Wednesday, 16 July 2014

My Trip to Berlin

On Saturday 28th June at 7am, my tired but very excited family of six boarded a plane in Dublin headed for Berlin. We hadn't slept the night before, as we had to be in the airport for 5am and it took 3 hours to get to the airport, meaning we had to leave the house at 2am! I thought I would have been too excited to sleep on the plane, but my body didn't agree, seemingly. We arrived around 10:15am German time and got the train to the centre of Berlin, where the apartment we were renting was situated. After unpacking, getting a bite to eat and lying down for an hour or two, we decided to start exploring.

The first thing we saw, which was just down the road from the apartment, was Checkpoint Charlie, which was the crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. We then went to see the famous Brandenburger Tor, or 'Brandenburg Gate' as it is known in English. I thought it was magnificent! It was very popular and there were tourists everywhere! I was glad I got to finally see it as I had heard so much about it from my parents, who had seen it on their honeymoon. We then went to the Fernsehturm, or Berlin TV Tower in English, which is absolutely GINORMOUS! We got the lift up to the sphere in the middle where there was a brilliant panoramic view of the whole of Berlin. It was breath-taking to see everything from so high up and to see the beauty of the whole city.

Brandenburg Gate
Berlin TV Tower
View of part of Berlin 203m (666 ft) above ground level

The next day we went to the aquarium, which contained not only fish but also reptiles and insects. I loved seeing all the different species and I even found Dory. No need to release Finding Dory in a few years, Disney, because she's at the aquarium in Berlin! The only thing I didn't like about it was the number of tarantulas because I hate spiders! We then went to Dunkin' Donuts for a bite to eat. It was my first time at Dunkin' Donuts and I was surprised to see the variety of doughnuts you can choose from! The doughnut I chose (white with multicoloured sprinkles) was definitely the best doughnut I've ever had.
My favourite fish from the aquarium called a 'yellow tang'
Yummm!

On Monday, we took the train to Potsdam, a small city at the edge of Berlin. As there was so much to see, we decided to take the City Sightseeing Bus around it. We saw the magnificent buildings and palaces and heard all about the interesting history of the town from the audio tour guide. We got off at the Sanssouci Palace and explored around Potsdam for a few hours.
Orangery Palace
Potsdam's Brandenburg Gate
With all that walking, we just had to stop for a Starbucks!

The next day, we went to Berlin Zoo, which contains over 1,500 different species of animal. We spent nearly the whole day walking around the zoo and looking at the different animals. There were so many! My favourite animals were the penguins and the dwarf mongooses. I'd never heard of a dwarfed mongoose before that day but when I saw them I instantly loved them. They are so small and cute and run everywhere! They're adorable! Another animal I loved was the polar bear. In fact, there was even one that looked like it was dancing, which was so funny!
A little Arctic wolf cub - how cute!
This penguin looks like he's just chilling out, loving life

On our last full day in Berlin, we visited the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, which I found an incredibly moving experience. Sachsenhausen was a concentration camp used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 until 1945. It has now been established as a national memorial, of which you can take a tour and find out about the history of it. We paid for audio guides which brought us around the whole site, telling us the background story and what exactly happened during 1936 to 1945. Some parts of the tour I found quite emotional, because, although I'd learned about the war and concentration camps in history at school, actually being in one made it all seem so real.
The main entrance

The Obelisk Memorial

After another early start (thankfully not as early as our flight to Berlin!), we returned home safe and sound. I learnt so much from my short stay in Berlin, and saw so many interesting things. I hope one day I can go back and see and learn even more!

-Velvet Lilies x

2 comments:

  1. Berlin is a gorgeous place!

    http://www.thetouristoflife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is! I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to go there and see everything!

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