Welcome to Berlin!
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 6 of 9 › view all entries
We arrived at the East Berlin train station - Ostbahnhof - at around 17.30. This train station was the main station in East Berlin. It's a pretty big train station and seems a little bit rough around the edges, drab and gray. The station wasn't too busy when we arrived there. Once I got my bearings we headed to the East Side Gallery which is actually the longest remaining portion of the Berlin wall and is covered in Grafitti. At about 1.3 kms, they refer to it as the longest art gallery in the world. Before the wall was opened, this side of the wall was perfectly white - it would have been virtually impossible to get this close to it.
On the way to Alexanderplatz, we were hungry to we stopped in a shopping center to look for something to eat. The Alexa shopping center is an enormous mall with many stores and restaurants. The thing about these shopping centers here in Europe is that for the most part, when you're in one of them you could be in virtually any country - a mall in Berlin isn't different from one in Warsaw or Lisbon or Barcelona.
After a sandwich and somthing to drink, we got the U Bahn (subway) from Alexanderplatz to Potsdamerplats and then changed to the S Bahn (above ground train) from Potsdamerplatz to Lichtenrade where we were staying. It was great to be able to stay with a local family - fantastic people. Our first dinner in Berlin was a mixed vegetable salad with potatoes, aspic (which I'd never tried before and was really good), bread, cold meats and soup. After dinner we had a few drinks, sitting around the table - and some lively conversation about Germany, Poland and the USA.