It’s been quite a while since my last post. My schedule was taken over by the bill payer and belly filler (my job) combined with an impromptu visit home and visitors from home who came to visit me in the lovely city of Edinburgh. It was great having visitors but being a tour guide is exhausting ! My writing was left to the side during this busy time but my fingers readied themselves for a chance to type again. And here they are in action! Ready to get their research on!
I think you might be able to guess by the title that my next stop is Berlin ! We were supposed to be traveling down to Munich as well but sadly it had to be scribbled off the map! so cut throat but again necessary. I had a chat with my traveling companions and we decided it was better to stick to Berlin and enjoy our time there to it’s fullest, instead of a half lived experience. Lets do it right!
Berlin is drenched in history and filled to the brim with things to do and see. But lets start as I usually do with a dash of history and a stroll around the boarders. Berlin is located in north-eastern Germany on the banks of River Spree, it is the centre of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region and 1/3 is host to forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. It’s descriptions reminds me a lot of Edinburgh. A place that has nature invading its doorstep. Absolutely beautiful, Architecture and nature coming together.
Considering the present climate in Ireland with the vote for Gay marriage, I think its important to add that Germany is a high ranking country for equality. In the 1920’s Berlin was the Gay Capital of Europe and In 1896 Berlin started the first gay magazine. Germany is in the lead for most fetish clubs in Europe (kinky) and it’s festivals “Easter in Berlin” and “Folsom Europe Berlin” are the biggest gay fetish festivals in Europe. Maybe it’s time that everyone joined the band wagon and voted for equality!
Lets talk about the food! (Because if i’m honest it’s what I care about most). I have sunk my teeth into some German food before during the Edinburgh German Christmas markets and I want more! ( I could make German sausage jokes but I will restrain myself) Twelve Michelin Star restaurants are serving plates of heaven to all the lucky folk of Berlin. Even without the stars I’m sure the food is not the wurst. (lol OK I went there)
What is there to do in Berlin? (other than eat until you can’t move from your chair and have to release your expanding stomach from its restraints) There is lots to do (in between frequent food breaks) and I have used the power of Google to find all this amazingness and bring them to you!
Lets begin with Arena Badeschiff which opens on 03/04/2015. It is basically a pool on a river with a bar and man made beach. Somewhere to relax after a long day of tourist trekking around Berlin or maybe to start it off? or am I just looking for excuses to lay by the pool and and drink? (probably)
An Evening at Charlottenburg Palace’ Concert by the Berlin Residence Orchestra is a weekly event allowing the visitors to experience music of the late baroque and classical era in beautiful historical surroundings, stepping away from the present and succumbing to an eloquently courtesy and pretending to be ladies and Gentleman for one night and one night only ( then back to skinnies and oversize jumpers). Your ticket includes dinner, a tour of the palace and a performances of masterpieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, King Frederick the Great, Luigi Boccherini, Georg Friedrich Handel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and played by the Berlin resident orchestra.
Museum Island or Museumsinsel is located at the northern tip of the Spree river. 5 internationally significant museums gathered together and displaying different types and styles of historical artifacts from many different ages. The Five museums are Pergamonmuseum, Bode-Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Altes Museum.
The site of Pergamonmuseum was designed by Alfred Messell andLudwig Hoffmann and took twenty years to be contructed (1910-1930) It houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the market gate of Miletus. Historical architecture is outstanding. The detail that their creators add to its foundations are tiny with every detail as significant as its fellowship. I am going to be so happy roaming around this stone archive of trapped in time.
The museum was designed by architect Ernst von Ihne and completed in 1904. Its Original Title was Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum after Emperor Frederick III but the museum was renamed in honour of its first curator Wilhelm von Bode, in 1956. This beautifully structured building is the home for a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, and coins and medals. The sculpture collection shows art of the Christian Orient (with an emphasis on Coptic Egypt), sculptures from Byzantium, Ravenna, sculptures of the Middle Ages, the Italian Gothic, and the early Renaissance. There is also late German Gothic works represented by Tilman Riemenschneider, the south German Renaissance, and Prussian baroque art up to the 18th century. I want to go to this one more so for the building itself. It lies on its island with a view of the river and the other 4 museums. Perfect spot for a tea break.
This museum received a 2010 RIBA European Award for its architecture. The Exhibits include the Egyptian and Prehistory and Early History collections. The artifacts it houses include the iconic bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti.
Did “The Mummy Returns” pop into anyone else’s head? no, just me then.
The grandeur of the Egyptian culture draws people in. All that Gold, majestic hair and oh yeah the fact that they were seen as the intellects of their time.
The Last two of the 5 are just as beautiful as the others ranging from Neoclassical and Romantic movements to sculptural designs. That is all I will say about that or I’ll be writing all day about these five. I have more museums don’t worry ha.
Torn down on the year of my birth with a performances by David Hasselhoff, the Berlin Wall is iconic. An obvious place to visit and by looking at the images people have shared it has become a canvas for street art and remembrance. I cannot wait to see if for myself.
Gesundbrunnen Bunker is a Subterranean museum exploring the city’s underground history, with a focus on WWII bunkers. creepily interesting. I had a noise at the reviews for the tour and every one had a thumbs up and even went as far as saying it was their favourite tour.
Darkness swallows the room. Silence falls with anticipation. Bam the first wave of six sets of hands beat down hard on three sets of drums. Paint spews from their chest and covers the drum head. Every hit sends a wave of colour splashing into the air. This is the blue man group. About 5 years ago in Boston I got the chance to see this show. It was spectacular and I would love the chance to see it again this time in Berlin. The show is hilarious and visually dynamic with a kick ass beat.I would recommend if you ever get the chance to see them , DO IT!
A TV Tower with a panoramic view of Berlin, where you can also have breakfast. Yes please! This is the Fernsehturms. It is the fourth tallest freestanding structure in Europe, after Moscow’s Ostankino Tower, the Kiev TV Tower and the Riga Radio and TV Tower. There is a visitor platform and a revolving restaurant in the middle of the sphere. I most definitely want to have my breakfast there.
Its time for random facts about Germany!
Germany recycles 48% of its waste. This makes it third in recycling after its neighbors Austria and Switzerland.
JFK visited Berlin and sokke the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’. Translation ” I am a Berliner”
(Not: I am a jelly donut as the internet lead me to believe)
The German Hans Riegal invented Gummy bears.
The Christmas tree tradition started off in Germany.
70 percent of Germany’s High ways have no speed limit.
Check out youtube, the speed is terrifying.
In world war II a submarine was sunk by a broken toilet.
I continued my investigation into the toilet story. A quote from a passage in Wikipedia ” On April 14, while on patrol, the vessel sank after the toilet was operated improperly” There is a time and a place for toilet breaks and it’s not at a depth of 200 feet below sea level. To much toilet humour to be had.
There are plenty of ways to see all these attractions from bike tours to boat tours. I like the idea of both and with two days to trek around Berlin I think I will opted for both. Bus tours are never something my stomach gets excited about so its never top of my list of ways to get around. Bike tour would be a great way to get an initial grip on our surrounds and make it a little less likely for us to get lost (more likely getting lost will still happen :/ ) So I think we are going to start with that. Overall I am again more more excited every time I research a new destination. Check out the links below for more information on Berlin.
I hope you enjoyed the post and keeping reading !
Anyone been to Berlin? any suggestions of places I may not have mentioned and should definitely see ?