Unexpectedly, and only thanks to the fact that we had a local guide, we started our tour in Berlin from the East Side Gallery.
Although it sounds like a trade center, it is actually a well-preserved part of the Berlin Wall in the eastern part of the city. We are walking and exploring every picture on it – from the familiar graffiti to abstract paintings. The famous trabant and some darker and more tragic pictures move to light and funny paintings. The art is in the name of the freedom, equality, peace and love.
It turned out we can’t handle the warm sun. The locals in Berlin enjoy the sun a lot, since they do not see a lot of it. However, we quickly get tired from it and start looking for other options. We take off for a bar to get refreshed. Just 2 minutes after you have left the Wall you enter a totally different part of Berlin. Or is it something untypical for the city? We enter a bar with sand, lounges, all kinds of playgrounds, reggae and lots of refreshing drinks under umbrellas. On the side the Spree River chills you and reminds you where you really are.
While the amount of beer in our glasses was decreasing, our escape from the heat was coming to an end.
It was time to get to our next POI – checkpoint Charley. It is one of those busy and popular places, where you can a lot of information from everywhere and in every kind. Museums, stones (originally from the Wall, of course) and many people raising money for good causes… if only this place had known what it would be turned into…
The best thing there? Getting a photo with the military, a few bags and the American flag. We missed all that touristy stuff. I guess this means we will have something to do when we come back.
Time to go back to the elegant and the beautiful – Charlottenburg Schloss.
It has gorgeous gardens and lavish furnishings. We hadn’t expected anything less. The gardens slowly turn into a big park, where we keep trying to get some rest under the shadow.
We are going back to our hotel. The AC there should help us. We have to refresh before dinner and gather some strength for a small bowling tournament.
We started the next day with new powers. Thankfully, we had booked the first tour up to the famous TV Tower.
Some thing are best when done in the morning. It is proved. This trip was not only cheaper this way, but we also had a chance to have breakfast in the spinning restaurant at the top of the tower. Our table was next to the window and the prices in the restaurant weren’t as high as one would expect. What a luck, right? I guess this is what surprises are supposed to be – very unexpected. We were spinning and seeing every part of Berlin. In the end I even had half a grapefruit.
We were more than happy with our unusual breakfast.So we decided to leave the political-historical part of the city behind us. It was time to enjoy nature and art. We went to an suburban neighborhood that was said to be a ghetto. We can only hope that all ghettos become like this one one day.
There we saw the Gardens of the World (Gaerten der Welt). There were recreations of bits and pieces of different countries and cultures in this really nice park. We started with the Orient Garden. Then we went for the Renaissance one. We then visited the Chinese, the Christian and the Korean gardens. We also saw the Japanese garden and then we finished our tour with the Balinese garden. There we made some comparison to the real thing in Bali from our trip there last year. All the gardens are beautifully made and really thoughtfully done. Every little detail has its place.
We didn’t want to leave this beautiful park. However, there were more thing in the center of Berlin that we wanted to see.
We were really happy that we had found a diamond in the rough in the outskirts. We wanted to visit some of the places that are more often visited by tourists. What would the Brandenburg Gate and the Parliament do without us?
As common travelers who try to see beauty from afar we crushed on the grass in front of the Reichstag. It is a beautiful building from outside and is a great background for some jumpies. From the inside it is even greater with its complicated forms and long spirals climbing all the way up to the dome.
There was one high golden obelisk/tower – a monument, that we were tired of getting passed every day. So we finally decided to get near it and see it from up close.
Siegessäule or Berlin Victory Column. The most interesting thing was getting there. Since our feet were hurting pretty bad by this point, we decided to get a bicycle-taxi. (Maybe it was a rikshaw… You should see the photo below.)
It is a really popular transportation method there, especially if you are doing sightseeing. While your driver is pedaling hard on the hill you are just relaxing and enjoying the views. Our driver was actually a really nice girl who not only took us to the golden tower, but also led us to the closest place to get a boat. She also gave us a discount and was giving us information about all the things we saw on the trip. This girl was… Romanian. Berlin obviously attracts nice people. Because of the many rivers and canals, boats and ships are an important part of Berlin’s charm. They are also a great way to see things from a different perspective and fill the gaps in your knowledge about history, present and future of the city.
Auf Wiedersehen, Berlin!
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