A relaxed weekend in vibrant Berlin

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Who has not wanted to visit Berlin? For us, we have been waiting long for a trip together to this vibrant city.


It is March 13th, and our journey starts in Stavanger.


We have a two hour layover in Copenhague, I keep finding inspiration on what to do and see in Berlin 

As we land it is quite interesting to notice that the airport is located close to the city and we get to see Berlin’s modern skyline by night, filled with a mix of old and new buildings. 
We are greeted by a local, 
First stop is the hotel Sylter Hof, located by Tiegarten. 


Berlin is a well balanced European capital city, despite being really vibrant and big it has a lot of space as it was planned for 5′ people. A city full of green spaces and lakes, allows its citizens to enjoy nature without leaving the city.


Kadewe stablished during the Cold War, as a symbol of free market. They cla that this is a place where you can get a hold of all. 



On our way to dinner we pass the embassy section, through Tiegarten we get a lovely view of Brandenburg tower

West side 

East is bubbling and started as the bohemian area and now it is a more trendy 

Time to indulge our taste buds, Moabit island and we are at Probiermahl 



Our meal starts with tapas 





Kiez vegetarian burger 



We end the night with a night stroll in Moabit, with a view of the river and then on a car ride for a night tour. 

Architect Schinkel, has set his mark in most of the city. To name one: the concert hall 




Bellevue


The Postdamer platz 


Gorgeous architecture can be admired at the concert hall 


The domes that are also 



I’d made my research and had read that public transportation works incredibly well in this city, and after this night I was extremely surprised! Of all capital cities I’ve been to, this  was really a city with little traffic. 


Day 2, after a good night sleep we are ready to explore more of this metropolis 


The U-bahn runs Smoothly and on time, we go from Wittenberg to Senefeiderplatz in Scheunenviertel a fashionista hotspot filled with places to indulge your palate to get some brunch at Gugelhof, a restaurant recommended by a local, my husband’s journalist friend, Breandáin. 



Along the way we admire the old and new parts of the city.  It is easy to see that this is a hotspot for artists, streets are filled with art and the city with excellent museums 


We arrive some 30 minutes later, 



The Gogehof with a cozy relaxed atmosphere welcomes locals and international guests with its menu in English and German 



As we enter Kollwitzplatz, a bonanza of organic fresh products  immediately caught our eyes, is this a dream? We enjoy our visit and find lots of known as well as on known brands and products that are not available yet in our city. Art and vintage its also abound. 



This visit was actually just a start when it comes to organic products.. Some meters ahead we find one of Germany’s biggest organic stores, LPG




Next.. The Museumsinsel, a UNESCO heritage site comprised by 5 museums. 




The weather unfortunately was not good for being outdoors, we head down to Alexanderplatz, get some warm drinks and get ready to take asightseeing bus ride 





To get a feel of the city go on board buses 100 and 200 departing from Brandenburg tower 


Our ride with bus number 100 ends at AleXanderplatz, we then saw the Kaizer Wilhem Memorial Church, which is one of the few sites I recognize as the area has not changed so much since 1999 that I came a couple of days with a friend while we both worked in Amsterdam. 



Some food.  When in Germany, sausages are a must 


Almost by our hotel we stop to take a look at the pretty big department store, Kadewe, which is the German Macy’s or Harrids. Great selection of products and brands, make the visit to each storey a very pleasant shopping  experience 



Day 3 Sunday 15th of March 
It is 10am and we are ready to get a good breakfast at Einstein Stammhaus, just a couple blocks away from our hotel. 




It is delightful to see that amount of people that enjoy a morning breakfast on a Sunday morning at a cafe, the same that happens in my country. Einstein has own bakery and branded products, the food is wonderful and the service outstanding 


We enter the Sony center, best representation of the new Berlin, located by Poztdamer platz.  It’s glass dome in an open area full of stores and cafes makes it a perfect place to stop for a coffee. 




 Poztdamer platz, important during the Cold War now wonderful architecture, a waterproof garden in the outdoors 





Nothing beats visiting a place on foot when it comes to learning about its history and at the same time getting a local feel.

The new Berlin free 2,5 h walking guided tour, at 14 from Starbucks at the Brandenburg gate.

The Brandenburg tor gate, symbol of division during WWII

 One of the 18 gates in the past.1814 after Napoleon is defeated the Prussians bring Victoria statue and name it as Parisian square, to have victory over Paris 



The Holocaust memorial, in memory of the holocaust it opened in 2005. A design competition won by architect 

A cemetery looking like area, full of narrow lanes with blocks of stone giving sensations of loss as a message of this event.

Some interpretations of the place are: 

Warsaw in 49, it’s damaged buildings
Train rails as the transportation of Jews to the extermination camps. 



Germany borrows money from the U.S. 1929 due to the Great Depression Germans have to pay back the loan and extreme political parties become more popular like before the loan and Hitler gets to the power legally. Hitler becomes a dictator and the worst event in history takes place.


The fate of Germany is decided before the end of the Cold War. Here the headquarters of the Nazis


3,5′ Germans “the brain drain” leave to West Berlin, then in  1961 they build the 100 km wall to stop this 

One of three remaining pieces of the wall,  dating 1975.  It was guarded by soldiers, guard dogs. Grafittis are on the west side. 

People who managed to escape, built tunnels, had fake documents, were hidden in secret compartments of cars, and other creative and sometimes simple ways.






The Reichstag 
Iconic building, where the  German parliament operates 

Checkpoint Charlie is where people got checked on the way out 


If you can read it you are on the west side 






The Humboldt University, the royal library in the past, in the time of FVIII


Great minds and Nobel prize winners have taught at this university 


Hitler banned lots of books, and there are now empty book shelves to make up for the destruction of thousands back in history in this same place.






1985, Gordachov comes to power comes with Glasnost and Petestroika, the start of the end of the Cold War. 

70000 people march peacefully in 1989, “we are the people” then more events follow. The reason the wall falls is the east press secretary makes a mistake and claims that the gov was about to start relaxing the borders. 


The topography of nazi terror, examines the nerve center of the regn of terror. 




Dinner at Brauhaus by Alexanderplatz, I of course had to order the curry wurst. 



Take the U to Nordbahnfof to visit the Gedenkstatte Berkiner Mauer, best service and outstanding flavours  

After breakfast/ brunch by the Mauer cafe






Dinner next to the hotel at a Vietnamese restaurant. Great taste 


At 6pm we get ready for one of the highlights of our trip, the concert of Sting and Paul Simon at the O2 arena in Berlin








Excellent concert, great ambiance and the musical repertoire made this one very memorable experience. 

Day 5 
We start a bit late, I need to recharge. 


 We walk from our hotel to the heart of the park and admire the Siegessäule column. (Prussian military triumphs) 



A nice brunch at Tiergarten cafe 


And then we continue with a stroll along Tiegarten 



As you can see, Berlin is a vibrant city that we enjoyed a lot! I would like to visit it again. Hopefully soon. 


Thank you for reading. 
Cristina


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