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.


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.



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.


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.”


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.


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

And this was a nice touch.


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?


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


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.


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.


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




It all started when I was born.

Well, okay, it started when my Grandad was born. In Ireland. Before he moved to Australia. And since that happened, and apparently Ireland will let anyone be a citizen, I am entitled to citizenship there too.

So I got into my ‘getting-shit-done’ mode. I hadn’t had an Australian passport since some ridiculous year, and had always been meaning to get the right bits and pieces to get myself into the Irish consulate to sort out my Irishness. Both of these things, as you’d expect, require proof of ID in the form of authorised, unflattering, passport photographs.

My self-esteem was high. I was getting everything I needed sorted. I even left home early for work one day (a rare event) so I could get my picture taken when I was looking as fresh and sparkling as possible.

It was the usual process. I went in. Got hair out of my face. Sat awkwardly low in front of a white screen. And the dude taking the pictures did his thing and told me to collect them at lunchtime. I proudly paid and set off, ready to succeed at being an adult like I had that morning.

Then, it happened.

I went back to pick up my photos, keen to finish my applications. As I opened the little photo envelope, I couldn’t wait to see those little 45x35mm pieces of success so I could join in on all the jokes about “how crap my passport photo is, ahahaha.”



Here is a picture of me that I just took. It is one of the most unflattering pictures of me ever on a humid summer day, with no make up, and my hair undid, but it is my ACTUAL face shape.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.15.36 pm

Here is his version.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.18.23 pm

Not only did he give me gills on my neck, he brought my eyes closer together. Did something to my jawline. And I can’t even explain what happened to one side of my face.


I hurriedly took the photos and ran away, only to return a day later asking for my money back. He was pretty annoyed too. When he asked why I said? “DO YOU THINK THIS LOOKS LIKE ME?!” and held it up next to my face.

And HE said, “I just try to make you look better.”

Oh. Okay.

After that, I spent approximately 12 hours examining my eyebrows in a mirror.

Now I know how supermodels feel.