May 22, 2012

Charismatic Berlin Part 1

It dawned on me this morning that I have not posted any pictures of our trip to Berlin. It was a while back, say over a month now? I think Berlin is a charismatic city - it doesn't give you an immediate impression, but it grows on you. By the 3rd day, I was almost convinced that I could quit my job in Denmark, pack up all my belongings, and find myself in one of the chic apartments in Berlin.

In contrast to Munich, Berliners are rather urban techno-loving grunge punks. Probably also the most populous city in terms of gothic fashion, second to that of the harajuku street style in Tokyo.

Berlin is only an hour flight from Copenhagen with a bunch of carriers that travel to either airports. Well, Tegal is now closed, which only leaves you with a single option to go Schonfield with a longer train ride to catch your flight. It was probably a rough start - no signage or tourist-friendly instructions to guide us to the city/Alexandraplatz. There was a 20-person-line waiting to buy tickets at our station, and only 2 stations. Each person probably took 10 minutes because the machines were sllllloooooowwwwww and in German.

We stayed at the Radisson Park, right bang at Alexandraplatz Metro. There are heaps of shops and an outdoor market selling lots of fat German sausages, weird German food, and pretzels. The hotel itself is clean and offers the transportation convenience to all major sights and entertainment. The concierge was amazingly knowledgeable and helped us on almost any weird random enquiry we had.

You can purchase a 5-day ticket, travelling anywhere in the city within Zone 1 and 2. They are about 30 euros each. So we bypassed the hop-on-hop-off buses (which in my opinion takes away the fun in discovering the city).

There's lots to do in Berlin; and really depends what your cup of tea is. The main street of Unter de Linden has some fantastic architectural buildings, parks and shops. The state of the art Mercedes and BMWs are displayed in the flagship showrooms.

My SO loves classical orchestra music, so we went to the Berlin Philharmonie.

The accoustics were splendid, and nothing I have ever heard before in my life. Even though it's not my first time hearing a concert piece, the design of the concert hall allows your ears to tune in on very complex tunes. It's really an experience I'll never forget!

Haha. My SO and myself in geeky nerdy glasses.

We spent hours and hours at the museums. Our feet was completely destroyed at the end of the day, but it was simply breathtaking seeing all the artwork in real life. Nothing compares to seeing it displayed. If you're a museum-junkie, you will probably need more than 10 days to visit Berlin's 153 museums. Yes, that many! They have special tickets which allows you unlimited access to most affiliated museums too.

We spent half of our 5-day trip visiting museums. Here are the ones you must not miss!

1. Gemäldegalerie, with it's renaissance paintings (absolutely beautiful dutch paintings).

2. The Neue Nationalgalerie, with contemporary art. Lots of fascinating intepretation of new art.

3. The Pergamon Museum, displaying the walls of Babylons. Jaw-dropping experience! A real-life, walking through the city of Babylons - a partial excavation into a museum. You can't get anything better than this!

4. The Alte Nationalgalerie with Egyptian art and Nefertiti sculpture. And some really awesome prehistoric sculptures.

The food platter is always the main subject of interest when travelling with an Asian. :-) There were plenty of sausages, German breads and schnitzel! The pork knuckle deterred me... it looked monstrous.

We did some shopping, although only a little, because shops were only opened on the one day for the easter weekend. On the day the shops were closed, we saw a bunch of people walking around the streets with a forrest green plastic bag.

Of course, we eventually stumbled on the only shop opened that day, a chocolatier! We did some serious chocolate munching all weekend. :-)

I leave the best and last piece to the very end... We met a friendly looking fly.

(pzzzz... haha! gotcha!)

We of course took alot of photos. My SO has a bunch of great photos I'll like to show you in my second upcoming post, this time with less text.

I hope you're having a lovely Tuesday. Today was so astronomically hot - 30 degrees outside, 33 degrees in the office. It's the first day of the year, when the weather is finally rewarding our patience.


Jacqueline said...

I love looking at holiday pictures. You look like you had a lot of fun! I can't wait to see the next post. I

blushbunny said...

omg! Berlin is so nice ;A; I really should drop by there when I was travelling to Munich last year ):

Maria said...

1 more interesting post!
i was in Berlin once, long ago - and i didn't like that much, maybe because it was in winter or maybe i wasn't ready...or maybe i prefer more south of Europe. Have you ever been to Italy?

Tracy, i wanted to ask you, because I'm curious - was it easy or difficult for you to start living in Europe after Asia? or you feel totally comfortable with it right from the start?
I mean, when i read your blog i feel that you are totally OK with the place where you live now. it's so cool! Is it just because you are that type of person or there are any other reasons for it?

Sarah S. said...

What a fun trip! I love to explore cities like this with so much history and culture :)

Makeup Magpie said...

Thanks for sharing your Berlin photos! The chocolate fly is so funny :)

a p r i l said...

lovely post! ;)

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