Blogs from Berlin, Germany, Europe

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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin February 4th 2021

Berlin So many beautiful buildings today in the historic centre of Berlin. Zeughaus is the oldest royal armoury, erected from 1695 to 1706 & was later converted into a Prussian Hall of Fame. Damaged during the WW2 the Zeughaus was rebuilt from 1949 to 1967. Since 2003, it has been home to the German Historic Museum. World War Two left numerous marks on Berlin buildings, scars caused by bombs and shells which are still visible & Arja our guide knew where to look. Damaged during World War II and later demolished by the East German government in the 1950s, the Royal Palace is being rebuilt. The Neue Wache or New Guardhouse is a memorial to the victims of war and tyranny. The Neue Wache was opened in its current form in 1993. Designed in the nineteenth ... read more

Europe » Germany » Berlin January 20th 2021

25th November 2020 Berlin David Bowie spent one of the most fruitful periods of his career 1976-1979 living in Berlin with fellow musician Iggy Pop. During this time, he kept himself separated from drugs and alcohol in a city divided. Bowie knew a different Berlin than that which exists today. We started our tour with Martin at Potsdamer Platz for many years the location of a ghost station. When the Berlin Wall was built on August 13, 1961, it divided the city as well as the transportation system but two subway lines and one commuter rail line with departure and destination stations in West Berlin continued to run through the eastern sector. The trains would slow down, but they did not stop at these deserted stations in East Berlin. Blocked off and patrolled by GDR armed ... read more
Bowie in Berlin

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 4th 2019

In order to head to Southern Europe, we need to backtrack, from Stockholm to Malmo to Copenhagen to Hamburg, and finally to Berlin, GERMANY. At Rodby, Denmark, the train is driven on to a ferry for a 45 minute ride to Putt Garden, Germany. Quite an experience. A thirteen hour day of travel. Guten Morgen Berlin. First off is to go and book reservations for our future travels. At the wicket, I ask the fellow assisting us how long he has lived in Berlin and if he likes it here. He responds that he has been here three years and that in Berlin, he feels safe, as he came from Afghanistan. He worked for the military, assisting the U.S. soldiers. The agreement was that in three years time he would receive a green card, and his ... read more
Our train from Denmark drove onto a hybrid ferry!
A Berliners Breakfast!
Old East Berlin

Europe » Germany » Berlin September 4th 2019

The day started with a beautiful 27 degrees forecast and it didn’t disappoint. Jumped on the bus to get to the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and Bundestag. The Holocaust Memorial is incredibly moving. I walked through it slowly as you would a labyrinth, reflecting on this story and it moved me in a way that I didn’t expect. It is a huge undulating space and was ironically originally owned by the German Reich and was destroyed in WW2. It was officially opened in 2005 as a Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. I then headed to the Berlin Central Station to sort a couple of things for tomorrow’s travels to Warsaw. It is massive inside with its own shopping centre. As it is both an international and local station it has both above and ... read more
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Europe » Germany » Berlin September 3rd 2019

Started the day at a leisurely pace. The weather was much cooler so the cardy came out of the case. Headed towards the station and the rain started so as luck would have it there was an on-off bus stop near the hotel. Staying in East Berlin. Berlin is a fascinating city. It’s history is expressed in 3 ways. Establishment/ pre Reich, war time and the third Reich and thirdly, post 1989 when the fall off the wall occurred. It’s a city of sad history but now is a city of vibrancy, museums and art. Everywhere you go you experience history and memory often honoured to avoid it happening again. It’s not forgotten but Berlin is now a city with a focus on peace. It is also a shopping Mecca. There are shopping plazas above and ... read more
Location of the Berlin Wall

Europe » Germany » Berlin September 2nd 2019

Today.... an airport...a new country and city. Travelling through European countries is like driving through the regional Victoria, Australia. An hour or so here or there and you have crossed the border into a new country. And today is Wroclaw to Berlin. Flying this leg before the train journeys through Eastern Europe and Croatia begin. The rest of the Aussie family met for breakfast but I had a departure too early to fit that in. And for this travelling coeliac I needed a high protein breakfast as I have learnt that even with appropriate language gluten free cards you can be glutened easily and breakfast is the hardest with all the breads and pastries. So an early breakfast at the hotel with more options......... fruit, yoghurt and boiled eggs 🥚. A safe option for a travelling ... read more
At last some gluten free toast! Crispy and crunchy.
Hell Germany- wind farms as far as you can see.
Hello Amsterdam- a brief stopover

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 31st 2019

Today was our last full day with the tour with another long but more comfortable 7 hr train journey to Berlin. After a quick check-in to the Moxy Hotel for a 2 night stay we headed straight out for an orientation walk around the huge city. We covered some of the main attractions included the Brandenburg Gate the Reichstag (parliament), remnants of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and Berlin Cathedral but to be honest not that exciting compared to some of the smaller cities we have been over the last few weeks. The city has also been under continuous reconstruction for decades. We ha a final group dinner at a Bavarian style brewery pub. Next day was hot again. Not knowing what we wanted to do & having to navigate the S Bahn & U Bahn ... read more
Old & New
Brandenburg Gate
Propaganda mural on SS Headquarters wall

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 1st 2019

This holiday was a bit different from my usual travels ....I like big country landscapes but when an offer of a home exchange to Dresden popped up the trip morphed into a "why not visit Berlin and Prague moment , followed by why not take trains and where else can we go , why not Amsterdam " and so it became a cities tour . For the first part my son Chris and his wife Anabel along with 6 year old Maya would travel with me . Half way through they would return to the UK from Prague and Jenny would then join me there for more Dresden and Amsterdam. Maya, for a 6 year old , is a great walker but some of the sites in Berlin are spread out so a Hop on/off bus ... read more
Maya runs by the Berlin Wall
Lamps
Korean Peace Pavilion

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin July 1st 2019

By the time we reached Berlin, my brothers had gone ahead down to Wittenberg - where Curt has been living and teaching for the past two years - and the heat was there to greet us. While we were in Berlin, it reached 102 degrees - not the hottest temp in Europe, but plenty hot for us. The day of our arrival, however, was marginally cooler, so we decided to take a walking tour to familiarize ourselves with a bit of the city and its history. There are many options for walking tours in major European cities, but I usually use Sandmans New Europe tours, and we did this time as well. Our guide Stephen was both knowledgable and funny, a good thing for a 3-hour walking tour. Much of Berlin having been destroyed during World ... read more
Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin June 12th 2019

Today is HOT and HUMID and we slept in to avoid the heat. But not for long as we went out so Peggy could have a last look at Nefertiti and the Neue National Gallery Museum’s Egyptian collection. While she was communing with the Egyptians, John rented a bike and went off to find a hat he could wear in the sun that was cool as in breezy. Both accomplished their respective objectives and met up to go to the Reichstag for lunch atop the dome. When we finally got in and up we were amazed at the combination of historic with modern. The dome over the parliamentary chambers is arranged with mirrors looking down so you can see the representatives in action. And there is a fine restaurant, Kafer Berlin, on the roof with views ... read more
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