This post is embarrassingly late but fortunately I do have multiple excuses: firstly, my boyfriend actually wanted to make his debut on my blog and write this one himself, but, alas, it is weeks later and he still hasn’t got around to it – so Tom, you missed your chance! Secondly, job applications have fully taken over my life, consuming almost every thought, hour of the day and much of my emotional stability – SOMEONE PLEASE JUST EMPLOY ME. So unfortunately, blogging has had to take a back seat in replacement of cover letters (aka the most soul-destroying kind of written content).
BUT enough of that – here’s a few pictures showing what we go up to in BERLIN.
Taking a very early flight from Gatwick, we arrived into Berlin mid-morning and after dropping our luggage off at our hotel, the Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin, we set out to explore the city – starting out with the touristy destinations and in search of food and coffee.
First up was the Holocaust Memorial, very eerie, very moving, very strange.
We then walked up to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building, where Tom probably couldn’t have looked much more like an Oxford Graduate….
We then spent FOREVER wandering around looking for a cafe that was both open, nice and served vegetarian food. With tiredness and hunger taking over…our faces were much like this:
But then we came across the Microsoft cafe – something I’ve never heard of, but just seemed so Berlin. The food and coffee was great, inexpensive and it had FIFA so Tom was happy…
The afternoon consisted of a walk around Museum Island and a visit to Alexanderplatz, before we headed back to check into our hotel, chill by the pool and relax before going out for dinner.
Just a heads up – if you’re planning on going to the Kempinski Hotel – I will just forewarn that you have to go in the sauna/steam room NAKED – Germany may be liberal like that but as a self-confessed British prude I am NOT. So if you want a spa hotel…maybe check the details first…
For dinner we played it safe and went to a pizza place that was highly rated on TripAdvisor, called Papà Pane di Sorrento – and we were not disappointed. It was super cheap, SUCH GOOD PIZZA and the wine was also really really good.
Not wanting to waste the evening (even though we were exhausted), we then headed for a walk along the river, and in search of more alcohol…
Drunk on half a bottle of wine and lack of sleep, we giggled our way through the centre of town before settling on a beautiful bar, (where unfortunately I didn’t photograph the interior), in a gorgeous square, where we ordered cocktails and made a plan for the rest of the weekend.
The next morning Tom found us a typically german breakfast place called Einstein, which was so beautiful and classy. The food was great and it was probably my favourite of all the many cafes we went in all weekend.
We then headed to the East Side Gallery on the other side of the city to see the Berlin wall.
By recommendation of a friend, we then headed to a district of Berlin called Friedrichshain, where we came across the most beautiful bars, cafes, shops and a vintage market.
Later we walked through town to a cafe we’d found online called Five Elephant. It was small, but the coffee was strong, Tom liked the maps and the pastries were gooooood.
After a rest and reading our books for a while, we made our way towards Checkpoint Charlie, another important and historical major attraction in Berlin. We also went to the Topography of Terror museum, both of which were incredibly interesting and moving. I think if you do go to Berlin, visiting these places is so so important, we have to remember how lucky we are to have escaped so much terror and barbarism.
On a lighter note, in the evening we went to a jazz bar Tom had visited with his friends while they were interrailing. Though there wasn’t actually any jazz playing, the place was really cool and we finally tried some authentic german cuisine (and by we, I mean Tom, because germans don’t really accommodate vegetarians).
We later headed back to the hotel for a few cocktails before a long and blissful last sleep in Berlin.
In the morning we went to another recommendation called the Rose Garden for brunch, which was RIGHT UP MY STREET – I mean, just look…
With full bellies and in typical Billie and Tom fashion – we then went in search of an English bookshop – which was fortunately, right around the corner. This is my favourite kind of bookshop – a rickety, jumbled, organised mess:
Later, as we had dressed for summer but it was cold and raining – we headed to another recommended cafe called The Visit Coffee Roastery to wait for the sun to come out.
When the sun finally came out, we made our way back to a few of the tourist attractions we visited on the first day – mainly just because we wanted a photo in the sun.
With a few hours to kill before we needed to head to the airport, we then went to the park and read our books to end the perfect long weekend in such a cool city.
Berlin, you were beautiful and the best end of uni treat! I’m off to the Amalfi Coast next weekend, and until then it’s just applications, applications, applications – wish me luck!