Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Braving the rain: Exploring Berlin with Map in Hand

Okay, the title is a bit dramatic but that's how I feel like at the moment so deal with it.  :P

I used to travel with full itinerary.  I wanted to explore everything that the city has to offer, museums, spots.  You get the idea.  I call it the Filipino Travel Zone.  It is a phenomena where you want to do everything and anything that the guide book told you to do.  Travelling with my mum, somehow unleashed the beast.  It wasn't something that I am proud of.  :(

My husband told me that I am very organised when it comes to travelling.  He wished that I am the same when it comes to our home.  I am not very messy but I like to put things where I see them.  He likes order, he likes to clean up so leave the rest to him right?  He enjoys it and I like to please my husband.  LOL!  If you asked me how I do my itinerary, I'll send you to google.  I like to open a spreadsheet, write the places I want to visit, note which one is free, opening times, metro, the full works.  It makes me happy that I know what I am doing, what I am wearing for the day.  I like to be fully prepared.

This day proved to be a very hectic one.

1.  Treptower Park

According to my research, Treptower Park used to be a themed park.  Bearing that in mind, I thought I would see abandoned ferris wheels and carousels.  I was wrong.  At the moment, it is just a park.  There is nothing interesting with it perse, (according to me but don't take my word for it) apart from the Soviet War Memorial.  It would be worth the visit if you know your history and German as the writings are in German.  Unfortunately for me, all the history I know involves fashion and I can't understand German so I didn't appreciate it as much as I should of.  I love the symmetry of this place though.

2.  Checkpoint Charlie

Whilst planning for this trip, I asked my mum where she wanted to go.  She wanted to see the Berlin wall.  I told her that the Berlin wall was taken down years ago.  I told my husband and we had a good laugh about it.  

Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most touristy places I've been in Berlin.  It might be the most famous too as they've got McDonald's just around the corner.  :P  I have never been to a touristy place without McDonald's and I have been to more than 10 countries all over the world.  Checkpoint Charlie was the old border crossing point.  That's all I know. 

The golden arches on the side. :)
This photo is such a rip off!  You have to pay 2 Euros each to have your photo taken and if you happen to take photo, you still have to pay.  Since we were on holiday, we gave in and paid.  We then proceeded to the nearby museum where Berlin wall history and photos with wall painted by famous artists are free.

Very asian photos of me and my mother.  If we can get away with it, why not? :)

3.  Holocaust Memorial

This proved to be a very poignant experience for me.  Reading about innocent people being murdered not because of what they did but because of their faith.  Totally not cool.  

After visiting these places, mum and I retreated to our hotel.  I return to reading my e-books with predictable plots and she focused on her new series, House of Cards.  Went to the Sony Centre for dinner.  I tried German food for the first time.  Not bratwurst but pork knuckle the size of my face.  Tried apple  juice with beer as well.  Germans make the most amazing beer combo!

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