Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A WEEKEND IN BERLIN - DAY 1, FRIDAY


So as you’ll all know, a couple of weeks ago I went over to Berlin for the weekend to surprise my Dad for his 60th. I’m very pleased to say it all went to plan and he had no idea we were going on an adventure until 4am that morning. There were lots of tears, cuddles and a big applause to Mumma Price for keeping it all quiet for so long (I had booked this trip way back towards the end of last year!)

We flew with Ryanair from East Midlands Airport (it’s only 20/45mins for us both) and instead of staying in a hotel, I decided to book an apartment through Airbnb as it made much more sense. Our apartment was amazing (you can read my review here) and the location was so good we were within 30 minutes of everything. I’d so recommend staying there if you’re there for a tourist trip! FYI if you sign up to Airbnb here and book a trip, we both get £20 travel credit.

I’m pretty organised and I love a good list, so a few weeks before I had planned a 3 day itinerary for us both and included all the big tourist spots and a couple of restaurants I’d heard great things about. It all went very well and out of everything on my list there was only one thing we didn’t do.

We got to our apartment at about 12pm after about an hour hopping off and on a couple of trains from the airport; their travel system is so efficient and easy to navigate by the way! Once we dropped our stuff off we went out to explore and here’s what we got up to...



The East Side Gallery

The Berlin Wall, I'm sure you're all familiar with it. It’s that incredibly iconic barrier which divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Although it’s now mainly been destroyed, there’s a part which still stands along the river Spree. The wall was constructed by the German Democratic Republic and the Wall completely cut off West Berlin from East Germany. I won’t go in to the full history of the wall, but it’s worth a read

When the wall came down, people used various tools to chip off souvenirs, demolishing lengthy parts in the process. But today, a 1.3km part still remains and it’s been turned in to a freedom memorial which you can walk along. The Gallery consists of 105 paintings by artists (and lots of random graffiti) from all over the world, painted in 1990 on the east side of the Berlin Wall. The paintings at the East Side Gallery document a time of change and express the euphoria and great hopes for a better, freer future for all people of the world...


These works of art are amazing to see in person and some are very harrowing, the one that stood out for me was the faces in the ‘Death Strip’ between the two walls and the one which marks how many people died trying to cross in a year, starting with high numbers when the wall came up to no one trying to cross in 88. Walking along side the wall can you only imagine how horrific it must have been to have lived during this time. There are so many stories about people who tried to cross, one which stuck with me in particular which I'll mention soon.

The East Side Gallery was the first thing we ticked off the list and it set a theme for our next stop.

Checkpoint Charlie.

Checkpoint Charlie (The name Charlie came from the letter C in the phonetic alphabet) was a crossing point in the Berlin Wall located at the junction of Friedrichstraße with Zimmerstraße Mauerstraße (which for older historical reasons coincidentally means 'Wall Street'). Checkpoint Charlie was designated as the single crossing point (by foot or by car) for foreigners and members of the Allied forces. 


The course of the former wall and border is now marked in the street with a line of cobblestones. A copy of the guard house and sign that once marked the border crossing was later built where Checkpoint Charlie once was. An open-air exhibit informs us of escape attempts, how the checkpoint was expanded, and its significance during the Cold War, in particular the confrontation of Soviet and American tanks in 1961. It was here that I learnt about the death of Peter Fechter, which you can also read here

Checkpoint Charlie, along with The East Side gallery, we both very interesting to see in person. You read about these things and study them during school, but seeing them in person just makes it all seem that so much more real, as silly as that may sound. Both are worth a visit if you're wanting to learn a bit about the history of Berlin.



By the time we had read our way around Checkpoint Charlie, it was getting late in the day. We had a dinner reservation in just a few hours so we decided to call it at a day being a tourist and head back to the apartment. We went to an incredible Italian for dinner, which I had booked a few weeks previously, but I'll go in to detail about that in a specific Berlin food and drink post in a couple of weeks...
Coming soon... Berlin Day 2!


Photos were taken on my Olympus Pen EL7 with the 14‑42mm & 45mm lenses. 
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10 comments

  1. OOH looking forward to these Berlin posts, one of my faaave cities!

    Sophie x

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    1. Thank you Sophie! That means a lot :) xo

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  2. Great pictures :) I'd love to go visit!

    Natalie Ann xo | Petal Poppet Blogs ♥

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    1. Thank you Natalie! You deffo should :) xo

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  3. Lovee all these pictures! Berlin is definitely on my list of must-visit places.
    Blue Jazzmin

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    1. It's such an amazing city! xo

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  4. Oh this post has filled me with so much joy. I went to Berlin last May, stayed in the most beautiful Air Bnb and really got stuck into the history and creativity there, I completely fell in love with the place and am desperate to go back. Can't wait to read more!

    Tie-dye-eyes

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    1. Ah thank you so much Allie! It's such a beautiful place. I'm excited for you to see my other posts! xo

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  5. Great post - Berlin is an place I really want to go and visit. I wish I could jump on a plane now and see all the sites with you!

    Isabel | www.isabelwarner.com

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    1. I'd love to go back so make room for me in your suitcase when you go! xo

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment XO

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