Berlin Day 4 – Trip End

So it was the fourth and final day in Berlin, before my night time flight back to the UK. Today I squeezed in a visit to The Olympic Stadium before heading to the airport. On the way, I took in some of the sights of the underground. The underground Berlin is quite spectacular, and access in and out everywhere, so you don’t have to go far to get entry. Each station is designed differently with different images on its walls.

So I boarded the underground, and followed it almost to the end, to The Olympic Park. It was a ghost town. There was just no one around at all. A big thing that I have noticed all around Berlin, it’s very quiet. Oddly quiet. So it was no different at The Olympic Park and Stadium. Now unfortunately, I didn’t do a tour of the stadium as I didn’t have time, which is a shame. So I only managed to see outside. Still impressive enough, seeing this great big, old looking ancient Olympic Stadium, with it’s two huge stone towers out the front.

I finished my little walk around there, heading back for the underground and straight back toi the airport. That’s it……………its over. But it has been n awesome trip, lots packed in over the days. My legs ache, my feet hurt…………….The sign of a good explorer.

 

I will see you all again very soon. 

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Berlin Day 3 – The Grand Tour!

Todays sights took me round the more familiar sights you’d associate with Berlin. This can almost be described as the best of Berlin Mitte – as apart from a few steps into the Tiergarten, I stayed within the boundaries of Berlin’s most central district. This was the centre of the city during the rise of Prussia and unified Germany, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany, and was the main governmental district for the communists during East Germany. Despite that fact, there was plenty to see in then vast wander through the heart of the German capital – from the side streets of the Scheunenviertel to the grand boulevard of Unter den Linden, including the bombastic architecture of the Prussian era as well as the East German’s vision of a new centre of the city.

I started of with Koppenplatz Memorial – It’s a memorial to the Jews of the neighbourhood who were deported to the concentration camps

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Then it was on to one the city’s classic ballrooms complete with glitter ball haha.

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I walked along Auguststrasse which is home to those who are interested in the Berlin art scene.

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Now it was up one of Berlin’s most famous streets, Friedrichstrasse, which is home to hotels, shops, restaurants and theatres.

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Berliner Ensemble – The theatre by the river was run for years by Berthold Brecht, and his plays are still regularly performed here.

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After a short walk along the river, I found Reichstag – Home to Germany’s lower house of Parliament. It has a huge dome at the top which you can climb and get a great vantage point overlooking the city. Unfortunately you have to pre book this so I therefore didn’t get to climb it. But still well worth a look.

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After walk around Reichstag, I followed the trial to the Famous Brandenburg Gate. What a great sight this was. Berlin’s most iconic sight.

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Just of the gate, you are then in Pariser Platz – The square in front of the gate is best known for it’s embassies and the Academy of Art. However, it’s also home to The Adlon Hotel, and if you remember, this is the hotel that Michael Jackson once dangled a baby from the window.

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Then you walk down the famous Unter den Laden street – Which hosts the Russian Embassy – The imposing palace that houses the Russian Embassy fulfilled the same function during the cold war for the Soviet Union. A Statue of Lenin can still be found in the courtyard.

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And now it’s on to the famous Checkpoint Charlie – Checkpoint Charlie (or “Checkpoint C”) was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War (1947–1991).

East German leader Walter Ulbricht agitated and maneuvered to get the Soviet Union‘s permission to construct the Berlin Wall in 1961 to stop Eastern Bloc emigration and defection westward through the Soviet border system, preventing escape across the city sector border from communist East Berlin into West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of East and West. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced each other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.

After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a tourist attraction. It is now located in the Allied Museum in the Dahlem neighborhood of Berlin.

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Heading back to Unter den Linden, towards the centre again, or the ‘Mitte’ as it’s called here, I came across Lustgarten – A nice green lawn that was once the site of Nazi rallies, but now surrounded by plenty of museums. Don’t ask me which ones, I haven’t a clue, and also along with The Berliner Dom, which is Berlin’s Cathedral.

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Annnnnnnnnnnnd lastly, I finished off with the spectacular TV Tower. Again, they have a tour in tower, and you can also eat in the restaurant, but tickets have to be purchased. I know just a tour is 13 Euro.

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So there we have it. I have walked countless Kilometres to bring you these awesome sights. There is definitely plenty to do and see if you are planning on visiting Berlin. There are plenty bars, clubs, restaurants and cafe’s to keep you going.

My ony 2 gripes of the trip, were the beggars, which seems to be pretty bad here, but you put that aside and it’s ok. Secondly, I haven’t been able to enjoy the sights a good as I wanted to, due to the heavy overhaul the city is currently having. There is lots of construction going, which takes away from the scenery. But its all for the future and to make a better city, improving, extending and upgrading the current U bahn, which is the underground. However, all in all, it’s been a pretty good visit.

Berlin Day 2 – A Backstreet Tour!

So today I decided to have a wander around some parts of Berlin that you may not have had thought about. It was pretty interesting to say the least.

It started off in the neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg. Formerly a working class neighbourhood of cramped tenement housing, during East German times Prenzlauer Berg’s war-damaged buildings were basically abandoned in favour of new, planned-housing blocks to the east of the city centre. It became the home then for many bohemians and dissidents who looked for a different way of life to the socialist norm, and with the fall of the wall they were joined by many artists, squatters, musicians and others who made the neighbourhood a buzzing and lively home during the confusion of the nineties. Although money has flowed into the area over the past decade or so, Prenzlauer Berg is still home to many charming cafes and bars, independent shops, and its leafy streets are great to wander.

So I started off with Weinbergspark – This is the local neighbourhood green space from where I was staying. One of the top spots for summer beers or winter sledging.

Then on to the Fashion House – This is a huge corner byuidling once the home of fashion in East Germany.

The ACUD – A cultural and Arts centre, with bars, cinema and theatre.

Then Zionskirchplatz – Was once the church of anti-Nazi resistance member Dietrich Bonhoffer. Now it’s a pleasant space which hold an Organic market out the front every thursday.

Arkonaplatz – A little tranquil housing area that is home to a flea market every Sunday.

Bernauer Strasse – The Berlin Wall once ran along the street……..It ran the length of the street and its evident in many places. I attended the Berlin wall memorial, and visited the only watch tower that exists. A story is told of some students who dug a tunnel from an old bakery underneath the wall to get to the other side.

Oderbergerstarsse – This is a quirky leafy street that is home to some of the neighbourhoods nicest cafes, restaurants and ice cream shops.

Prater Garten – At the end of Kastanienalle is whats claimed as Berlin’s oldest , and finest beer garden in Berlin.

Which lead on to Husemannstrasse – This street was renovated in East German times to represent a typical workers street, some nice cafes and bars here too.

And then I arrived to probably my favourite place today. Kollwitzplatz – This is a small square with a park in the middle, but surrounded by nice cafes once again, and I experienced a nice organic market, where I had some white wine gluhwein. It may not be Christmas but can always have some gluhwein.

 

Berlin Day 1

So the journey begins to Berlin. The first trip of 12 in 2017. Now as part of these trips, I am doing them on a budget, and what I am coming to quickly realise, is it may not always be the best idea. My flight to Berlin was departing from Stansted. So I got the megatrain. It’s the same as the megabus, but on the train. However, when I came to do that part of the journey, it was part bus and part train. But still, I can’t complain as I only paid £8 to London from Hull. This journey took a total of 5 hours and 45 minutes.

Because my flight was early in the morning, I had to travel down the night before. I arrived at London St Pancras at 23.05, and I had to wait till 3am then for the connecting bus onto Stansted Airport. Flight is at 07.50. It’s been a very long day that’s for sure.


I eventually got to Berlin, and when I stepped out he terminal, immediately all the old memories started flooding back. I’m not a stranger to Germany, as have spent many years here, but never been to Berlin. So all the normal sights started appearing. But before I go into that, let me just give you some tips if you haven’t been to Berlin and plan on doing so. To. Get to the center of Berlin, you have to purchase what’s called an ABC ticket, which basically is the public transport for Berlin. However, this can’t get a bit tricky, and you could be waiting some time, as they’d only tell you to get it from the ticket machine at the front of the terminal. The isn’t only one ticket machine in the whole airport, so as you can imagine, waiting for that will take forever. The tip is, there is another cheeky machine just outside the front doors, or there are a load of machines down at the main train station when you get there. But again, get there quick, because there’s hundreds of people waiting to get a ticket.

But, back to the good old memories. So firstly, the absolute first thing I smelt when I stepped out the airport, was a bratty. Yes, a bratwurst. Incredible. I then seen the famous yellow ADAC vans, which is the AA equivalent here in Germany. I then got on the train and proceeded into the city, and we started going over the old metal bridges, and seeing the graffiti that you see everywhere on the side and under the railway bridges. Then there was the sights of traditional steep red roofs of the houses.  All these may seem small and insignificant to the normal reader, but to this extent who spent many years in Germany, will know what I’m taking about.

So I had a quick wonder here n there. Took in some quick sights. At this point I was extremely tired and just wanted to go to bed. But I battled on. And one thing that did catch my eye, was the name of one of the U Bahn stations, which is the underground here, and it was called ‘Weinmeisterstrasse’ which translated, is ‘Wine Master Street’. Brilliant ha. The U Bahn here so far has been a bit difficult to get my head round. There’s exits left right and centre and no idea which exit leads where, which I guess someone feels the same when using the London Underground for the first time. 


And so I finished the day with what I’m been looking forward to the most. A nice fresh proper German beer, washed down with a currywurst mit pommes mayo.  Bottoms up. 

T Minus 4 Days

And so the real countdown begins. It’s only 4 day left till my first trip of 2017. Flights are booked, hostel is booked, train is booked. It’s all good to go. BERLIN HERE I COME!!!!!!

I have been keeping myself busy on Instagram, making various posts, connecting and networking with places and people in Berlin, which has been pretty positive so far. The hostel I am staying at, The Circus Hostel, have been particularly very receptive to my posts and comments, which gives me a positive vibe before I arrive. If you wish to follow my adventure on Instagram, you can do so here instagram.com/thesolotr4veller

The one big thing I look forward to the most on this trip, is the Beer. Yes, the Beer. I miss the good old Weizenbier, and it’s been a long while since I enjoyed a real glass of this.

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This is only a short post, but it’s an update keeping my blog alive hahaha. Keep tuned for proper posts of the adventure itself.

It’s nearly time.

Happy New Year.

2017 is now upon us, and the start of my travels edge ever so closer. It’s only 25 days till the first trip, Berlin. I have been wondering whether I should plan what I will do there beforehand, or whether I take it in my stride, and go with the flow. So I decided to go with the flow. I felt it was part of the adventure not knowing, and go where my legs take me on the day when I get there. However, I know the two main places I do want to see and visit are The Brandenburg Gates, and The Berlin Wall.

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One thing I am sure of, is where I will be staying. My digs for the trip will be the Circus Hostel in central Berlin https://www.circus-berlin.de/hostel/ It has a very good rating, great reviews, its a central location, and situated immediately by a train station for easy access to everywhere I need to go.

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Throughout all my travels, Instagram will be my choice of social media platform to share m travels and memories https://www.instagram.com/thesolotr4veller/