I departed London on the morning of Oct 14, travelling by the Eurostar to Brussels. I then took two ICE trains to Berlin, changing in Cologne. I reached Berlin that night and had a quick dinner before bed.
What I saw
Boarding the Eurostar at St Pancras. Didn’t have to get up too early as my hostel was opposite the station.
On board the German ICE train from Brussels to Cologne. It was very fast and quiet.
Speeding past the German countryside.
Cute doggo that shared the cabin during the ride to Berlin.
Finally arrived at Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof station after nearly 12 hours.
Checked into the comfortable Circus Hostel which was in the Mitte district.
What I ate
I ate sandwiches on the trains. They were expensive but good quality.
Once in Berlin, I had a quick bite at Curry Mitte where I tried their currywurst. It was really good.
I spent the bulk of this day on a walking tour of Berlin’s best cultural and historic spots.
What I saw
Waiting for my tram to Hackescher Markt to begin my walking tour
The Bridge over the Spree River to Museum Island. The Berlin Cathedral is in the background.
The Altes Museum (Old Museum).
The beautiful Berlin Cathedral
Babelplatz in front of Humboldt University’s Law building, where the Nazis conducted massive book burnings in the 1930s.
Gendarmenmarkt, a beautiful public square with the French and German churches, as well as the Berlin Concert Hall.
The location of Allied Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing that once existed between East and West Berlin. It’s a touristy mess these days.
The cobblestones that mark where the Berlin Wall once stood separating East and West.
One of the longest surviving stretches of the Berlin Wall.
The site of the Fuhrerbunker, where Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 as the Soviets closed in on Berlin. It’s deliberately kept nondescript to prevent it from becoming a Neo Nazi shrine.
The Holocaust Memorial, consisting of concrete blocks of various sizes resembling gravestones.
The Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of Berlin.
After the walking tour ended, I dropped by the DDR Museum which showcased life in Communist East Germany. It was a brittle regime propped up by propaganda, surveillance and Soviet military force.
A model of how the Berlin Wall functioned. Plenty of people were shot dead trying to escape to the West from 1961-1989.
What I ate
Had cold meats, cheese and waffle plus orange juice for breakfast at the hostel.
By sheer coincidence, a Twitter friend from Singapore was also touring Berlin and happened to be staying just across the street from my hostel. So we met up for dinner.
We had Korean BBQ, which was excellent. It was amusing to see the other customers drinking Tiger Beer in Germany of all places.
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