Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Berlin, Germany - An Intro

Actual date of this event: 30 October to 4 November

Luke and I dedicated six days to explore Berlin, and I am so glad we did! The city has plenty to do IF you are interested in learning about the rise of the Nazi Regime up until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. For Luke and I, we knew exactly what we were getting into, and we were thrilled about it! There are a few things for families to do, but mostly everything is centered around 20th century European history.
{Brandenburg Gate}
A few tidbits to start: Berlin does not have a train station at the main airport (TXL), but there are buses that can take you to the city center in about 30-45 minutes for less than 3Euro. Luke and I asked our AirBnB owner for the best route, so we took the bus and transferred to the U-Bahn (underground subway) about halfway there. Ticket prices vary for public transport, and they even offer day passes. Click here for info on Berlin's Public Transport.
{Ernst-Reuter-Platz U-Bahn station where we transferred to get to the city}
I don't normally give out the exact information for our apartment, but this was probably the best AirBnB we have had yet, so I feel I must share it. We stayed right around the corner from Checkpoint Charlie (the American sector border crossings between East and West Berlin), and many other museums were located in the area as well. I recommend trying out this apartment if you are interested in visiting Berlin (and don't require too much during your stay)!
{stocking the fridge at the apartment!}
Luke and I had history museums on the agenda for our trip, and luckily many museums in Berlin are free. We did quite a bit of reading, but we didn't mind! Berlin is fairly inexpensive (compared to other cities we have visited), and there is some great food. It was probably just the time of year we went, but we didn't feel it was super touristy (maybe we are getting used to London's massive amount of people), and there were only a few gypsies that annoyed us. We covered practically all of the "interesting" parts of the city, walking from one place to the next, and walking by a few spots multiple times.
 {The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe} 
 {The Victory Column at Gro├če Stern in Tiergarten}
{View of Brandenburg Gate from Pariser Platz}
 {a statue along the bridge toward Berliner Dom}
 {Berliner Dom with the Fernsehturm on the right}
 {Altes Museum}
 {we got thirsty}
 {full of young folks... and that's not a good thing}
{I felt Berlin pretzels were WAY BETTER than Bavarian pretzels.}
 {a still standing section of the Berlin Wall at the Topography of Terror museum}
 {the year when it all became real}
 {Debbie on the East, Luke on the West}{and why does my face look so fat?}
{the famous Currywurst of Berlin (aka sausage with curry spice and ketchup)} 
{kicking leaves at Tiergarten}
{Tiergarten - former location of the Berlin Love Parade
{Soviet Memorial at Tiergarten} 
{Reichstag - Parliament building (doesn't this picture look fake?)} 
{Halloween at an Irish pub} 
{Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church} 
 {Buddy Bear on Ku'damm}
 {markings of an escape tunnel at the Berlin Wall Memorial}
{a room with triple level bunks in the Jewish Barracks at KZ Sachsenhausen}
{Reichstag dome visit} 
{Checkpoint Charlie} 
{Ritter Sport Chocolate} 
This upcoming Saturday marks the 24th anniversary since the Berlin Wall fell - I was alive during that time, so it was really neat to learn about it (since I was practically oblivious to the history). I have about our trip! In the next few posts, I will try to make our experience in Berlin as coherent as possible and go into detail on a few favorite activities such as our visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and chocolate making. Come back for more :-)

Other posts on Berlin: Post 2Wall MemorialEast Side GalleryPost 5Ritter Sport ChocolatePost 7Post 8, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

About 90% of Berlin was bombed and destroyed during the Second World War - most of the city's buildings are generally 'new'.

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