about; it seemed to be known for having the locally sourced food thing going on, as well as good cocktails and quite a selection of tapas style small bite options as starters. Also the restaurant/cocktail bar is housed in an old brewery, complete with its own courtyard hidden behind tall wooden gates in this artists’ area of Berlin. Definitely enjoyed our dinner here and would recommend it, but didn’t take any pictures of our meal; if you’d like to read more about the restaurant, I suggest this link: http://www.iheartberlin.de/2012/03/16/katz-orange/
The next day, since I’d booked tickets for us to go see the dome at the top of the Reichstag building (German parliament), we headed over at our assigned time, with ID in hand to first undergo an airport style security screening. Once we got to the top, though, the view was well worth it..
Inside the dome..
Open top which allows warm air out of the building
End of the tour..onto see the other sights!
In Berlin, quite a few of the historical sights are right next to one another..the Reichstag buidling is just a short walk from Brandenburg gate, which is near the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (and the US embassy)
Definitely a very serious aspect to visiting this city, the great weight of history and this city’s role in much of it is inescapable. Although Berlin today definitely seems like a very cool city, on any visit to Berlin I’d highly recommend setting aside time to see this side of the city as well.
This part of our tour of the city was very sad as well. We spent much of the afternoon in the information centre that is underground just next to the memorial itself. Not much to say other than if you do go I highly recommend dedicating an hour or more to this.
Back in Mitte, strolling around..
One interesting aspect of Berlin was that the pedestrian traffic lights in the former East Berlin are different to those in West Berlin, which as I understand it the East Berlin signal was designed by the communists and introduced when Berlin was divided as something of a symbol of pride, and has since survived to remain at certain intersections today.
Another cold day in Berlin..
German beer, can’t complain..
Checkpoint Charlie, with a McDonald’s and Starbucks adjacent to it…
The famous Berlin kebab, was definitely pretty good..
I’d read that in Berlin it was actually near impossible to get a real Berliner Weisse beer, a drink that this city was once famous for. Basically the drink is a low alcohol mix of beer and fruit syrup; not sure if I had the real thing or not, but I will say what I had was definitely not something I’d ever try again!
That’s more like it, onto a Schneider Weisse..
(Never said she was a fan of it!)
On our last day, walked up to see the Berlin Wall memorial (never made it to the east side gallery, where many of the famous parts of the wall are preserved)
Can definitely say that Berlin seems like one of the great cities of Europe; when we were there, the weather was pretty damn cold! Think next time, I’ll be back in summer..