Now that I’m somewhat recovered from a hectic week in Berlin and the Finnish Midsummer just this past weekend, I’ve had a day off today, editing tons of pictures. Just perfect on a rainy day! There will be more detailed Berlin posts coming up, but I want to start with some highlights from the trip.
I had the weekend to spend in Berlin before I had a work engagement from Monday to Friday. For the first three nights I stayed in the Ku’damm area and then changed hotels to Alexanderplatz for the rest of the week. This ended up being a great thing, so I was able to see both the east and west with the free time I had.
Here’s my highlights:
A walking tour. Booked mine through Sandemans New Europe tours, but there were plenty of other operators as well. They market the tours as “free”, but of course the guides work on tips-only basis. You would be beyond rude not to leave a tip. The tour covered main sights in the Mitte area and lasted three hours. Our guide was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. It was a pleasure to listen to her and the time went by fast. Berlin is a city full of history, so I highly recommend this. Skip the audio tours.
Dinner at Cordobar. A-ma-zing. Innovative, fresh, unexpected… Never in my life had I thought I would enjoy lettuce ice cream and blood sausage! The atmosphere was perfect and they had a cute little courtyard as well. There are no pictures because I was simply too busy enjoying the whole experience.
The Holocaust Memorial and the Information Centre. A very powerful experience.
Managing to use the U- and S-bahn. And actually being able to figure out how to get where I wanted to go. The U- & S-Bahn network looked aggravatingly confusing, so I was really surprised I found my way after all. I also rode the U55, the world’s shortest underground metro line! It was actually a fun experience. At the end of the line, the driver just walks to the other end of the very short train, just to drive it the three-minute ride back to the other end of the 1.8. km line!
Monkey Bar at the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin. The views were beautiful over the Tiergarten park, but it was so packed we couldn’t stay for drinks. Ended up downstairs at the L’Osteria, which was simple and great. Two glasses of wine and a huge, fresh pizza that spilled over the plate, 15 euros. Could not ask for more value for money. Very friendly service and a terrace outside to enjoy a beautiful evening.
Berlin Zoo. The whole area was lush and beautiful. More on this to come!
All in all, I did not fall in love with Berlin. Apart from the history, it left me feeling a little blah. The history everywhere was definitely the best part of the city to me. I would have liked to walk around more and see more. What left missing was the little quirky side streets and the more eclectic side of Berlin. Maybe next time!
Huh, kunnialla selvitty viikon reissusta Berliiniin ja juhannuksen vietosta, joskin erittäin rauhallisesta sellaisesta. Vietin siis viikon Berliinissä työmatkalla, joskin viikonloppu ennen sen alkamista minulla oli aikaa kierrellä ja tutustua kaupunkiin. Koska kaupunki on valtava, ehdin nähdä siitä vain pienen osan.
Suoraan sanottuna en rakastunut kaupunkiin, vaikka sen joka puolella näkyvä historia olikin ehdottomasti sen parasta antia. Minulta jäi varmaankin näkemättä ne pienet ja persoonalliset sivukadut ja asiat, jotka yleensä tekevät kaupungeista viehättäviä. Viikko oli joka tapauksessa erittäin antoisa – ehkä tällä kertaa odotukset eivät vain vastanneet sitä aikaa, joka minulla oli käytettävissä!
Yläpuolella käteen jääneitä parhaita paikkoja ja hetkiä. Ravintolakulttuuri vaikutti olevan Berliinin parasta antia (shoppailun lisäksi), sillä joka puolella tuntui olevan kivoja ruokapaikkoja ja baareja. Currywurstiakin maistoin, erittäin hyväähän se oli. 🙂 Kurkkaa siis yläpuolelta viikon parhaat kokemukset!