Earlier this month I travelled to Berlin, Germany, with some of my girlfriends for what is becoming, an annual weekend away to places beginning with “B”…last year was Bath, perhaps next year will be Budapest or Barcelona?!
I have only been to Germany once before to stay with a friend of mine who lives and works out there but in a very “English” area. What I saw of Germany on that trip, I loved. The people were very friendly and services were efficient (I expected no less). I hadn’t really had time to research Berlin before we departed (shameful I know) I was relying on all of my co travellers who had been at least once before to show me the city in short weekend there.
We arrived on the Friday and were staying at a great hotel which was super clean and reasonable near to Alexanderplatz which is good for shopping and for getting around Berlin. On the Friday night we checked in and went for a stroll around before going to eat dinner at a restaurant serving traditional German fare. We saw the World Clock on our stroll and wherever you are, you can’t miss the TV tower which dominates the Berlin skyline.
On the Saturday we did a lot of walking, we first went to the Ritter Sport store where we had a go at designing our own chocolate bar – mine had ginerbread, biscuit pieces and gold stars and I can confirm it tasted exceptional. We then had kaffee and kuchen, that favourite of German traditions in the Rittersport cafe before continuing our walk taking in the sights at Checkpoint Charlie, where we had our pictures taken in a traditional photo booth – squeezing in the four of us was quite the challenge! and then on to the Reichstag building and the Brandenburg Gate via the hollocaust memorial.
It then absolutely chucked it down so we ecided to spend the evening close to our hotel, although we had been planning a trip for cocktails at the Monkey Bar which we had heard a great deal about but due to the weather, sadly didn’t make it there. Instead we took in the sights of the Galleria food hall and had a picnic in our room before taking a team photo in our Berlin jumpers, purchased from Primark. Natch.
On the Sunday morning we had time to take in the sights of the East Side Gallery which has the beautifully preserved mosaics from the Wall displayed in the open, before getting our flight home.
Berlin is wonderfully fun and it is a walking history lesson. Every corner seems to have a bit of history pointing out to us humans where we have gone so wrong in the past. It was particularly poignant that just four days after our trip the results of the American election were in and it appears that the world is once again going backwards and not forwards.
In times like these I take hope in messages like this one on the Berlin Wall:
“Many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world”.
It may feel like what we do as individulas doesn’t matter, but I am a firm believer that we were created to be kind and loving souls and that throughout histroy people have tried their best to love eachother. Let’s all do our bit to be the kind, loving individuals that we were made to be. Let’s stand up for people who might feel scared at this particular time – let’s do that by speaking out and showing our love. Don’t be silent in the face of hatred – do. Make the world better, kinder, more loving and start with the people next to you, the ones you come in to contact with. Challenge racisim or sexism or any other kind of ignorance you come in to contact with and show the world that Love Wins.