It’s not often that my husband and I go abroad, mainly because we’re both quite homely people. But with us both turning 30 this year, we thought it would be a neat idea to go on holiday to places we’ve always wanted to go. For my husband, we spent a week in Toronto which you can read about here. Last month it was my turn to hit the magical 30 and so we packed our bags and headed off to Berlin to celebrate.
If you were to ask me why I’ve always wanted to go to Germany, I wouldn’t actually be able to answer. There’s no real reason why I’ve always wanted to go, I guess because it’s a capital city and I love continental Europe so that was reason enough.
We arrived around lunch time on the Monday and had already decided to use the train from Schönefeld to get into the city. We kind of expected it to be like Charles Du Gaulle airport and be super easy to navigate but we were surprised by how un-tourist friendly the whole thing was. There are tons of ticket options, no descriptions on what each ticket offers and there’s like a zillion platforms. We eventually worked it out and we were soon on our way to Berlin. It was only a twenty minute journey and our hotel, The Radisson Blu was just a five minute walk from the station.
Upon entering our hotel, I was convinced we were in the wrong place. It was so incredibly posh with it’s sleek reception, huge aquarium dome and glass lifts. I was convinced we’d speak to the receptionist and be turned away. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We had a room on the top floor looking out over the Berliner Fernsehturm and TV Tower. It was a lovely view to wake up to each morning. The room itself was alright, pretty standard to be honest. The bed was not comfortable at all and had trouble sleeping some nights.
The 12th was our first full day and also my birthday! After opening my cards that I had brought with me, we got dressed and began our exploration of Germany. We hadn’t really planned what we were going to do in Germany, it was just a case of exploring and seeing what crossed our path. We discovered this brilliant attraction known as ‘The Wall’. It contains hundreds of pictures and stories from Berliners when the wall was taken down. But the real attraction is the panorama – a huge highly detailed panorama art piece. It was so fascinating to look at, I could have stared at it for hours. We also checked out the Mall of Berlin which is great if you’re into your labels. The best part of the mall is a slide you can take down if you don’t want to take the escalator. Of course my husband went down the slide being the big kid that he is. But that’s why I love him.
On the Wednesday, we decided to check out the East Side Gallery which is the only remaining part of the Berlin Wall that still stands. I was shocked by how much construction work was going on in the area. The fall of the Wall feels like such a long time ago that it never occurred to me that the city was still recovering from those difficult times. It was a bit cooler on that day so it was nice to just sit down by the river and relax with my husband. We also went to a World War 2 Museum that went through the history of how Hitler came to power and the atrocities he committed. It was incredibly sad and morbid but I enjoyed learning about it all.
The Thursday was our final day in the city and we decided to just wander and take in the sites. This included the Bundestag, the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. We also took a lovely long walk through a park near the Victory Column. I heard some dogs barking and thought I was going to get to pet some dogs but they were actually fighting so had to run away. Booooooo!
Berlin surprised me in a way that I didn’t expect. I’ve been to Paris numerous times and it is quite a touristy city and I expected Berlin to be the same. But it’s not touristy at all. In fact, it’s a little unfriendly to tourists. There’s no particular tourist area apart from the Brandenburg Gate. A lot of my friends have said that Berlin is an amazing city because of the super friendly people. People weren’t particularly friendly to us, in fact we felt that Berliners were a bit cold towards us. Is this because of Brexit and because Europeans hate us now? Possibly and it’s a shame but we totally deserve it for stupidly voting to leave the EU.
It was a short trip in Berlin but I had a great time with my husband. I’m not sure if I would go back as I did feel like we had run out of things to do. Maybe go back for the Christmas markets? Explore more of the Berlin nightlife? Who knows but never say never.