This time last week I was relaxing after coming back from my very first trip that I planned abroad. Just me and my boyfriend. I was so nervous that I had not got everything planned as I am such a perfectionist. I am pretty sure my boyfriend could tell as I was checking everything about 5 million times. Now I am sat one week later so proud of how much we did and that we had our first holiday together and can not wait to plan our next trip…
I also would like to mention that my boyfriend studies photography and is absolutely amazing. All the pictures used on this post (except a couple of quick little pictures I took) are all from him so please go and check out his Facebook page: P.R. Barker Photography.
We woke up at 5.45am which is a crazy time for us to wake up. We had our bags all packed so as I got ready we made sure we had everything in my travel wallet (which can I just say was an absolute godsend). I would absolutely recommend having a wallet to keep all your documents, money, passports all in one place. We caught our train from York to Manchester Airport and watched Guardians of the Galaxy as we had our breakfast. Once we got to Manchester Airport it was really straight forward we went through security and I went through my first full body scanner which was a slightly interesting experience I felt like I was going to be teleported to another dimension. We then got through security in great time; we had a look around duty free, grabbed a coffee and then boarded our flight.
Our flight from Manchester Airport to Berlin Schönefeld Airport was really easy and we landed in a snow filled Berlin. It was strange to walk out of a plane into weather that is colder than where you have just come from. It was actually such a nice feeling and I knew that our trip once I stepped off that plane was going to be amazing. We then made it through to the Station with a only a little bit of confusion but not before we picked up our Berlin Welcome Passes.
The Berlin Welcome Pass is great and you can get it valid from the airport and you can use any trains and we got a 4 day pass. It was a great choice and very reassuring although on our first time using public transport abroad was still slightly scary. Luckily knowing a bit of German definitely helped as I understood the announcements and we finally made it to our hotel the Maritim Proarte with 1 change of trains and a little help with directions.
That evening we took our first walk in the snow in Berlin towards the Berliner Dom and TV Tower. We both felt like little children again stepping in the snow and we then stumbled across a lovely little restaurant. The restaurant was named ‘Kantine Deluxe’ we ordered our food and drinks by their tablet which made it a really different experience and we both tried Currywurst for the first time and honestly we both looked at each other after the first bite and had to slightly fight over eating it because it was so delicious! After dinner we took a slow stroll home and once back at the hotel we started to plan our next day.
We both woke up feeling fresh and ready for a full day of sightseeing. We headed down to breakfast with our German phrasebook and we were overwhelmed with the buffet that was available. We helped ourselves to the most perfectly crisp bacon, gorgeous potatoes, smoked fish and finished off with yoghurt and fruit. It is safe to say we were more than fuelled up for our walk.
We started off by heading towards Brandenburg Gate which was only a very short walk from our Hotel. It is truly a striking sight and we were greeted by a lovely man in traditional clothing covered in tattoos even on his face playing a wind-up organ. It made the atmosphere feel even more immersive as we took many pictures together to capture the iconic photo of Berlin and we visited again at the end of our day again to capture it in lights.
After visiting the Gate we headed towards the Holocaust Memorial. After visiting Auschwitz & Birkenau in 2012 brought back many emotions and being within this vast, overwhelming memorial I walked through barely speaking and really taking in what this memorial is remembering. The only thing that spoilt the atmosphere was a group having a snowball fight between the concrete slabs. There has also been articles written today stating that people taking selfies is distasteful and I would agree we walked through together and my boyfriend captured some incredible pictures which really represent the feelings I felt walking through this Memorial.
After coming through the other side of the memorial we walked towards the car park which is the sight of Hitler’s Bunker. It was striking to see how this was just an ordinary car park near university buildings and I think that just having the simple board giving you information was the best way. I would not wish to see vividly the sight being maintained whatsoever. We then wandered over to the Mall of Berlin and I stumbled across a previous love of mine…
Nussecken! I did a German Exchange in 2010 with a lovely family in Stadtlohn and I was made this amazing treat and it has always stuck in my mind and to eat it again my boyfriend saw the excitement in my eyes. We had a walk around the Potsdamer Platz and walked to Checkpoint Charlie. This area was filled with tourists and there was a Christmas tree in the way so we could not get a great image and there was a McDonald’s right behind it but it was still so interesting for this to be such an iconic part of history as the main crossing point between the Eastern and Western Side of the Berlin Wall.
After Checkpoint Charlie we took a slight detour and ended up down a street which did not seem to be leading anywhere until we came across the most incredible street art I have ever seen and we must have spent a good half an hour in awe of the artwork on the side of these buildings there is no way to describe them but I am pretty sure these pictures capture them perfectly.
After our incredible detour we then found a little coffee place and had a Baileys latte and shared a portion of currywurst and carried on our walk back towards Tiergarten getting slightly lost on our way and then had another coffee break because it was really cold!
We then had a rather romantic walk through the snow in the Tiergarten and felt like children yet again as we kicked snow on each other as we listened to the silence around us and the crunch of our footsteps beneath us as we headed back towards Brandenburg Gate.
That night after a change of clothes and warming up we headed back out towards the TV Tower getting slightly lost due to the fog making the TV Tower difficult to locate but we eventually made it and met Phillip who showed us around and we then had the most beautiful and atmospheric dinner I think I have ever had. The prices were really reasonable up there and it is well worth it we had fog which made the views slightly restricted but on a clear night the views would be absolutely incredible and that is truly the best way to see Berlin. We can now say whenever we go back to Berlin and see the TV tower wherever we walk…that we ate up there and I think that is pretty cool. The staff were incredibly attentive and made us feel so welcome and relaxed that we could have stayed there all night.
After the stunning dinner, we then walked down a set of stairs to the Observation deck and finally the fog had cleared and we could see Alexanderplatz and all the cars below which looked like little toys that you could just pick up and move around. I felt like I could not move but we headed back down the lift and headed out for a slow walk back to the Hotel but before that I took the picture below to capture how tall this building is as it towers over Berlin at 368 metres tall.
It was safe to say our first day in Berlin was packed full of sightseeing and we fell asleep straight away from both being full and from being exhausted from approximately 7 miles of walking.
I thought that I will split my trip up into two parts so I hope you enjoyed the first 2 days of our trip and look out over the next couple of days for a fresh post and find out how the rest of our trip went…
I want to thank my boyfriend again for such incredible pictures and uploading them on here definitely does not do them enough justice so please go and check out his Facebook Page (P.R Barker Photography) and why not give this page a follow to be notified when I upload Part 2.
Thanks for reading and Goodnight.