My journey to Berlin is where the train craziness started. For this trip I didn't have to reserve a departure, but I had one in mind just to be organized. Luckily, before leaving to the station I found out there was another strike going on in Frankfurt with the train workers, meaning the train I had in mind was not going anywhere, but at least there was another I was still in time to catch. So I took one that had a connection I almost missed because the first one got delayed on its way. After that stressful first train experience I made it to Berlin. There I had booked a room through Airbnb and the hosts, Yvonne and Luca, helped me find my way there and even met me at the station to walk me. I was supposed to meet Natasha, who took a bus from Frankfurt instead and this took her longer to get there (which worried me since we had very little communication), but she finally made it. We both had pretty long trips so that night we only went out to have dinner at a cute corner Italian restaurant near where we were. The next day Yvonne made us a delicious breakfast similar to the one I had in Norway. After that Natasha and I headed straight to the Brandenburg Gate and took the perfectly timed picture you see below. Then we went to Alexanderplatz to meet a group for a free walking tour. The first stop was the Fernsehturm or TV Tower, which you can see from almost everywhere in central Berlin. We kept walking towards Museum Island just to see the impressive buildings including the Berlin Cathedral. Then we saw Humboldt University, where Einstein studied, and Gendarmenmarkt. The tour continued to the Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which is like a labyrinth made out of 2,711 concrete slabs that are bigger and taller as you get to the center of the site and below is a picture of it too. After the tour we went back to Alexnderplatz to find a traditional German restaurant to have a late lunch in, which was Hofbräuhaus München a beer hall dating back to the 16th century, with Bavarian food, and shows. After walking all day we went back to the apartment, had some tapas at a nearby place and went to bed.
During our third day in Berlin we had breakfast at a pub Yvonne recommended to us, which was very good and cheap. Then we went to find a meeting point for another walking tour that was off the beaten path, we got lost trying to find it and instead we went to see the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall, which is filled with beautiful and colorful graffiti like the one above. After this we went back to Museum Island and decided to see the Neues Museum, which has an impressive ancient Egyptian exhibition including the famous Nefertiti bust. The museum itself was an incredible piece of history that took us almost all day to see. When we finished there we set on a quest to find the hipster area Yvonne told us about called Kreuzberg and on our way there we stopped at a very yummy Thai restaurant. We got to the area and enjoyed a little bar hopping, people watching, and catching up until it got dark.
Our fourth and final day came and we started by going to the DDR Museum located right on the Spree river. After this we had a quick lunch and went up the Berliner Dome, which was amazing. Natasha had a different trip planned and after this she had to leave so after accompanying her back to the apartment and the train station I went on to explore the rest of Berlin on my own. I went back to the Brandenburg Gate where there was a lot of commotion. The entrance of the famous hotel next to it, Hotel Adlon was covered with police and public so I stood around to see what was going on when all of a sudden, a limousine with the Queen of England passes right in front of me and stops at the hotel entrance. It was all so quick and unexpected that I didn't even get the chance to take out my phone for a picture, but I was so excited I got to see that. When that was over I kept walking across the Tiergarten until I reached the Victory Column and went all the way to the Charlottenburg Gate. After this I took the metro to see the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was left in ruins after WWII. I did a little window shopping and bought a souvenir from the wall to relax and waste a little time before I got ready to get on a train again. Before leaving I had a super nice dinner with my hosts and got ready for my first night train, which I will tell you all about in the next post soon! I hope you get something out of my experience in Berlin. Please join in on the conversation and comment below for any questions or stories you would like to share.