Over the years I’ve had comments from students who went to Berlin. Each time they said how much they enjoyed their stay and isn’t it lovely there. Then they got my surprise answer: “I think so, but I haven’t been there.” “What? You haven’t been to Berlin???”
It then dawned on me that lots of my students, my children and other members of my family have visited Berlin, but not me! So, at the beginning of the month I rectified it by spending a week in Berlin. … as a tourist!
And I fell in love with Berlin!
I felt, despite everybody being busy, that everything was a lot calmer than in London (Ok, I don’t spend much time in London, but that’s the feeling I have). Of course, we were extremely lucky with the weather as it was between 30° and 40°, which in the end wasn’t too great either, but we did not experience Berlin in the rain or storm – maybe we would have felt different.
So, what did we see?
We tried booking our tickets online (they are free but security is high and they want to check your passports) but didn’t find a free slot. There is a kiosk close to the Reichstag, where you can find out if there may be anything free for the next two days, but it was closed for a few days. Luckily we managed to speak to the right person at the right time and managed to get in within 10 minutes!
Apart from the beautiful glass dome and the view you can also pick up literature about the Bundestag or Parlament. Pick up the German booklets if you want to improve your German or get the English ones – or both, of course! Book your tickets here, if you want to visit the Reichstag.
We also walked from Alexanderplatz, past the TV Tower and along the street ‘Unter den Linden’ to the Brandenburg Gate.
We visited the Cathedral
with the Coventry Cross
If you’d like to read how the cross came from Coventry to Berlin, read here.
We also visited those famous parts of Berlin, which remind you of Germany’s sad history . We visited Checkpoint Charlie, the leftover parts of the wall, the Berlin Underword, the Jewish memorial, the DDR museum … but after a while it got to negative for me, and seeing all those smiling tourists taking selfies in front of those places didn’t help.
We also took a boat trip on the Spree (got a little sunburned as it was way too hot to walk that day and, of course, we didn’t noticed the heat so much on the boat), walked through Tiergarten and along the Kudamm, and bought some rolls in KaDeWe – 2 Berliner Schrippen for 50 Cent each, yes we could afford that ☺
We even met up with some people who we only knew online until that week. And my partner Steven, whose German is good but not quite fluent yet, got a lot of encouragement from Berliners when he spoke German … and they didn’t reply in English!
Oh, and I picked up lots of leaflets to be used in lessons. So if you are a student of mine, watch out ☺
Berlin, we’ll be back!Berlin - we love you, wir lieben dich! Click To Tweet