Oops! I was in Berlin.

I went to Berlin for a week.

To be honest, I wish I still was there!

Leaving real life behind for a new city allowed me to breathe freely for the first time in what feels like forever. There was no worrying about college or work or anything. There was just me, Phil, and a beautiful city that needed to be explored.

The first thing said to me at work when I got back from my holiday was, “a week is a long time to be in Berlin”, which was a bit weird considering they knew about my trip before they even offered me the job. Regardless of that, there is so much to do in Berlin, so a week was definitely not a “long time” to spend there. If you love history and art, Berlin is bursting with it. Beautiful historical buildings such as the Charlottenburg Palace, the Reichstag, Berlin Cathedral, and the TV tower are everywhere.

Gendarmenmarkt square, Berlin
Gendarmenmarkt square © Claire Miller
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Brandenburg Gate © Claire Miller
Reichstag, Berlin
Reichstag Building © Claire Miller
TV Tower, Alexanderplatz, Berlin
Alexanderplatz © Claire Miller

Museums and memorials from pre- and post-Prussian times are vast; in fact, there is Museum Island located in the river Spree, and home to three famous museums: the Pergamon, the Altes and the Bode.

Babylon, Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Pergamon Museum © Claire Miller
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Pergamon Museum © Claire Miller

There are countless art galleries to visit, including one dedicated to my favourite artist of all: Salvador Dali. And to top it all off, there was Krumme Lanke – a beautiful lake away from all of the craziness of city life where you can enjoy a cool dip in the water.

And of course, who goes to Berlin without going to Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall Memorial?
Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall, Berlin
Checkpoint Charlie © Claire Miller
Berlin Wall Memorial
Berlin Wall Memorial © Claire Miller
Berlin Wall Memorial
© Claire Miller
Berlin Wall Memorial
© Claire Miller

I loved it in Berlin. Every day was an exciting adventure. And with unlimited travel on public transport for seven days costing just 36.50 €, you can bet we didn’t shy away from any corner of the city! I do need to learn German for when I next go though. I have been slowly learning using an app called DuoLingo, but I had no confidence in using what little I knew. The people there were wonderful, and only too happy to switch to English for us, but I felt uncomfortable not knowing enough of their language to get me through. I almost felt ashamed. I did feel ashamed. So I’m definitely going to commit to learning German more.

Unfortunately there are no German classes near me, so I’m just going to have to stick to the app for now. However, that hasn’t stopped me from setting myself a six month goal to be able to hold a 5 minute conversation in German. That sounds like a reasonable goal, right?

If you ever get a chance to go to Berlin, do it. It is beautiful, and I loved it there. It’s nothing like the cities in England. It is so much more.

Busy Busy Busy!

Hey guys! So sorry I haven’t posted for a while – I’ve been so busy with Engineering coursework and packing, I haven’t had a chance to write about anything!

“Packing?” you ask? I’m off to South Africa tomorrow, for a month! I can’t tell you how excited I am; the last time I went on holiday was 15 years ago when I was 3, so this is a dream come true. I have family over there you see. And I’ll be turning 18 over there so my birthday will be extra special since I will be with all my family.

I’m hoping to grab some inspiration from the African air, so don’t fret if you’re thinking, “What about The Long Way Home?” I’m going to finish chapter 7 before I go, so you’ll be able to read that and criticise it for me.

I’ll speak to you guys soon! Keep smiling!

Claire