It was Barry’s birthday coming up and with every birthday celebration comes another holiday. This time we decided to venture to Berlin which is the capital city of Germany. As per our normal routine, Barry booked the flights with Easyjet (for only £90 return for the pair of us!) and the hotel with Hotels.com, whilst I planned our itinerary. However, this time I wasn’t impressed with his flights bookings. You see he decided to book us on a 6:10am flight, resulting in a taxi collecting us at 3am and a 2:30am alarm call! 2:30am is still counted as the day before in my book! Still, the free cab ride, courtesy of KarHoo, which compares cabs for the cheapest journey, eased the pain! He reasoned that this meant we would arrive early and get the whole day to explore. I can’t say I really bought into this, given we were going for 6 nights anyway. Sadly, it was far too early for me to have the traditional fry up in the ‘Spoons at the airport so I settled for a croissant. It wasn’t to early however to have the mandatory Bloody Mary!
After a very short flight, we touched down in Berlin and easily found our way to the train station where we caught a train straight to our hotel for just 3 euros each! As we touched down so early, we weren’t able to check into our hotel for a good few hours, so we dropped our luggage off and went for a wander around. Our hotel was conveniently located right at the end of the main shopping district. The streets were lined with every designer store imaginable – Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Mulberry, Versace and D&G to name a few. Outside each of the stores they had glass cabinets filled with stock to showcase their range. They actually left these out all through the night. I was shocked – I’m sure if that were London people would be smashing the cabinets once the stores were shut just to get the pricey goods out!
I had planned some places to visit on our day of arrival, but we were so shattered from such an early flight and only a couple of hours of sleep, that it took everything we had just to keep our eyes open!
When we left the airport, one of the first things we saw was a currywurst and bratwurst van and these continued to pop up everywhere we went in Berlin. The streets were lined with them. It was Germany’s speciality so of course we had to try them. We picked a stand not far from our hotel and went straight in for the currywurst. We weren’t sure what to expect, but ultimately it was a sliced frankfurter smothered in runny ketchup and doused with curry powder. It may not look or sound very appetising but it actually wasn’t bad!
Amongst the abundance of shops, there were some interesting sculptures dotted around and a fountain filled with soapy water. We found that this was quite common all around Berlin, not soapy water but random sculptures and lots of fountains. They also have lots of old buildings and some great architecture and at the bottom of the street where our hotel was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. It was built in the 1890’s but damaged in the war. It’s been left in its damaged state as a reminder of what happened, but makes for a fascinating sight.
Across from the church was the Bikini Mall. No, it’s not a mall filled with bikinis but an old heritage building that’s been transformed into Germany’s first concept mall. They had lots of unique stores, and an outside seating area that overlooked the monkey enclosure in the zoo next door. At the time when we visited they had an exhibition of old school cars so of course Barry took the opportunity to get snapping.
After a couple of hours had passed by and with a stop at Dunkin Donuts, it was time to check into our hotel, The City Hotel. It’s a traditional hotel and short walk to the town center and close to bus stops and the underground, which made it perfect for the tourist. For a very small price of £35, it included an amazing breakfast with everything you could think of and free WIFI! We made our way back and once we entered the room we crashed for the rest of the evening. We had to catch up on our sleep ready for the action packed week ahead.