Posts Tagged ‘ travel: germany: berlin ’

{SFX} orientation day.

So I did not get out as early as I had envisioned, but joined roomie S for breakfast at the  café downstairs. French breakfast. :)

french breakfast, complete with nougat creme (which tastes like nutella!) and jam.

Then wandering around, trying to make my way to Brandenburg Gate for the New Berlin free walking tour. However, as usual, I got a little lost, but this time I blame it on maps that don’t show all the streets properly… but was amused nonetheless… then ran into Marienkirche, Rotes Rathus, the TV Tower and Neptune’s Fountain.

hackescher markt.

marienkirche and the tv tower.

rotes rathus, netptune's fountain and marienkirche again.

Walked down towards Brandenburg, and passed by the Berliner Dom and the Altes Museum.

berliner dom and, yep, you guessed it, the altes (old) museum.

Then had to run down, to make it in time for the 1pm tour.

Met Jonny and the rest of the group, and then we were taken around Berlin for a good 4  hours or so of walking and sightseeing.

pariser platz, featuring the brandenburg gate and hotel adlon (aka the-hotel-where-mj-dangled-his-baby-off-the-balcony).

markers of the berlin wall.

memorial to the murdered jews of europe.

where hitler's bunker used to be... under this block of flats and the adjoining carpark.

17 june 1953 memorial, outside what used to house the ministry of aviation (in nazi times), then later the house of ministries, with the socialist mural still displayed in contrast.

remains of the berlin wall, marker near checkpoint charlie, me with my left foot in east germany, and my right in west.

checkpoint charlie.

We took a break to warm up, as it had begun to snow a little. Stopped off at Aroma (Friedrichstrasse 200, 10117 Berlin), which seems to be the New Berlin stop of choice (better than the Starbucks in Munich!).

hot chocolate break.

And then we were on our way again!

gendarmenmarkt: deutscher dom, konzerthaus, französische dom.

bebelplatz: memorial to the book burning ceremony held 10 may 1933.

berlin fashion week makes its presence known at bebelplatz...

neue wache (new guardhouse): the central memorial of the federal republic of germany for the victims of war and tyranny

We ended just behind the Berliner Dom and went to the DDR restaurant, at a discount thanks to New Berlin. :)

jägerschnitzel with pasta and spicy tomato sauce.

Then I set off on my own to explore the Pergamon Museum, which was open late since it was a Thursday night.

pergamon museum, pergamon altar, market gate of miletus, the processional way of babylon.

the ishtar gate.

Made my way slowly back to the hostel…

night in berlin: berliner dom, tv tower and rotes rathus.

Before stopping at Rosen Burger (Brunnenstraße 196, 10119 Berlin) to grab a bit of a late night feast. Burgers there are awesome.

late dinner at rosen burger.

Today, I went back to a few of the places to read things, so photos will be a little similar… but that will have to wait for tomorrow I think.



{SFX} arriving in berlin.

So yep, today I arrived in Berlin, but in the evening, around 17.30 by the time I made it to the hostel.

Had to get to Stratford this morning to catch the National Express bus to Stansted Airport, and had a good nap while I was on the bus. Arrived at Stansted (and of course the day I leave is a nice sunny day…!), did my visa check, through security and then wandered around the airport, looked at shops, which were surprisingly good, but no space in luggage… :( Had a bit to eat, and I totally love the 99p sparkling apple and grape juice from Pret A Manger!

Finally gate 41 for my flight was displayed, so I headed to what seemed like the Ryanair wing of the airport. Began queuing up, and I met S. Flight wasn’t too full, and we ended up boarding and taking off ahead of schedule.

some english sky and countryside, courtesy of ryanair.

Flight was uneventful. I had no one sitting in the two seats next to me, so that was kind of cool, not that I spread myself out or anything. Still napped in my little awkward curled up neck position… :)

Arrived in Berlin EARLY (:OOO!!) and the pilot played a little ditty to mark the occasion.

a little bit of northern freeze. a little bit of northern sun.

Airport was fairly standard, though far less busy than I had anticipated. Customs guy was fabulously friendly, giving me a great impression of Berlin from the start.

After stopping by the tourist information to pick up a map and stuff, caught the Airport Express in to Alexanderplatz, said goodbye to S, and then waited for the U8 to get to the hostel.

it's the airport express!

I’m staying at Circus Hostel, which is a fantastic little place. Not many criticisms as yet, but I don’t like having to pay for my towel, but that’s just being picky now. Wi-Fi is good, which makes lugging the lappy worth it. They have an entire wiki full of information about places to go in Berlin and staff are really great. They have a whole selection of books available for loan as well, including my favourite Lonely Planet Encounter series, for a mere deposit of 5 euros, to be returned to me when I give the book back. This saves me the however many euros I would have had to spend to buy it, which I had planned to do.

circus hostel.

Location-wise, it seems good too. Tram and U-bahn stops right in front (although the tram can get a little noisy at night… like now!), and not a far walk either to Alexanderplatz… apparently anyway. I arrived when it was dark, so I thought I would leave Orientation Day for tomorrow…

Except then I met a bunch of Australians who I’m rooming with, and they’re going to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, so I think I shall go with. Orientation Afternoon maybe…? We’ll see.

Anyway, after chilling out at the hostel for a bit, I went across the road to Back Factory (not that the link is useful at all since it is all in German!) to have a dinner of pastry. :D

back-factory; with spinach danish, ham and cheese croissant and a berlin pretzel/donut.

So yeah, like I said, tomorrow = concentration camp then… we’ll see. :) I will try to keep up with posting and photos this time!!