96 hours in… Berlin, Germany Pt 2

With so much to do I felt I had just too much to write about in one post! So here is part two of our trip to Berlin.

Read Part 1 here and Festival of Lights here.

Day 3 – The wall

Since my sister had visited Berlin a few years before I had know about the East side gallery, Nick quickly came up with the route and we were on our way.

When we came out of the train station it can be a little confusing as to which way to go, however, looking down on the floor there were painted signs saying “this way” essentially. To be fair, it was just down the road and to the right from the station, once you knew how close you were.

Walking along the street you are greeted with a lot of people either on the path walking towards you or standing in the middle taking photographs. My photos above may look quiet but this was just quick fire photos, before anyone could walk in front. The history of the wall is evident when you walk along and you just can’t imagine how it must have been like living with it for all that time.

A lot of the wall was blank and awaiting repainting, after reading about it afterwards it seems graffiti was the main problem. As I mentioned earlier, my sister had also been to Berlin a few years before us and at that time there were no railings in front, like there are now, the railings followed the whole wall to protect the art. Some were without and you could go right up to the wall, however, this was usually 14590097_10153706117106184_7226475442721016891_owhen the picture had been whitened out by paint to redo or so badly graffitied that it couldn’t be damaged anymore.

I thoroughly enjoyed walking up and down the wall on both sides even though obviously the side which faces the road is the most popular with highly recognisable and iconic images.

For lunch we did our standard tradition of a meal in Hard Rock Cafe, this one was a train ride away but with our travel cards meant it was worth fitting in.

After a quick lunch we made our way to the Natural History Museum which is again a go to place as there is always so much to see. However, we did feel it was slightly overpriced at 8 euros each as there were only 5 or so small rooms of exhibitions, we did expect more, so didn’t feel it was worth the money, as we were finished within 45 minutes!

The main exhibit worth seeing was in the main hall in front of the stairs, whereby you had to lay down and a screen would move closer to you from the ceiling starting in space and ending looking at the Natural History Museum building. We did however have to wait a while to be able to lay down on the large sofa to watch the video and be a little ruthless to take our chance when a space opened up! Despite being smaller and less exhibits than other countries we have visited I would still recommend it if you have time.

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Since we had more time than we thought as the history museum didn’t take as long we made our way back to the centre via the Mall of Berlin. We walked round the many shops and stopped for a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up.

Back at the hotel I tried to brave going out to our small balcony to fully enjoy the view – this was easier said than done. With a fear of heights a small balcony and large drop was not ideal! I chose to spend the rest of my time INSIDE the room from that point on, Nick chose to step onto the balcony when he got the chance to make my heart panic.

Moving our attention to dinner we found a great spot round the corner from our hotel underneath Berlin Hackescher Markt station which had many restaurants all next to each other, perfect for indecisive people like us. We chose Grand Rocka which, at nearly 10pm, was still very busy which was a good sign. We were quickly sat down and the staff were very attentive. The food was great, I just chose ribs to play safe on our last night and the cocktails were brilliantly finished.

After dinner we chose to walk it off seeing all the sights again with the projections from the Festival of Lights, and was amazed once again.

Day 4 – Sea life and home time

On our last day we were finally going to make our trip up through the aquarium we had spent three days looking at. We booked our tickets with the concierge who questioned if the Aquadom lift was the only reason – “no, no” we told him, to then 10 minutes later after powering through the Sealife centre, be in the queue waiting to go up the first lift of the day.

It wasn’t that the sealife centre didn’t feature enough, it did, but our mindset was we had seen this lift everyday for 4 days for it to now finally be our time to see what the fuss was about. We saw all we wanted to in the sealife centre such as the room of mirrors, jelly fish and various species of sealife and before we knew it had made it across the walkway to be in the queue for the lift.

The lift took you almost to the very top of the aquarium while the guide spoke in both German and English explaining many facts about the Aquadom. It was great to see the fish close up and feel as though you were truly inside the aquarium, my only criticism would be that it could be a little faster. The lift slowly takes you up and takes around 8 minutes, this is I assume, so you can take in all the fish which fill the tank, however, it can feel a little long when you can’t move around with the lift being so full, so you can only see one outlook and only the fish which swim in front.

As we had spent less time in the Sealife centre we had time to visit the DDR museum. At only 7.60 euros each with a voucher we didn’t know what to expect. The museum was very busy and full of people meaning queues to interesting parts were likely, however, overall we were pleasantly surprised. The interactive parts of the museum were cleverly thought out such as the replica of a typical german house. The interactive wardrobe made for some laughs as which ever outfit was placed on the connector was placed on you from casual wear to glitzy outfits and suits.

Home time came too soon as before we knew it we were on the train heading to the airport home.

Looking back on Berlin I would have no qualms about visiting again, there was so much to see and do, not only because of the amount of history but also just the points of interest.  We tried to pack in as much as we could and there were still many museums and sights we didn’t get a chance to see. It was one of the busiest places we have travelled to as you are in the city centre with easy access to everything you would want to see.

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