13 May 10 055km // BERLIN // GERMANY
There’s receiving-a-weekly-fluff-calendar-addressed-to-you-from-Instagram cool.
There’s bumping-into-your-favourite-celebrity-at-your-local-deli cool.
And then, there’s Berlin.
Although we only spent a couple days roaming the inner city neighborhoods, we were blown away with Berlin’s ahead-of-the-curve freshness. It’s as if the whole town has been painted over with a sleek design brush. Everything from the chic glass parliament buildings, to the intricate typography found on store signage. We couldn’t get enough.
Our day began with a cultural visit to the Berlin Wall. As children, we only read about this historical site, and it was a surreal experience to be surrounded by this powerful symbol of the world’s history. As both our families were directly affected by the war, the feelings we were left with that day, will stay with us forever.
In the afternoon, we were once again blessed to meet a fellow passionate Iger, @uwa2000 (holding our board, below), who was kind enough to spend some time showing us her favourite local spots. After a quick stroll through the Gleisdreieck Park, we found ourselves in a vacant parking lot, viewing the colourful S-bahn trains storming past, and the aerial view of our next stop – Potsdamer platz. After lunch, and a quick bird-spotting walk through the massive Tiergarten (basically the Central Park of Berlin), Uwa led us to an awesome only-locals-would-know spot, standing in the middle of a main road, halfway between the Brandenburg gate and the Victory Column. We got a few hoots from German road ragers (felt a little bit like home, aaah), but I managed to snap a shot of Steve lying in the middle of the road. Kids, don’t try that at home…unless your home is the street, which would make it, um, ok.
But it wasn’t just sleek Germans and city bustle (which you’ll hear from 5:30am when the sun rises at this time of year). With the multiple gardens and parks surrounding the tall apartment buildings, we weren’t at all surprised that Berlin is known to be Europe’s greenest city. It also holds more bridges than Venice (I know, I know – crazy to think) and most locals lose all their bearings in the Tiergarten (fun Berliner facts compliments of Uwa :). The city is also filled with the cutest ‘Buddy Bears’ – I managed to hug one (even though he wasn’t too keen on hugging me back), so thanks for the treasure hunt challenge @verenaphoto.
For all the foodies looking to visit Kreuzberg or the surrounds, the Marheineke Markthalle is a giant market hall, holding stalls with everything from fresh-pressed Hummus to juicy Plum Cobbler. Needless to say, we stuffed our faces with a whole lot of freshness. Like a lot. And we drank German beer. A lot of German beer, as challenged to do so by @brett_magill.
Our adventure in Berlin ended with a visit to Tempelhof, as suggested by @laurenlemon. Tempelhof is a huge open space that used to be a popular Berliner airport, but now welcomes thousands of active visitors in running shoes, and on bicycles and skateboards. We shared our last Berlin sunset there and certainly weren’t disappointed.
Berlin was particularly special for me as I managed to tick something that’s been on my Wanderlist for a while. I went dancing in Berlin (#8)! It wasn’t quite hidden-underground-house-club dancing, but instead just Steve and myself amidst the ancient lantern-lit streets of Berlin, Walk the Moon’s Shut Up And Dance playing on my iPhone, and a memory I’ll never forget.