02 January 2012

Berlin 27-29 Dec 2011

Berlin was pretty.
It's a huge city, with over 3 Million people.
It's a little grey and washed out.... gave me the creeps.
But on the other hand, I felt a little bit at home. Just a tiny little bit. Shopping malls, subways and buses that run every few minutes, skyscrapers.... and that familiar city life I remember I grew up in.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I went to Berlin anyway despite the vasculitis. I thought it would be impossible but it wasn't after all. You might not see it in the photos but I walked around with bandaged legs... a little support just so it doesn't hurt. It's also cool to have had just one backpack to carry around.

Michael and I found a great deal. We booked the train tickets online and for some reason paid the same amount for 1st class as you would for 2nd class. The journey lasted about 2.5 hours and we had the entire cabin to ourselves. Pure bliss :)

The hotel was a great deal too. It costed €188 for 2 nights and we got such a massive room with everything we need in it.

Day 1:

On the day of our arrival, we took a little walk and then checked in before going out to lunch. We found an indian restaurant nearby and they gave us so much food that I was about to explode. We ordered a kind of set meal for less than €5 per person and got more than we could swallow. It was insane.

Afterwards I had some pain in and on my legs so we went back to the hotel, rested, were done for the day. That evening I was worried that I wouldn't be able to walk again the next day.

Hotel Grand Esplanade, Berlin

The Bundestag (say: "boon-des-tahg")
A federal legislative body in Germany.

Brandenburger Tor, or Brandenburg Gate.
One of the most well-known landmarks of Germany and the only remaining gate of a series through which Berlin was once entered. 

Day 2:

But the next day was good. No pain. Nothing I couldn't bear. Before heading out for brunch I got my legs nicely wrapped by my private doctor, Dr. Kohl :) (he does it perfectly!), and then we were off.
I was on my feet for 6 to 7 hours that day and it was all good. I was really glad.

We took the subway, we did a 2-hour city tour on a double-decker tour bus, took pictures, saw a lot, and most importantly: we dropped by at the singaporean embassy where I collected my new passport. This was the main reason why I went to Berlin.
We had lunch, again at an indian restaurant, because we loooooooove indian food, and got a nice meal at a nice price. Wonderful.
When we went back to the hotel it was dark, and I took a long hot bath.

Tour bus

During the tour

Checkpoint Charlie (entering the former US-Zone)

Part of former East-Berlin (East-Germany)

What's left of the Berlin Wall... stretched over 1km along this street

Today it's an open art gallery.
On the other side was what used to be East-Berlin.

Remains of the Berlin Wall

Potsdamer Platz, city center.
Subway station behind me.

Christmas Market at Potsdamer Platz

Want some fish?

Day 3:

Last day in Berlin. We checked out and went out to lunch. We had so much time before we catch the train back to Göttingen. I suggested that we watched a movie to kill time. We planned to watch Mission Impossible 4 but it was a little crappy with the schedule so we settled for Sherlock Holmes 2 instead.
A good film. Just a bit weird.

We headed then to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Main Station) and spent another hour in a cafe, shared a plate of ice-cream, exchanged opinions, letting everything sink in, letting the hecticness wear off...

At 7:34pm we caught the train, found our seats in the quiet, empty cabin, and had so much to talk about throughout the entire journey even when we already agreed that we weren't going to. Haha.
We arrived at 10:00pm in Göttingen and spent New Year's Eve there.

Spicy indian food. Yessss. Lecker.

Standing next to a Trabant (East-German car. Rare these days.)

The S-Bahn.

Walking along the street leading towards Brandenburger Tor.

At the Brandenburger Tor train station on our way to Berlin Main Station.

Brandenburger Tor train station.

The journey home. First class all to ourselves. :)

And a happy man.

1 comment:

  1. Berlin looks good. I'll be sure to visit someday.

    If you're up to it, go see Mission Impossible 4. It's a lot of fun.