Personal Memories and Impressions, Berlin
Berlin is a huge city and to truly explore it takes weeks, but even on a short trip, you can see more than just the central tourist sections by jumping on its extensive mass transit system.
Fondest memory: We got into Berlin a little later than planned but easily found our hostel and asked the receptionist if there was a Vietnamese restaurant in the city. He said yes though his bewildered look made me feel that he'd send us for Thai just not to look uniformed. Since it was in the same neighborhood, we decided to give it a go. We passed a little authentic Turkish place en route and I made a mental note in case our chase turned out to be mere wild goose. The area was a bustling one, full of student energy and cool cafes. It was very western looking even though it was in the very heart of what was once the east part of Berlin and I could have easily been walking around the village in NYC. There were lots "happy hour" signs and the bars looked more like places back in the States than the traditional beer halls of Germany that I love. Still, there was something comforting in finding it like this as I was to go home in a couple days, and maybe this would allay the culture shock of returning there. Though there were many different types of ethnic food represented, there was nothing remotely resembling a Vietnamese one so we walked back to the little place that caught our attention on the way. It was a small one-man operation and the friendly owner greeted us warmly. We ordered one big plate of food to share, not knowing how good it would be. It was delicious and though not really full, we decided to head to one of the cafes for happy hour to unwind from the long drive. Afterward, I was still hungry but we couldn't decide where to eat and finally I suggested just going back to our little Turkish place as at least we knew we liked the food there. It was a little embarrassing going back after only a couple hours but he was obviously happy to see us. The food was just as good this time around and after paying, we bid our new friend adieu. He smiled and laughingly said he'd see us in a couple hours, but it was more likely that I would never see him again.
Well, have to admit it, contemporary architecture is out of my interests when I am exploring the places. I don't like, in particularly, skycrapers and those glass buildings where most of the banks or insurance companies have their seats. In most of the places, I've visited so far, all these buildings look alike. In Berlin, however, it is not the case.
Fondest memory: TO BE CONTINUED
I noticed on my last trip that Berlin is a green and clean city.
Next to the mixture of renovated buildings and a unique architecture
the city has a lot of urban qualities implicating green and open spaces with parks, sports facilities and cemeteries, boulevard trees, gardens and promenades along the waterside and woods. Berlin has a surface of 890 skm of which 18% is green area and 7% waterside.
I never knew or realized that Berlin has that lot of greens and canals and lakes to offer.
Must be a paradise for walkers and bikers
The green lung is without doubt “Tiergarten” Visiting Berlin via the waterside must be a unique experience
People enjoy being outdoors, relaxing and spending time in the urban environment with family and friends. It is a pitty I had no time to visit the most south/western part of Berlin – better known as Potsdam.
All of this pictures I've took through the taxi glass window, in ariving and departing the city of Berlin. Both days were cold and gloomy which made this scenes even more depressing. Ectually, I haven't stroll around Eastern part of the city nither I went to see what was once the famous Berlin wall. The walls are, in my opinion, built by narrow minded people, those who have walls in their own brains, those who are full of limitations and evil. Nothing could me convinced to visit such a place, no thanks.
Fondest memory: I strongly recommend you to avoid this part of Berlin, there is nothing interesting here.
Favorite thing: One of the first thing, you noticed when strolling around, are this big bear statues spread all over the town. Each of the statues is unique, coloured in different colours and vivid and funny motifs. Bear is the emblem of Berlin and its trade-mark. As I was told by the locals, in 2001 the city authorities have engaded artists from all over the world in order to coloured this bears. One of this, head down, stands even in the front of prestigues Berliner Hilton.
Favorite thing: When the GDR disappeared, so too did many characteristic street lights from East Berlin. That is until people protested and started a movement to preserve the "Ampelmann". Today, several lights have been saved and can be seen throughout eastern Berlin (a few even in the western parts). I find them extremely cute and thank those who managed to save them. You can buy souvenirs with the cheerful looking red and green men on in a couple of dedicated shops (Hackscher Markt and just across the river from the Dom) but items exist in several other shops. When we visited, you could even buy a whole working street light in a book shop in Unter den Linden. I love them.
It's perfectly okay to stand in a station with a public transit system map in hand. Who said Berliners, those from my area always said northern Germans in general weren't friendly! One day I got myself really really REALLY lost and had no idea how to get back to where I was staying. Previously I'd had personal navigators in the persons of Damon and Jay (if you read the rest of my page you know who they are), but after they'd left for other parts of Germany I was on my own.
Courageously I struck out on my own one day to see Charlottenburg, I never made it and got lost, yet found that by standing in the station looking lost I had a number of persons come up to me and ask in English, "what are you looking for?" and "can I help you find your way?" There are information booths at some stations, but persons in general, usually were quite helpful. So synopsis: ITS OK TO LOOK LOST SOMETIMES ;-)
Summer sunny day.
Sitting in a deck chair and feeling the fine sand under my feet.
A warm summer night. Only missing a cold Pina Colada or Mojito or Long Island Icetea or ... or ...
Fondest memory: Getting my name back from the wall in 1989. What an experience!!!! We went here just a few days after the borders were opened. As soon as we'd arrived in Berlin we went to the part of the wall we used to spray on to remove bits of wall we had written on. Luckily the bit my name was one was still there and I started to remove it :) I still have those bits and I will never throw them away. I have a bit of history in my living room now :)
In Berlin, it is a must to check out The Wall. Of course, who goes there without doing this! There is also a museum at one of the old boarder crossings that tells the story with movies and modern art.
There is also an excellent Greece Museum here as well. It is suppose to be one of the best museums around for the artifacts on Greece.
Fondest memory: The best memory is when Jenny, Aimee and myself were sharing a two man tent. Yes, it was squishy. Especially since there was no room to put our backpacks. And it really sucked when it started to rain and we had to shove our packs under someone's camper trailer to make sure they wouldn't get wet. But it is all about experiencing different situations, and this certainly was one!
wolf down a fresh currywurst in the cold; dance until 9am (or longer) and stagger home wasted as the sun rises over the city (if there's sunlight at all :) ); go to schlager karaoke night; run away from American tourists; hang out on the sidewalk watching the cute German teenage boys strutting their stuff; have a beer in Friedrichshain on Rigaer Strasse and hit on the Italian punks; take a day trip to Turkey in Neuköln or Kreuzberg; spend all day in Görlitzer Park reading a book
Fondest memory: running around the Berlin science museum--it was one of my favorite museum experiences ever! especially the outdoor exhibits such as the windmills.
Fondest memory: The weeks I spent there with my rowing team in 1987, 1988 and 1990 to compete in 'Jugend trainiert für Olympia', something like the German school championships. A lot of fun, drink and winning the silver medal twice...
there's no must, it depends on your own likes and dislikes, where you want to go.
however here's only a few suggestions:
* if you like listening to funny short stories and nonsense poetry and understand German, don't miss the Lesungen such as 'Surfpoeten' every Thursday at Mud Club (Mitte) or 'Reformbuehne Heim und Welt' every Sunday at Cafe Burger (Turmstrasse/Mitte)
* Check out Kreuzberg! Here (and in neighbouring part of town Neukoelln) you get the best Lebanese and Turkish Food in town along with a couple of good clubs, cafes and bars
* if possible, get yourself a bicycle and explore Berlin on your own
Fondest memory: When I came to Berlin for the first time as a 17yearold addicted to London, I swore to never come and live here.
However, after 2 1/2 years in 'Germany's one and only metropolis' I came to like living here, although the roughness of how people behave towards eachother over here really pisses me off at times...
Take a sightseeing tour which is offered right on the Ku'damm for a reasonable price. There are so many monuments to visit, for instance: The Brandenburg Gate, Der Reichstag, Die Siegessaeule, Der Funkturm, etc., etc.
When I was a child I was always fascinated with Schloss Charlottenburg. Here some insight on some of the places you might find interesting:
The museum at Haus am Checkpoint Charlie records the wall's chilling history. One of the most monumental structures in Eastern Berlin is the gigantic Fernsehturm or TV tower with an observation platform for unbeatable views and Alexanderplatz is the commercial and shopping hub of the former Soviet sector. In Western Berlin, the Kurfürstendamm or Ku'damm, is a 3.5km strip of ritzy shops, cinemas, bars and cafés where you can check the throbbing pulse of the city. Berlin boasts an admirable collection of museums: the Zoologischer Garten forms the beginning of the Tiergarten, a restful expanse of woodland where there is a series of museums centred on the Neue Nationalgalerie. The great museums of eastern Berlin are centred on the Museuminsel, and include the Pergamonmuseum and the Bodemuseum.
Fondest memory: I was there when the wall came down.....wow, it was amazing! People were reunited that haven't seen each other for decades! We've helped a guy from the East find his family at Prinzenstrasse. He had never been to the West in his entire life and asked us to please help him find the way. So we took him there and he rang the door bell. It was breathtaking to see people in such awe walking through the streets, admiring what we've been taking for granted all of our lives!
Enjoy the parks and the museums
Fondest memory: I lived in Berlin for a month, it changed the idea I had from germany and showed me the amzing warm of the people. It is a live city, growing and finding a new face in it's habitants.