Thursday, 10 October 2013

Rainy Berlin: A Square, A Checkpoint and An Outside Gallery

Two things I love about travelling off peak.  1.  Cheap flights and accommodation.  Five star hotel, centrally located with flight  for two cost less than the peak plane ticket to the Philippines.  2.  The spots are almost always deserted.  

Today is my sister's birthday.  Originally, the plan is to go to the US for a week.  This trip was supposed to be her birthday and graduation present.  Even my brother JR applied for his visa to the US from Singapore but got rejected with no valid reason.  My sister's passport on the other hand is still in the Home Office. I have no idea how long will it take to process but she's been waiting for a year now with no answer.  A failed family trip if you ask me but JR is visiting in a month's time so never mind.  

3 things was in the agenda for today.  It include a square, a trip back to the Checkpoint Charlie and an outside gallery.

1.  Gendarmenmarkt

With the risk of sounding like a snob, this is just a square with 2 cathedrals and a concert house.  So far, nothing beats the Grote Markt in Brussels.  The only beauty lies in the area as it is a haven for shoppers.  Think Knightsbridge in London minus Harrods and Harvey Nichols but replace it with Galeries Lafayette and surround the area with high street shops and expensive hotels.

Red Carpet ang peg ni mother!
Deserted.  Perfect for photo.  :)

2.  Checkpoint Charlie V.2

Going back to Checkpoint Charlie was my decision.  I needed to find something that I saw in photos that we didn't see on our first visit.  I am happy to report that we found it...the next day.  :P  What a waste of effort.  We also found something else on this second visit, Photokabine.  It wasn't a waste of effort after all.

I've read somewhere that one of the things that you should do when in Berlin was to have your Photokabine photo.  We can't pass up in this opportunity.  We found this just behind the Berlin Wall exhibition.  Doing this somehow reminds me of the film Amelie.  :)

3.  East Side Gallery

Sounding pretentious, I love art.  I see it everywhere, in architecture, clothing, painting.  I have no talent per se.  I can't even draw if it saves my life but I can appreciate greatness, beauty.  Living in the UK somehow developed my eye for it and working for retail helped too.  At one point in my career, I managed team of artists and been trained as a merchandiser.  I am not bad if you think about it.  :P

East Side Gallery is a free outside Gallery.  It's a mock Berlin wall covered in mural.  If I'm not mistaken, it is 2 km long.  You have to appreciate art to go here as it is a long walk.  When mum and I visited, it was raining.  It didn't dampen my mood though, although I had several rants against mum.  I blame the Filipino Travel Zone.  I love my mother but sometimes, I don't understand her situation.  Her being passive don't help either.  She is like my husband in a way.  Maybe that's why I married Luke.  He is calm.  I need calmness in my life.

After this tiring day, we retreated to our hotel.  For dinner, we went to Potsdamer Platz and check their Christmas Market.  It wasn't amazing but at least you have the feeling the Christmas is just around the corner which is nice.  :)  I can't wait for Christmas with the family and for my present.  Kidding babe.  xxx

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