December 27th, 2008 – by: Miranda-Maas
Holocaust monument in front of the modern buildings of the Potzdammer Platz
We didn't travel enough in 2008 (of course not!) and for that reason we had to make another trip before 2009 would start. We could just go for a few days so we didn't want to go far. In the end we chose Berlin. It's only one hour by plane so we didn't waste a lot of time traveling there. Our plane departed at 06:30 so we were in the city very early. We checked in at our wonderful hotel and had a very nice breakfast to start the day with. I had never seen a breakfast like this and normally i don't really eat in the morning but i couldn't resist this! I had different kinds of bread, cheeses, fish and fruits. I was ready for Berlin! We started our day at the holocaust monument.
Central Station of Berlin seen from the Reichstag
Not a very happy sight in the morning but it was close to our hotel and i think you have to see this when you're in Berlin. I was very impressed by this monument. It speaks for itself actually. You know immediately what all the blocks pretend to be. It makes you quiet. There's a museum under the monument but we didn't visit it. We went to the Brandenburger Tor. It was surrounded by Christmas market shops now and it was very crowded but it was very nice to see this national building that i've only seen on pictures and many Euros before. After that we went to the Reichstag where the German parlement is seated. On the way there you cross the former Berlin Wall and there are some memorial signs of people who died while they were trying to flee to the West during the time of the Wall.
It's really strange because we're used to live in freedom and because we just crossed the former Wall without even noticing it at first. When i saw the signs i realised the Wall had to be close and it was only a few steps behind me. I just stepped into the West. We approached the Reichstag and there was a huge line of people who wanted to climb the glass dome to enjoy the view. We really wanted to do the same so we got in line. After a few minutes a german guide told us if we spoke German, we could enter the Reichstag with a group of Germans on a tour. We understand some German so we did and that saved us a lot of time. A guide showed us the parlement room and gave us lots of informations. Even though it was very interesting, it was a little too much for me. Because i was awake since 04:30 and because i just entered a warm place while it was freezing, i almost fell a sleep.
Unter den Linden at night
I was glad when the guide finished his story after an hour and i went to the dome where i enjoyed the view over the city. When we got down again, we had some coffee but it didn't keep us awake so we decided to go back to the hotel to have some sleep. I slept for 1,5 hours and was ready for the evening after that. We went to Unter den Linden and enjoyed all the lights and Christmas markets there. We walked until the Beliner Dom and Alexanderplatz. Of course there was another Christmas market and fun fair. I had a ride in the giant wheel and enjoyed another great view of city. We ended the day with a nice dinner in restaurant Amici on the Gendarmenmarkt. It was a very cold but great first day in Berlin.
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