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.



Passport pics: a beginner’s guide.

So, one of the big events of the past year is that I finally got my Irish Citizenship.

When I say ‘got’, I always ‘had’ it. I just had to fight my way through incredibly restrictive consulate hours (10-1 on weekdays, I mean come on…) and mountains of paperwork to actually CERTIFY it. And that was just my registry certificate for citizenship.

Fun fact: for the certificate application, you could get everything authorised by a PRIEST, but not a Justice of the Peace. Oh Ireland.

So, as happens when one is a citizen of a country, I am also entitled to a Republic of Ireland passport. That was a whole process on its own. You’ll be pleased to know I didn’t stick with my creepily photoshopped pics either.

But one of the best parts of this whole process was the ‘What not to do’ when posing for your passport pic.


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So no selfies. Ok. That seems fair.

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No cute backgrounds. Or scarves. Harsh.

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No transitions lenses. Passport AND fashion advice?

And then I got curious. Here are some others from around the world.

1. Sashaying into South Africa.

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POINTER: Do not do a group shot for your passport in SA.

If it was good enough for Josie and the Pussycats and the Riverdale Transit Authority…


And whatever you do, don’t get your picture taken from a suburb away.

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2. Joining in with Germany.

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Step back you’re dancing kinda close, lady.

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…Seems unnecessarily cruel. How are you meant to deal with that? I have a big head. I missed the whole cute hat thing and I’m pretty sensitive about it if you don’t mind. Poor kid. You’re not alone.

3. Let me in, Lithuania.

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Why this wouldn’t be approved is beyond me, it is literally flawless.

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…With hat.

4. Find a place for me, France.

France has potentially been my fave. And if you’re thinking of grabbing yourself a French passport, heed these guidelines carefully.

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Pictures taken at last week’s BBQ are not acceptable.

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And finally?

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Your kid’s only allowed in if his dad is Daniel Craig.