Welcome to Berlin! One of the most happening cities in Germany, and YES, it is the capital of Germany, for those of you who didn’t know… (more on that story in a later post)
Once again, with Tine, we took the train to Berlin for Biggi’s birthday. In Germany, there is a train ticket offered by the Deutsche Bahn called the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket (literally: Nice Weekend Ticket) , and with this ticket, for 37€, up to 5 people can ride ANYWHERE in Germany for a whole weekend (excluding the long-distance bullet trains which require reservations). This is very impressive!
At the time, I believe the ticket was only 25€, so there were 5 of us, and that means, if you do the math, each of us paid 5 Euros to go COMPLETLY across the country round trip, in one weekend… Amazing, considering the ticket from Lage to Berlin normally costs , at a normal price, upwards of 79€ one-way. So if you are ever in the area, meaning in Germany, do take advantage of this offer!!
So, anyway, it was Biggi’s birthday, and in Germany, its usually custom to be a host on your birthday, baking cakes and custards and pies and sweets and what not, and inviting a couple people over for cake & coffee, but Biggi did not want to do this, so we decided to leave Saturday morning, around 3 AM I believe it was, and take the train. The only thing with this ticket, we normally would’ve taken the ICE train (bullet train) to Berlin, but since you cannot with this ticket, we had to transfer trains a few times. But don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t really matter 😀 So after a few transfers, we got into Berlin at around 9 AM approximately.
Though I have never seen Berlin before this, I think it was pretty packed ^^ There was a marathon going an, and there were Tents and Foodstands and the whole shabang set up infront of the Brandenburger Tor.
At this point, I’d like to introduce the smelly part of Berlin. And to put it bluntly, it reeked. Most of the time while walking around in Berlin, you catch a drift of this interesting, lightly put, ahm, fragrance if you will… Not sure what it was, some say sewage, probably from when Berlin was West and East Berlin… but I will leave that for you to decide.
But don’t let this be a turn off, it was a beautiful, dynamic city. We saw the Reichstag (we wanted to go in, but the line was horrendous), Brandenburger Tor, the Fernsehturm, we went up to the Potsdamer Platz Panorama Outlook (thats just what I call it, not too sure of the name to be honest…), which was home to Europe’s fastest elevator-at a rate of 8.5 Meters per Second-and this is where the picture above of the Marathon in the sky was taken. We rode around on the subway a little, saw some Embassies, went to KaDeWe, Kaufhaus des Westens, which is Europe’s largest department store… This place is a shoppers heaven. We got attacked by dogs, saw the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, a church which was heavily bombed in the war, got offered candy by a stranger on a train, went to the Hard Rock Cafe, and finally found ourselves back at the train station Sunday morning around 2 AM waiting for our train back.
All in all, Berlin is a great city, and you should go visit. Unfortunately, more can I not say, as I was only in the city for less than a day, and the city was absolutely mobbed with tourists and runners, so it was hard to move around. Therefore, I would like to and will go back again, to get to know the city a little better.
Now, to the pictures below.
1-Panorama view of Berlin from the Potsdamer Platz Panorama Outlook, there you can see the famous Fernsehturm (TV Tower)
2-Hauptbahnhof (Main Train station), very impressive in itself
3-Runners infront of the Brandenburger Tor
4-the Riedels amidst the Holocaust Memorial
5-We saw the marathon kick off from above, as the streets filled with runners
7-Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, here you see the damage that was done, and the new church they erected (tower)
8-Hard Rock Cafe, a place of interest in itself
9-Fernsehturm from below, all lit up
10-Reichstag by night (government building)
11-German flag by night
12-from left to right, Saskia, Tine and myself slumbering in the train station waiting for our train, after a fully loaded fun filled day walking around the streets of stinky Berlin.
On that note, in the words of JFK: ICH BIN EIN BERLINER.
Berlin, Berlin, wir fahren nach Berlin!