Part Two of my time in Berlin – you can find Part One here.
Day Five was a weird one, because of the time we spent on the bus on the way back from Kiel it felt like the day went very quickly. I still managed to do quite a lot though! When we got back, after a bus ride that really didn’t feel as long as it was in reality, we went to a flea market. I’d actually read about the flea market online, where it was listed as one of the top 10 things to do over the weekend in Berlin – and it turned out to be literally across the road from where I was staying. It was really quiet because of the weather, and it’s usually a lot busier than it was when I went but I love markets and the atmosphere was still pretty nice despite the cold. There was loads of traditional German food to try, but I was told by my host that I had to had to have currywurst – which is basically a sausage with barbequeue ketchup covered in curry powder. It looks and sounds pretty gross, but it was actually really kind of good! Also, it helped that I had Gluwein to drink with it. Another thing I loved about Berlin in the winter, literally every two metres there is a place selling Gluwein – what more do you need? Then, we went to the East Side Gallery, which is the long stretch of the wall where all of the graffiti and street art is. It was absolutely stunning, and I took photos of pretty much every part of it – more photos in an upcoming street art post – and it was quite incredible to think that it was such a barrier and such a negative part of Berlin’s history and yet it takes pride of place in the city today. That evening we also took a trip to the Gendarmenmarkt, which is square surrounded by three big landmarks – the German Dome (or church), the French Dome and the Consert Hall. It was dark so my views weren’t too great, but I could see that they buildings were beautiful. Just around the corner is another square which houses part of the Humboldt University. It was in this square that some 20, 000 books were burnt by the Nazis. There is an amazing memorial set into the floor of the square which shows empty shelves with enough space for 20, 000 books and a plaque which says (translated) ‘That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they ultimately burn people’ by Henirich Heine.
Pictures: 1. Currywurst and Gluwein at the flea market, 2. by the Wall, 3. a general view of the length of the wall, 4. one of the churches in Gendarmenmarket, 5. a view into the memorial for the burnt books.
Day Six – the one day I spent in Germany where the sun actually shone! (Although this did only last until about half three so…) I did so much on this day – I walked through the city again, took another hundred pictures of the Berliner Dom, walked through the Brandenburger Tor (very famous landmark gates of Berlin), walked through the Tiergarten (massive park, which was so beautiful and all in autumn colours), went up the Siegessäule or Tower of Victory, which is a huge angel statue that stands in the middle of the Tiergarten and gives the most amazing views across Berlin – I definitely chose the right day to go up, walked to Potsdamer Platz and found a tiny German Christmas Market, walked through Checkpoint Charlie and visited the Jewish Museum. And that was just before four in the afternoon! I’m going to be talking more about some of these things in detail in later posts I have planned so I won’t repeat myself. It was an exhausting, but rewarding day. I had a lot of luck with the weather, because Berlin is absolutely stunning in the sunlight.
Pictures: 1. Alexander Platz, 2+3. Marien Church near Alexanderplatz, 4. Marien Church again, with the TV tower mirroring it’s spire, 5. Bakker Weideman – I swear their gingerbread and coffee is to die for, 6. The river by the Berliner Dom looking beautiful, 7. Brandenburger Tor, 8. War Memorial in the Tiergarten, 9. Yes for Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee and red cups, 10. the Siegessäule (yes…I – despite being afraid of heights and spiral staircases – voluntarily climbed this), 11. Shameless selfies in the Tiergarten, 12. Potzdamer Platz station, 13. gingerbread stand in the tiny Christmas Market, 14. The Topography of Terror, a stretch of the wall and of border house foundations preserved and documented, 15. Checkpoint Charlie!, 16. The Jewish Museum – an absolutely amazing, though sobering, place to visit.
And that’s what I did on the next two days, I’ve decided to split it further, so come back tomorrow for the last few days.
Have you been to Berlin? Would have gone anywhere different to where I’ve been?