As the Easter time was closing by, the itchiness to travel somewhere was getting strong. We started to look out for some places and finalized Berlin, as it would make a perfect short weekend trip from Copenhagen. I was looking for a place which is not very far and do not have to rush too much to see the things in order to have sort of relaxed trip. Booked the bus with Eurolines from CPH till Berlin. Since it was holiday time there were 5 Eurolines buses in the morning from CPH to BER! Yep. At the time of booking it was a business class bus, but couple of days before travel I got an email from Eurolines saying that there was something wrong with their system because of which it was showing BC bus, but in reality it is a NORMAL bus. As soon as I read that mail, I was like ‘gayi bhains paani mein’ (as we say in our native language Hindi). In English it means a soft ‘Fucked up’! But anyway the bus ride was pretty okay & smooth. And the best part was more than half of people who traveled with us from Copenhagen to Berlin, were with this us (on th esame bus) while returning back from Berlin to Copenhagen 😀
We had booked our accommodation through Airbnb with Pia near Alexanderplatz and it was quite good. I wanted to stay as much as possible near the centre so that we don’t have to travel much! But again you have to do a bit of travel as Berlin is not a small city to visit on foot.
The travelling day arrived – we left our home at around 5:15 AM to reach bus departure point (DGI byen) on time. We had bus number 4. The bus route was Copenhagen – Gesder – Rostock – Berlin. Had to cross Baltic Sea using a ferry. It was a 1 hour long ride in the ferry and was pretty nice. We had our breakfast in the ferry and it was good.
We reached Berlin fairly on time and took the metro towards Alexanderplatz. We had time till 16:30 as our check in time was of after 16:30. So we decided to roam around & in Alexanderplatz. It was a perfect environment to welcome us. A small square filled with variety of people (locals, travellers, tourists), small but long queue of souvenir shops, small eat joints, play areas, party place and so on. We could not have asked for more to start of our Berlin exploration. That was just perfect! We roamed around the square, traversed almost everything, had small drinks and did a bit of people watching before going to our apartment. After checking in, we rested for some time and took a walk around the surrounding area in the evening, had dinner at one of the small Asia restaurant besides Alexanderplatz station and drank few German beers in one of the nearby bar before calling off the day!
Next day (the weather was mostly cloud for majority of the day), we started off our day with breakfast at Coffeeshop Inn besides Galleria Kaufhof at Alxeanderplatz (again!…. that’s the beauty of staying at some place close to centre..:)). We had typical German breakfast and it was very good. After the breakfast, we started to walk towards ‘Berlin Cathedral’. When we reached there, we found out that the church was closed for some private function, being the Easter time (Oops ….). We clicked some pictures and started strolling via Museum Island towards our next point – Checkpoint Charlie .
After taking few snaps @Checkpoint Charlie, we visited Jewish Museum. It was an interesting trip through the history of Jews, focusing mainly on their feelings of isolation and indeed on their persecution in Europe over the centuries. We learnt so much about Jewish history here. It reminds the tragedy for the Jewish people and others who tried to help them and how inhuman our race can be! Nicely & meaningfully done.
Our next place was ‘THE WALL’, Berlin Wall – to fill our historical gap. On the way there, we had a coffee & cake/German Pastry at Einstein Kaffee. It was long time wish of mine to visit the Berlin Wall in order to feel the hard times.Once we were at the wall, it was a sought of completely different & mixed emotions – the ones which is pretty hard to describe and can never feel through TV or books! There are memorials and information boards which paint a vivid picture of what it was like there during the Cold War. There was also a tower besides the wall, which really gave some nice & spectacular top view of the wall.
After so much of history, we took the S-bahn from the nearby ghost-like station towards Brandenburg Gate & Reichstag for some self clicks using our tripod :-). Had our dinner at Hard rock cafe where we didn’t got table timely, even though we had a booking, the reason being weekend rush! But it was good as they had big bar section which was served regularly by waiters.
Day 3 in Berlin and it was going to be bright & sunny day. We started our day late (at around 10 in the morning I guess) with breakfast at Coffee Fellows with German combo breakfast & cake!
By the time we finished our breakfast, it was already 11 and we thought of taking a historical tour at Berliner Unterwelten – hoping that some of the English tour would be still available for the day. We didn’t booked any advance ticket for this, as we were not sure when we would land up there! Anyhow, we got the tickets for Tour 3 – Subways & Bunkers in the cold war. That was a very informative tour explaining in detail of people lives during world war II and usage of bunkers! Our guide was well versed and knowledgeable, and at the same time she was super nice and funny. Came to know during this tour that only Sweden & Swiss are the two countries where almost all houses has got safe bunkers in case of any breakout. Rest everyone has to run & die….sort of!!!
After completing 1.5 hours tour, it was time to head back to Alexanderplatz and try some street food ….. yes, Currywurst! It was in my mind to try that from sometime and I didn’t wanted to keep it as surprise for myself for any more time. I don’t have to say anything how it tastes, as it is Berlin’s trademark. Deepa didn’t wanted to eat Currywurst, instead she went for Donuts – no she didn’t eat them all of them at once :S!
Next thing was to get a ride on Bus number 100 – it’s just a public bus but since it passes through most of the main sights in Berlin, outsiders use it more than local people. We were fortunate enough to get the front seats at the upper deck. We took the complete one way ride and got down at Zoo Garden terminus. From there we decided to stroll through the streets walking through the Tiergarten & taking random snaps. In the evening, we had the booking for the Television Tower. The 360º views of the city from the top were simply amazing and since the weather was perfect, we had some really great views of the city. We had few drinks at the bar up there and had dinner at one of the restaurants nearby (don’t remember the name now!).
Next day, it was a Potsdam city tour. Took the S-bahn from Alexanderplatz. Somehow we ended up in 1st class coach with 2nd class ticket. Not intentionally though….. We realized only when the ticket checker said something rudely in German and our common sense figured it out quite fast, but by then it was after more than half of the journey was completed ;-). Nice feeling by the way! We visited Schloss (Castle) Sanssouci as the first thing and Park Sanssouci and surrounding area comprising of many follies, cascading terraces, mini-gardens, romantic ruins & a lone windmill. After that we went down to the city centre and visited Holländisches Viertel (Dutch Quarters) further visiting Nauener Tor, Garisson Chruch, City Palace & Russian Colony. Started back to Berlin at around 18 hours and had dinner in Berlin. After dinner we went once more across the main sights to click some of our clicks with night lights.
Overall it was a pretty satisfying trip with a relaxed days and not too much running to see everything(as I wanted). Even though it was a Easter Trip we were not involved any sort of Easter festival or customs with local – that was a little sad! Berlin is a beautiful city with vibrant & colorful life and a city I would like to come back again and again and experience something new every time. Hopefully! At last we pics of Berlin @ night time: