I saw 2016 in away from the UK in Berlin, Germany.
Now I knew Berlin was full of history but I truly didn’t know what to expect. I am not much of a history fan (dropped it after year 9) and I have never been to Germany before but this place is fascinating.
We stayed in Andel Hotel just on the outskirts of the East side of Berlin which had a fantastic 360 bar on the roof. The 12 euro cocktail is worth the view. The hotel was very modern and despite having broken air con, our room was like a mini sauna, it was a great place to stay. We had great buffet breakfast every morning in which we also made sandwiches for lunch as we toured round the city. We even had an Aldi 2 minute walk behind us, which is even cheaper in Germany than in the UK!!
We travelled around via trams, trains or buses, this is the best way to travel as it is so cheap and efficient! We didn’t get our tickets checked once as the German government seem very trusting of the public but we didn’t chance it as it was only 6,90 for all zones for the day over all forms of transport. My cousin and her gf recommended this app called citymapper to help you understand what transport you needed to get from A to B – SO USEFUL!
First day was beautiful weather but cold. I was finally experiencing proper winter weather so wrapped up we walked round the city centre the former East side of Berlin. We walked through the TV tower down to Brandenburg Gates which were busy being prepared for New Year celebrations.
We saw the Jewish memorial which was haunting as you walked through which was the aim of the art, to make you unnerving about the unknown and what may be round the corner. This was followed by Checkpoint Charlie, the only legal place where people could cross the wall, East to West.
They had Buddy the Bear dotted around the city in many different designs as the city wide logo. They are great fun!
Myself and Ross got up early so we could see the famous East Side Gallery which is famous for the 1.5km of graffiti. Some inspiring art and images, many of the art looks like it will be restored over the next year or two due to idiots graffitiing over the top.
Being the sports geek that I am, especially the Olympics we ventured across to the West side of Berlin to do the tour of this historic Olympic Park. We hired our media guide and walked round in awe of this fascinating park and it’s history. It is where British troops based themselves before the Berlin Wall was brought down.
We stumbled across a really authentic German market and I can happily say it blew all the UK wide ones out of the window, there was live music, LOTS of food stalls and great local gift stalls from cookie cutters to soap!
Did you know fireworks are only allowed to be bought at New Year in Berlin? We didn’t. So of course we bought some giant 1m long sparklers but left the rockets to the locals. However rules/health & safety do not seem to exist regarding fireworks. Anyone could set them off in the street and boy did they. People in the flats opposite to where we celebrated where letting them off from their balconies to many people holding them outright! Either way we survived but god we were jumping left right and centre every time one went off a bit too close (I mean about 5ms away!)
I believe I need a few more days in Berlin to visit more history points and art museums but otherwise would recommend this city break to anyone. Families with teenagers would be great to really fill their head with all the modern history that lies in Berlin. Unsure if I could live there, very industrial looking buildings with not the smilest of people (Can you blame them the wall was only knocked down in 1990!) Certainly a place to visit, for the history alone.
I hope everyone enjoyed celebrating New Years, we certainly did!