Thursday, 24 August 2017

Berlin

I was due to go to Hanover for my 3 month's check-up; when I went to book the flight British Airways had doubled the cost! I had a look around, and discovered I could fly to Berlin and take a train to Hanover for less than the cost of flying direct, plus I could do a bit of sightseeing in Berlin on the way. Of course I then had the additional cost of a hotel in Berlin, but I've never pretended to be logical ;)

Anyway, the Wednesday lunchtime flight went fine, I found a nice hotel near the centre, dropped my bags and went out to eat. Luckily, Happy Cow showed a vegan vietnamese restaurant one block from my hotel, where I had a delicious bowl of noodle curry soup then retired to the hotel - oh and it was a pleasant 26degC much better than the cold and rain I'd left behind in London.

Next morning was bright and sunny so I got up early and went out for a walk to explore the town. First monument was the Jewish memorial, thousands of blocks in a random pattern.



Next stop the famous Brandenberger gate. I then crossed the road and walked through a park that had some more monuments - all of them on a very large scale.





 After walking around the park for a few hours I was getting peckish, so out came the Happy Cow app to find, yes, another vegan Vietnamese restaurant not far from the Jewish monument, so it was another delicious bowl of noodle curry soup.  On the way back to the hotel I stumbled upon a massive shopping mall so wandered in and was entertained by a group of locals trying to dance the tango in the central square. I spent an hour or so amusing myself watching them, then strolled back to the hotel where I had a nice early night.

Next morning I decided to try and find Checkpoint Charlie and some history of the wall; the weather wasn't so great but a pleasant walk downtown and I found the place, complete with a couple of embarrassed German 'performance artists' pretending to be US soldiers for the tourist cameras.



Adjacent to the checkpoint was an interesting little museum that had various videos and photos  that explained the history of the division of Berlin and subsequent events - most interesting and I spent a few hours there.
Section of wall

After leaving the checkpoint area I walked up towards the river, intending to visit some museums, but admit that on the way I came across a massive Volkswagen showroom - I hadn't realised that VW own Bugatti, Ducati, Bentley, Lamborghini amongst others, so spent a good hour kicking tyres and getting in and out of high-end vehicles I could never afford. Oh and I found a perfect replacement for the ailing engine in my Jeep ;)





By now it had started to rain, as I strolled back towards the hotel I came to Alexanderplatz, a square surrounded by shopping mall but with some kind of festival going on, so I spent the evening wandering around the food stalls sampling vegan snacks and listening to music. A pleasant evening then back late to the hotel and bed.



Saturday was my last full day in Berlin so I decided to visit the island on the river that has 5 museums; unfortunately being Saturday every other tourist in Berlin had the same idea! As I'm not good with crowds I just visited the beautiful cathedral, walked up to the viewing platform for stupendous views then down and away from the area.



Luckily I had kept in contact with a young lady I had met while hiking on the Canary Islands last year; Mara lives in Berlin so we had arranged to meet up on Saturday afternoon. She and boyfriend took me out for a vegan meal then we visited a few bars. They were nice, he was a bit intense, wanting to discuss politics so after a few orange juices I made my excuses and went back to the hotel and bed.

Sunday morning and time to catch the train to Hanover. Nice train, left on time (of course!!) and I had a pleasant 2 hour ride through the countryside to my destination. I'd had a great time in Berlin, now to settle down to a week's treatment at Dr Wolf's clinic.






6 comments:

  1. Great idea to spend a few days in Berlin rather than spend the money on airfare alone. Love the Happy Cow app, it is a lifesaver when looking for vegan food.

    Good luck with the check up. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Trobairitz, yes I probably wouldn't have gone to Berlin otherwise as I'm not really a city tourist person. I had a good time though; oh and great results from my check up πŸ‘

      Delete
    2. Hooray for great results for your check up. Vegan for the win!

      Delete
  2. Welcome back to Germany, John. Berlin has changed quite a bit since my last visit. I used to have family close to Tempelhof airport, but since their passing I didn't have a reason to return to this big city.

    I hope your treatment will go well. Take care and big hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Sonja. Berlin was a nice city to visit, much more 'laid back' than Hanover. Treatment has gone very well, thanks for the hug:)

    ReplyDelete