Berlin: Act Two – Sights seen.

Being pretty inexperienced at travelling – apart from the odd foray into the Gold Coast – I have taken way too many pictures while I’ve been away. I’m going to spare you from all the hilarious things I photographed because they were “different, lol” and just get on with it.

Except this.

heh

Heh.
Anyway, over the five days I was there, I saw a lot and quite frankly, loved the place. Here are a few touristy things what I done.

The TV Tower.

So a lot of Berliners said that the TV Tower (or Berliner Fernsehturm) is a pretty overrated attraction. And look, I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the thing I found most memorable, but I would’ve felt incomplete not taking at least a thousand photos of it.

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OOOOooooooh.

I did however see it as a good reference point. If I was just wandering around Mitte exploring, and I could see it, I was generally not too far from home.

And if I couldn’t? I was lost. It was a useful reference point to be honest.

The Brandenburg Gate.

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I actually wasn’t taking a picture of that guy, but here we go, a genuine tourist shot. The Brandenburg Gate/Brandenburger Tor/Brandy B is quite cool in real life. It took me a while to figure out how to get there, and this will cheer the Sydneysiders – because the trains to that S-Bahn station weren’t actually running that weekend. A little taste of the Bankstown line.

What you couldn’t see what how it was actually raining while I was trying to get this picture, and how after I took it the sky opened up. So my time there was limited, but still, great.

Not to make light of what is a very impressive structure, I couldn’t get the words of Dennis Denuto out of my head while I was standing in front of it.

Berlin. “It’s got a pretty good gate.”

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Checkpoint Charlie.

Now this seems to be the spot to get to if you’re a tourist, and my my was it touristy.

We all know it. Or do we? Either way, Checkpoint Charlie was the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. I did my duty, took a few pics and had a little look around but to be honest, you’d be surprised you’d actually found it. It’s been preserved in a sense, but not to the point where you’re not dodging real traffic to go and see it. The signs are also placed where you’d assume people would sorta just walk under them if they were on their way somewhere else.

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That said, it was an interesting part of the world to find yourself in.

And this was a nice touch.

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Tempelhof Park.

I was sent here on a mission from my pal Edith to check this place out. I got INCREDIBLY lost on the way, finding myself walking up and down this one street, WIFI-less and totally lost.

I did see this though. Doesn’t this Willy guy look like a barrel-o-laughs?

willy

Anyway, eventually, after a mini-tantrum and a quick trip on the S-Bahn, I found myself at Tempelhof Park / Tempelhofer Feld.

templehof

It is incredible. It’s a huge, defunct airport that now invites people to ride bikes, run, walk, and look like total dickheads on those segue (I’ve seen them called Segways too) things. Historically, it was used as an airport in Berlin up until 2008, and it was also the site for big creepy Nazi rallies which it’s quite famous for.

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Anyway, I like what they’ve done with it. I wandered around it for ages and felt like I’d walked nowhere, so I feel like a lap would probably take you a full 24-hours.

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And with that, the third and final instalment of Berlin is on its way.

Danke,

Carrie.

24 hours later.

Hallooo…

Here I am. In a different country, about to head to another. It’s actually my last night in Berlin, and I’ve had an awesome time here. I’ve had the best Turkish food I’ve ever eaten, seen some pretty excellent stuff, and had some old German guy have a go at me. I think.

But first things first.

To the airport.

Having a night flight, I had the whole day to prepare. Which is lucky, since I’ve always been a procrastinator. It’s not my fault, I always get things done and where I need to be, it’s just how I work best.

So it got to abouttttt 2pm and I thought I’d better pack. My incredibly cute mother decided she’d come to Sydney to drive me to the airport. After our fight about money pouches, we took some selfies…(togetheries?) but she’d kill me if I posted them, so here’s an artist’s impression.

mother_daughter_good_relationship_H

Anyway, I got to the airport, realised I didn’t know how to do life, waved goodbye to Mum, cried (what) and went into the customs bit.

Boarding the flight.

As they started to board, Coldplay’s ‘Sky Full of Stars’ came on over the general Sydney Airport radio. I didn’t know whether it was an incredibly poetic moment, or just a reminder of how much I hate that song. But nonetheless, I was feeling pretty sick and this didn’t help.

And there I was. On the plane.

Sitting right next to the toilets. And right behind business class.

economy living

But it wasn’t all bad. In fact, it was quite roomy. And my entertainment worked, which is always a plus. It turns out that my neighbour’s headphone jack thing was messed up and she couldn’t watch anything… which would absolutely suck… but the flight attendant was very apologetic and found her another seat. Alas, she didn’t like it.

This resulted in her returning to her seat next to me, taking a lap of business class, and then asking to be upgraded to first class.

(Bitch, please.)

Other highlights from the flight? The little kid sitting with her parents and baby brother who projectile vomited all over the walls and carpet probably wasn’t one. But the free-poured vodka soda wasn’t so bad.

Abu Dhabi.

Talk about being in a daze. I had a 3-hour wait at Abu Dhabi, and it was pretty uneventful. I did however find a Hungry Jacks/Burger King, and had my first very bogan culture shock.

bogancultureshock
I of course, kid.

Oh, if you want a cigarette there, you have to go inside these creepy claustrocubes.

smokingcuberebels

Grosssss.

Man I tell you something though, that airport is not messing around with the d├ęcor.

opulence

Leg two: Berlin, ho.

At this point I was preeeettttyyyyy grumpy. We got herded onto some buses and taken out to our plane. It felt like ages away, but at that point I was two-Xanax-down and ready for bed.

I found my seat – next to a fantastic gal named Johanna – who I ended up hanging out with in Berlin. She said she was grateful I wasn’t a child, and I said I was glad she wasn’t a psycho. It was friendship at first six-and-a-half-hour-journey.

When I wasn’t chatting to Johanna, or trying to figure out what “Ausgang” means (it’s Exit guys), I played the incredibly insulting Airberlin quiz, which was on your entertainment screen.

arseholequiz

Um, rude?
I’m tempted to send this shot as feedback to Airberlin about them as an airline.

Little did I know…

The catering on Airberlin was a sign of things to come. I’ve learned that Berlin is many things, but it is lactose-intolerant-intolerant.

dairy

(Not pictured: the buttered bread roll I ate first. This is what was left – mac ‘n’ cheese, cheese, chocolate pudding, and some other salad with cheese.)

Anyyyyway, it was a pretty good flight in all. One of the highlights? Flying over the Middle East. The camera obviously doesn’t do it justice, but we had some amazing views. This is somewhere between Hamadan and Mahabad in Iran. (I checked on the in-flight thingy, I didn’t just guess.)

overthemiddleeast

And with that, some hours, some crying bubs, a guy in suspenders, and a sweeping view of gingerbread-style houses we landed in Tegel Airport, Berlin.

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I briefly spoke to the immigration officer after this, who had few teeth but many words to say about the German v Australia football match that was to be on that night. He was cool. He was mocking me, but he was cool.

And with nothing to declare, I was in a cab on the wrong side of the road on the way to Rosenthaler Platz… completely delirious.

Six hours on a train tomorrow to Amsterdam – a Berlin post to come!

Carrie