On December 29th, my friend Alex and I traded in the sunny island of Mallorca for Berlin, Germany. We had been planning our ten day trip, which would take us to four countries, over the last month and a half, and could barely believe that we were finally embarking for it. Without delay at the airport, we hopped on and then off again in a much colder climate than the one we were just in.
After settling into our (first) airbnb, Alex and I set out to find food. Having heard the currywurst was a must-try in this city, I knew what I wanted my first meal to be, and it did not disappoint. From there, we headed straight to one of the (many) Christmas markets to see just what all the hype was about. After a beeline to the drinks stand, we wandered in and out of rows of stands, pausing long enough over the beautiful ornaments and other things that they were selling. I could hardly stand that I had to say no to them, but with nine more days to travel and eventually the travel back stateside, I knew the delicate ornaments would never last in my luggage.
Berlin continued to wow us over the next few days that we were there. Between an alternative walking tour, a couple of delicious pfannkuchens aka a “Berliner,” and lots of walking through the city, I think we managed a pretty good feel for Germany’s capital city. Berlin had blue skies to boot, knew how to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a big way (hello fireworks being set off from every which bridge and balcony for two plus hours), and street art/graffiti to ogle over on just about every corner. It was really something, and won’t be a place I soon forget.
As I begin this thread of blog posts over the coming days, I will preface that I took way too many pictures and could hardly tell you my favorite city of the four we visited and that if you are considering visiting any of these cities, you should absolutely take a visit. However, might I suggest you go in the late Spring or Summer because it was cold, cold, cold. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
Some photos from our days in Berlin…
Adios for now, Palma!Ah, clean clothes, fresh-faced, and hardly prepared for the cold that I was about to be confronted with. Also unaware of how lovely the cities we would be visiting would be and the memories I would carry with me. Also, this is the beginning of me eating my way through Europe. Just letting my readers know that there will be lots of pictures of food. Because really, what is travel without trying delicious, authentic food?Checkpoint Charlie, which was the crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.We are so out of focus, but that’s sometimes what happens when you ask a stranger to take your picture. Eggnog for Alex and a hot chocolate with Bailey’s for me. And lots of whipped cream.Still thinking of these donuts, which are called Pfannkuchens. Mine was filled with plum jam and covered in glaze. Seriously so good! We began here on our alternative walking tour, which highlighted the historical sites, but largely focused on the art and culture that exists in this city. Did you know that there is an unwritten rule, that you’re not supposed to cover up someone else’s art with your own? And that even though all of the street art is illegal, the artists have scooted around in that they no longer paint directly to the walls so as to deface the buildings, but they prepare their art in a studio and one quick swipe put it up on the wall so they can be gone in an instant.^^This was probably one of my favorite pieces. As well as the dancers a few pictures above because they were all over the city and covered in glitter. At night, a shadow is casted from a flag nearby so this astronaut was painted to appear as though he’s holding that flag. Reminders of the Berlin wall are seen throughout the city. While it has been nearly 27 years since the fall of the wall, the impact will forever shape the city. The Brandenburg Gate has become an ubiquitous symbol of the city, commissioned by Frederick William II, to represent peace.Being the day before NYE, there were tents and stages and loads of people around the gate.This bridge, so quiet and peaceful at the time of the photo, became filled with people on NYE. It was where we ushered in 2017, watching fireworks on both sides. The infamous East Side Gallery. I didn’t get an actual explanation as to why the gates were put up, but my best guess is that with the high volume of people in the city for NYE, they put them up so that no one would deface them. The wall, which really isn’t very wide at all, and yet divided Germany into two regions and in all actuality, created two very different places for many people in Germany and beyond.The Berliner Dom, which is a cathedral located on Museum Island.This is a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. The memorial itself is up for the interpretation of all who visit. The Berlin Victory Column. Bellevue Palace, which the name means “beautiful view” in French. Berlin’s morning after. I can only imagine how many hours and people it took to clean up the mess that this city was following NYE. What a place to start a new year in! Happy 2017!