We left the house for Berlin last Saturday at the ridiculously early hour of 4:30am (!) in order to make the most of our May Day long weekend. When we arrived in Berlin we were tired but excited, we found our hostel relatively easily despite bus strikes as I had stayed there before. We checked in, stored our bag in the left luggage room and made a bee line for the TV tower and Alexanderplatz. We had been blessed with an amazing day and thought what better way to kick start our time in Berlin then high above its skyline within the TV Tower. Unfortunately, the entire population of Berlin had, had the same idea and after 15 minutes of not moving in the line we felt our time would be better spent wandering down to Check point Charlie before our 3pm walking tour.
At Checkpoint Charlie we took all the standard pictures, had our first currywurst and read most of the information displayed around what had originally been the death strip before heading to Hackerscher Markt for our 4 hour walking tour. Our walking tour was amazing (despite one very annoying New Zealander who couldnt help asking mundane, pointless questions), our tour covered most of the significant sights of Berlin including the Muesum Island, Bebelplatz, Gendarmenmarkt, Checkpoint Charlie, Hitler's Bunker, The Holocast Memorial and ending at the amazing Brandenburg Tor. At the conclusion of the tour J and I rolled around the corner for a quick happy snap at Reinstag before starting our walk back to Hackerscher Markt where we had a traditional Berlin dinner; pork meatballs for bec, and another currywurst for J. We then headed back to the hostel bar where we washed down our meals with some good ol' fashioned draft German ale.
The next morning we had a bit of a sleep in (finally bec won one!!!) and headed out to the east side gallery at around 9ish. There we were treated to the 1.3km stretch of the wall decorated by artists from around the world, particularly favourites (despite the graffiti) were Test the Best and The Kiss. Afterwards we headed to the Checkpoint Charlie muesum where we learnt all about the escape attempts and J was able to satisfy his passport stamp fetish by paying a few euro for all the stamps from the time of the wall. We then continued on to the Topography of Terror Muesum before returning to the Holocast memorial for some pretty inappropriate photos. From there a quick tube ride saw us travel to the last preserved section of the death strip and visit to the DDR muesum, where J got to sit in a Trabi car and see some boobies in an exhibit without any explanation! We then ended our busy day with a few beers at Bec's beloved ampleman bar before eating the most amazing steak at a Berlin chain known as the blockhouse.
We rose early on our final day in order to make our 9am breakfast reservation at the Reinstag restaurant, only to arrive, be seated and then ignored! I blame J's jeans! Hehe. However, making the reservation did help us to skip the enormous queue of people waiting to enter, something a strongly advise you do if wishing to visit the Reinstag. Afterward, we headed down to Pariser Platz for breakfast and contemplated what we would do for the rest of the day. In the end we decided to visit Postdamer Platz via the Holocast memorial and finish with a leisurely cruise of the River Spree. We spent our last hour in the sun, drinking Berliner's at ampleman bar, what more could you want?
At checkpoint Charlie (West Berlin side)
First of the wurst.... ;)
At the Brandenburg Tor.
Us at the east side gallery - Test the Best is the artwork!
Inappropriate photo from the Holocast Memorial
Out the front of the Reinstag
Inside the glass dome of the Reinstag - Can you spot us?