9 Jun 2012

Berlin - Part 1

So, I'm back from Berlin! It was an absolutely amazing experience, very humbling to be in a place with so much history. There was so much to do, I would love to go back again!
I was originally meant to arrive in Berlin in the small hours of Monday morning, however my flight was delayed so I didn't land until about half 12. (CET time) My flight was through Easyjet and was about £60 when booked 6-8 weeks in advance. We were meant to fly to the new Berlin Brandenburg airport as it was due to open the day we arrived but the opening was delayed by just under a year so we ended up flying to Berlin Schonefeld which is actually adjacent to the new airport.
My Dad had bought our Welkomkart in advance so we made a saving of around 5 euros, and I would seriously recommend getting one. For 5 days it would cost 26 euros if bought on arrival and it gives you access to all of Berlin's amazing public transport. We got the ticket that includes Potsdam - a small city on the outskirts of Berlin, home to the amazing Sansoucci Palaces and the Agents Bridge - which was a couple of euros extra. To get in to the city centre you need to get the train into the Hauptbanhof or Alexanderplatz where you can get even closer to your destination through the U-bahn (underground), bus or tram.
We stayed in the Titanic Comfort hotel in Spittelmarkt, it was a lovely hotel with all the facilities and super accessible. Breakfast however is a tad expensive but there is a great bakery just around the corner where you can get a decent breakfast for just two euros. Our hotel was in a great location, right next to an U-bahn station and really close to attractions such as Museum Island and Checkpoint Charlie.

After settling in to the hotel we (I) decided to head to the zoo. Berlin is home to two fantastic zoos, however I only went to the one at Zooligscher Garten. I'm a sucker for a cute animal and this place is full of them! At first it seems like most of the animals can simply roam free however that's not really the case, the majority of the closures are open but they have very large ditches dug around the outside. There's a fantastic amount of animals in this zoo and an amazing monkey house too! If I remember correctly it cost us 10 euros each to get in but I think you can also get a discount with the Welkomkart.

For dinner we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe on Kurfurstendamn (just along from the Uhlandstrasse U-bahn station) as it's a firm favourite in our family having been to the Edinburgh, Manchester and Amsterdam cafes previously. We were there about half 5/6 but luckily didn't have too long to wait as it seemed quite quiet, however not long after we'd got our table it definitely got busier. The service wasn't as good as it could be but we had come in at the time shifts change so that may be why - the food was great as always!

When our rumbling stomachs had been silenced we decided to head for the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate). It's quite easy to find the gate as you just need to head for the U-bahn station with the same name - I think it was on the U1 line - and the gate is the first thing you see as you head up the steps of the station. It wasn't anywhere near as busy as we expected and it's a fantastic thing to see! In the distance through the gate you can see a monument with a golden eagle on the top that we intended to walk to, however the road was shut off for some reason and it looked a lot further away than the map made it seem. That statue appears to sit right in the middle of Berlin's second zoo - Tiergarten - which looks like it's a fair bit bigger than the Zooligscher Gartens.

dress, cardigan and leggings - H&M
And this is what I wore for that exhausting day! I just wanted something comfy for travelling that could be adapted for changing weather and this was perfect. The dress is actually a lot brighter in real life and I thought it'd be a great way to incorporate the current neon trends in to my wardrobe without going full on highlighters!

This post took me a looooot longer than expected to write - and it was only the first day - but the two days after that were a bit more laid back and the fourth was mostly spent travelling home so hopefully they'll be a bit shorter and I'll manage to get them written up later! Meanwhile I'm off to buy Company mag and write up lessons for a jewellery class I'm going to be teaching soon - scary stuff.


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  2. I didn't know Berlin had two zoos! I went to the one you did. live and learn!
    enjoy the rest of your travels!



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