If you read my earlier post – 48 hours in Barcelona, you’ll know that after a bottomless prosecco-fuelled brunch my friends and I booked flights to Barcelona and Berlin. Less than a month after our Barcelona trip we were once more carrying hold-on luggage and on our way to the airport.
This time there was no cheeky pre-flight prosecco. We had signed up to do a beer-bike tour of the city when we arrived and they had a very strict breathalyser policy before you start.
For those of you who have never seen a beer-bike, this is what they look like….
Essentially you pedal this contraption around the city whilst drinking beer. It is a great way to see the sights without leaving the bar. Unfortunately (or luckily) I tripped on an escalator at Heathrow and hurt my knee quite badly. This meant I was unable to assist the group with the pedalling. I was quickly drafted in as the barmaid and once everyone’s glass was topped up, we set off.
We hadn’t got very far before we had a very minor RTA with a car that snuck in front of us as we were slowing down for some red lights. Fortunately no people were harmed in the accident and once the police had done their statutory checks and insurance details were swapped we carried on.
First stop was the Holocaust Memorial. At first sight it looks a mass of somewhat ugly concrete blocks. However once immersed inside, you realise the sheer overwhelming bleakness of the memorial and the feelings it induces are poignant and unsettling. It is a very fitting and important tribute.
Once we had collected ourselves we only had to travel a few hundred metres before we came to the Brandenburg Gate
and then almost immediately after, the Reichstag.
The Neo-Baroque architecture was solid and overbearing but also beautiful. As barmaid I dutifully ensured everyone’s beer glasses were topped up once more and we headed towards Checkpoint Charlie.
The checkpoint has been restored so it still looks as it did when Germany was separated into East and West. Once we’d crossed from the communist side into the American sector and back again a few times we walked over to the Berlin Wall museum.
The wall didn’t look as high as any of us thought it would but for years the stark concrete was impenetrable. We cycled on and passed a much longer stretch of the wall.
Although starting to crumble, you can still see the anti grappling bar protection at the top and the long slabs of concrete in front of it which were designed to stop cars ramming into it.
We cycled through the embassy district and a couple of hours after we started we ended back up at the depo. We insisted we were breathalysed a second time but we all failed this second test! Wisely choosing to jump in a taxi, we headed back to our AirBnb to change for dinner.
We opted for a cheap and cheerful burger dinner which was delicious and lined our stomachs for the night ahead. We headed for a cocktail bar and after several Long Island iced teas I left most of the crew out and headed for bed.
On Sunday I had to get breakfast materials from a nearby petrol station (note EVERY shop in Berlin is closed on Sundays). The bratwurst and egg rolls were polished off with several cups of tea and we headed back towards the Holocaust Memorial and for a closer look at the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag.
Just like our 48 hours in Barcelona, time started to run away from us so, we had a final beer/gluwein in the square behind the Brandenburg Gate and soaked up our last moments in Berlin before a taxi sprint back to the AirBnb to collect our belongings and heading for the airport for our plane back to Blighty.
One night in Berlin – done! x
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