- Berlin (March 2014)
Berlin is one of those cities that pulls you in and then just won't let you go. It will fascinate, enthrall, provoke heartache and despair in equal measure. It's a city that has had a turbulent past but has a very bright future. This travel diary looks at just a snippet of Berlin, mainly from a cultural and historical viewpoint.
|Sunset at the Brandenburg Gate|
If you were to do Berlin in a day then the areas featured would probably be the best places to visit. It would give you a snippet of the old and the new. So how about a bit of culture at the magnificent Berliner Dom? The walk up and the views from the top of the church are highly recommended, especially on a clear day. Once you are cathedraled out! A short walk away is the Brandenburg Gates, an area to relax a little, listen to buskers, and in our case watch the sunset through its arches. Oh and enjoy a Starbucks! (They get everywhere, but I'll save that rant for another day).
|Cathedral Wall - Berliner Dom|
A must do on any trip to Berlin is a visit to the Reichstag. Not only can you get the view below but the tour takes you right into its very beating heart. Head up the spiral walkway and perhaps give Mrs Merkal a wave? We went in the evening so she wasn't there. With accompanying headphones you get a comprehensive overview of the workings of the building and its history. It's also architecturally and aesthetically pleasing on the eye.
|Sunset from Parliament|
|Inside the Chamber - The Reichstag|
There is of course a darker side to Berlin and it's to the cities credit that this darker side is never forgotten. Of course there is Check-point Charlie and the Jewish Museum, which are essential places to visit. Perhaps the most startling though is the Holocaust Memorial, which is free to visit. Crazily we stumbled upon it on a different day. It's only around the corner from the Brandenburg Gates! A maze to loose your thoughts in. So simple in concept, so powerful in its message.
|Always Remember! The Holocaust Memorial|
Berlin has something for everyone, that much is clear. It's a unique city in that you can be looking at some of the world's most iconic features one minute and then the next enjoying a cruise down the river or having a beer and boogie in one of its nightclubs. This is just touching the surface and in Sketches fashion I'll do a photo blog of other features to follow-up. So get lost in this wonderful, thought provoking city, because if you do the memories will last forever.