It took us about an hour and a half to arrive in Berlin from Hamburg. At the DB customer service for trying to book for Poland. We booked till Bratislava. But Poland trip is going to be tricky because of Christmas. Every one is heading back home.
Berlin train station is huge. Felt like an airport.
Our apartment in Berlin was 1 hour by walk from the main station. So, without thinking twice we took a train that takes about 15 minutes instead. However, Berlin public transportation is still quite a mistry to us. Took us a while to find the correct platform, our destination is not showing in one of the machine in the platform but can be seen in another for no reason. Eventually we arrived at our accommodation. Hotel pension Waizenegger am kurfustendamm
checkpoint charlie , The name of our room!
Well, The rooms here are by the number and by the names.
Our room name is CHECKPOINT CHARLIE. Huh. Welcome to Berlin guys! On our arriving day we did nothing because of the travel fatigue. We did our laundry at a local shop and did some groceries
Our first day in Berlin was short but eventful.
The leftover of a church called KEISER WILHELM GEDACHNIS from the 2nd world war was our first stop. Fresh marks of war is still there. Around the church they have built a new church on 1963.
Behind the church where there was Christmas market, we noticed that on the stairs there were a lot of flowers and candles.
Made us realized that this was the Christmas market victim of the 2016 Berlin terrorist attack.
Our hearts became heavy just by being there. Then we had a nice walk through a big and peaceful forest called Tiergarten, via Korean embassy and the Berlin Zoo.
From end of the forest we could see Victory Column
Which reminds of Bastille in Paris. We spent some time there and then headed for nice and long needed Thai massage. It was good and brutal. Ended the day with Indian takeaway dinner from supposedly the older Indian restaurant in Berlin, according to their staff.
The name of the restaurant was Calcutta. And owner is from Kashmir. Interesting.
Oh, and we finished our day watching Life is beautiful an Italian made about WW2. Highly recommended. It is funny and sad. The music touched our hearts.
On day 2 we were relied on Berlin Public transportation.
We have used the local trains marked by the green colored S. Short trip maximum 3 stops for 1.7euro. There total 3 zones for Berlin. A B C. For us A and B was enough. Between 2 zones A B, BC it’s 2.80euro. There are tourist cards. 48 j, 72j and weekly. For 48 it’s between 15 and 20 euro. However, their screen doesn’t show all the stops. And, we were being checked by plain cloth ticket checkers.
So be aware of this.
Now that these information are out of the way, let’s talk about our day.
Here is the link of DB (German Public Transport Authority)
in English for more information
Anyway, our 2nd day was pretty long. We took a local train to visit Berlin Wall, East side Gallery. Walked along side the wall to observe all the graffiti that was created by artists around the world. We felt like the part of a big history by being there. Evidently, this is an open air gallery with a series of murals directly painted on THE BERLIN WALL , that is 1,316km. It’s situated on the bank of Spree River.
From there we took another local train. Destination: FERNSERRURN Tower. Potentially, the icon of Berlin. Or Germany in general. Built by the government of THEN EAST GERMANY in 1965. It is the tallest structure in Germany. It was foggy day hence the visibility was not the best. We stopped for a quick lunch. Then walk along side the Spree River Via Nikolai Viertel which is a 12th century church and BERLINER SCHLOSS. It’s the city palace
It was evidently demolished by the east German Government. Now it’s being rebuild.
However, next big stop was the Checkpoint Charlie.
A little history related to Berlin Wall. It was the crossing point between east Germany and west Germany. A symbol of cold war.
However, it was swarming with keen tourists who wants to take pictures for a certain Angle.
Interesting enough, If that’s the amount of tourists in this season then we wonder how it looks like during summer season.
About 15 something minutes of walking on FRIEDRICH STREET (Sounds like Fried Rice street, may it’s the hunger) we then ended up in a area called GENDARMENMARKT. It consists of 3 important building.
KONZERTHAUS Berlin in the middle, Which is a concert house. German church on the left and French church on the right.
There was a Christmas Market on that square where people were lining up. We didn’t have time nor interested. So we moved on.
However, our next stop is The Holocaust memorial. It was not far from US and UK embassy. Two of the Allies. Didn’t see the French embassy though. Might have missed it.
Downstairs of the memorial, there is free exhibition to educate everyone about European WW2 history. You can also take an audio-guide for 3e but even without you will find a lot of explanation.
Specially how things got worse and worse to the point of one of the biggest genocide of mankind. And how it changed the map of Europe. Here is the link of the memorial: https://www.stiftung-denkmal.de/startseite.html
After paying our tribute, we headed our next stop was something looks like Delhi Gate or Champs Elysee, Paris. The BRANDENBURGER TOR or BRANDEBOURG Gate. A 17th century PRUSSIAN architecture. Another icon of Germany.
By the time , it was about 6 pm. And we have 3 hours to kill because our appointment was
We were not too far from the German parliament. Or to be specific, The Reichstag Building which houses the the German parliament “BUNDESTAG“
This parliament was a stamp of German history and Modern German Engineering.
It’s gigantic and extraordinary. Especially the glass dome. Left us quite speechless. Lucky for everyone, entry is free. But booking online obligatory.
And with that, we have ended our 12 hours of day to explore Berlin. And our time in GERMANY.
Got to wake up in the morning for Poland
And Weather forcast is Cold, Foggy and chances of rain. And we have about 6 hours to sleep.
Next city : Gdansk, Poland. Where the first shot of WW2 was fired.