Thursday, April 09, 2015

Berlin Weekend

I spent my Easter weekend in Berlin and wanted to share with you my experience! I really loved Berlin and really enjoyed sharing my experience! I have also included my vlog here as well. Let me know if you enjoyed reading this, I've visited a few European cities recently and would love to share with you all! Enjoy.




Friday

We spent all day Friday travelling, nothing too exciting. A good way of travelling around Europe, especially in Germany, is through Mein Fern Bus and this is how we did it. It cost us around 40€ from Offenburg to Berlin. We got held up an hour because a man on the bus had been caught stealing from a couple of girls. When the police embarked, we had no idea what was going on because everything was in German. After some terrible translation with the other passengers, we found what had happened and we continued our journey to Berlin. It was a really long day travelling, we left around 9am and got to Berlin at around 10.30pm. We went straight to the hostel, maccies then bed.

Sunset on the way to Berlin

Saturday

I was rudely awoken on Saturday morning to the sound of a scouse mouse telling me I needed to get up. Begrudgingly, I got ready and we headed out to big bad Berlin for some sightseeing. We saw Checkpoint Charlie and had a wonder around the local area before heading over to the starting point of the walking tour. We had a bit of trouble navigating our way to the starting point, which led to a lot of rushing around and sore feet.

The walking tour was so helpful and informative, and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Berlin or just a new city. Although I struggled with hearing at some points, I still found out some really interesting facts about Berlin. I had studied and enjoyed History at GCSE and A Level (focusing on communism and the world wars) so I really enjoyed the tour. The tour informed us about some facts about the Berlin Wall and of course, Hitler. Did anyone else know that Hitler was on speed during his time as Chancellor? It blew my mind.

The TV Tower
One really moving part of the tour, and of Berlin, was the Holocaust Memorial. It's a really strange piece of architecture but incredibly powerful. It was designed to symbolise the holocaust. The different sizes of the blocks were to symbolise that all days were different, and the fact that you could easily get lost and lose your friends were to show the loss of identity in a concentration camp and the fact that inmates could never see a fellow inmate again. It's difficult to describe, it's one of those things you just have to experience yourself.

Me in the Holocaust Memorial
The tour ended at the Brandenburg Gate, a really beautiful piece of architecture. It was really busy in this area and we even saw a wedding party! We then headed off to have a look at the Reichstag. We encountered a downpour of rain at this point, not the highest point of the trip. Looking back at it now, the Reichstag is not what I expected. I thought it would be much bigger and be surrounded by other buildings. In reality, it was actually fairly secluded, in comparison to other buildings we had seen that day.

The Brandenburg Gate
The Reichstag





After the Reichstag, we headed over to the train station to pick up some pharmacy supplies. We ended up really struggling to find the tram back into the centre. There are two systems in Berlin, the U Bahn and the S Bahn. The U Bahn is their underground system, and is really easy to follow. But the S Bahn, a tram system, seemed to be almost impossible to figure out. After a good hour, we found our way back to Alexanderplatz and got ourselves a delicious burrito.

We had our burritos in a quirky establishment called Dolores Burrito. Essentially, you made your own burrito (by asking for your preferred ingredients) and then ate it there and then. I had a yummy burrito in a bowl with nachos. I don't really know why I didn't fancy a wrap, sometimes I am just too lazy for my own good and a fork seemed to be less effort. I also had a strawberry juice which was delicious. Dolores Burrito seemed to be a big hit with Berliners, as we heard very little english spoken and we saw a lot of interesting outfits. This is the link for their website if anyone was interested. http://www.dolores-online.de/1000.html. It looked like it was well catered for vegans and vegetarians as well.

Me and my Burrito in a Bowl
After being fed and watered, we got ready at the hostel and headed out to a bar crawl. Honestly, I have no idea where the bar crawl took place. Our main girl Ellie took us there and we met up with some fellow Strasbourgians there. The night was a bit of a blur and I managed to not pay for a single drink, even though every time I went to the bar I was fully intending to buy my own. It was a Saturday night so perhaps people were feeling generous! We ended up at a club called the Matrix which was pretty good. Only 10€ entry, which is surprisingly cheap for a Saturday night in a capital city. Again, no complaints from me. We ended up getting back to the hostel around 6am and had a few hours sleep.

Sunday

Due to a slight lack of sleep, we spent Sunday slightly delirious and laughing a lot. We headed back to Alexanderplatz and got ourselves some Currywurst. In this case, it was chopped up sausage in a curry sauce of which I ate with some potatoes. I can't say it was the best meal I'd ever eaten, but it was nice and I was glad to have tasted one of the traditional meals that Berlin has to offer.

After some more trouble with the dreaded S Bahn, we managed to get over to the East Side Gallery. This was one of my favourite parts of the trip. I really loved walking along and seeing all of the different artwork. There were a lot of meaningful messages, or "poignant" as Emily described it, and also a lot of bright colours to look at. There were also a lot of funny messages written on the wall by visiting tourists which were a subject of many of our jokes. Do check out my vlog to see more of the wall, as a lot of it was shown.

Me and the Berlin Wall

We spent the rest of the evening having a few drinks in a hostel bar. We were pretty worn out by this point and we enjoyed a chilled night. We got back to our hostel and woke up in the early hours to get our car share back to Strasbourg. Check out Blablacar for car shares, I've had 3 really positive experiences so far! Our driver was really lovely, a polish rugby player who lived in Strasbourg. We ended up having to speak french at 6.30am but it was worth it. I got to sleep for over half of the journey and I was back in my nice warm room by 1pm on Monday!


Overall, I really really enjoyed my trip to Berlin. The only downside to it is that my trip wasn't long enough! The buildings were really beautiful and there was a real sense of diversity amongst Berliners. The weather was great, considering it was April, meaning that my jacket, scarf and jeans were enough to keep me warm.

Please do get in touch and tell me about your experiences with Berlin and or let me know what you think of my blogpost or my vlog!

Lots of G love xxxxx

G Beauty
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