Saturday, September 15, 2012

Berliner luft, p.1

Never have I thought that Berlin may somehow conquer my heart. We spent there three really intensive days in case it could be the last opportunity to visit the city. Initially we did the sightseeing on foot, but soon we realized that on such a slow pace we won't be able to see even the half of the places we intended. We rented bikes and discovered the city's cultural and architercural diversity. 

We started our trip in Warsaw. I'm an owl, so waking up at 4 in the morning was a huge challenge... We took a bus from Katowice to the capital of Poland. Warsaw is a city that bears both negative and positive felings. You hate it or love it. But still has that charm that I gradually discover. Each time I visit the city, I realise that it is magical. A little bit strange, a little bit confusing sometimes, but charming. We spent there almost the whole day wandering here and there. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't cooperative (especially in the evening) when we were heading to catch the couch to Berlin. 

Couch was by far the cheapest way to get to the capital of Berlin. It was a real bargain to get the tickets, although I didn't have to book them in advance... 

At 9 am we were in Berlin. This time we decided to stay in a hostel, especially this was the first trip like that for my brother. You know, he got used to package holidays and travel's agencies, while I prefer organising everything on my own. I love looking for bargains, low ticket prices and I get proud of myself when I manage to organise a really cheap and at the same time exciting trip. So was Berlin. 
Transportation: is excellent. You will get wherever you want and the means of transportations are available every 5-10-15 minutes. Having to choose between a bus, a tram, an U-bahn or an underground, we decided to rent a bike.
More information about Berlin transportation HERE.

What I like about doing the sightseeing by a bike is that you are absolutely mobile. Obvious, isn't it? Besides, renting a bike costs approximately between 10 - 15 euro per day. Not that cheap, not that expensive as well, but fun guaranteed for sure. Sometimes we had to stop to check the map every five minutes, as getting lost in Berlin is a piece of cake. And what conquered my heart is that cycling in Germany differs for cycling in any Polish city. Why? Well, I crossed the zebra crossing so many times and I did not pay the fine (unlike in Poland) that I was amost ready to move to Berlin... Being mobile is one thing, but sometimes you miss a lot, especially when the city is so diverse and 'the devil is in a detail'.

The devil is in the detail: 
The devil is in the detail indeed. Three days? Not enough to catch the city's each single detail. I desperately wanted to 'immortalize' its every single street art, mural, architectural detail... Surpisingly, I did not manage. I take photos in case I forgot... Initially, I bravely tried to take a photograph of every single thing that caught my eye, but how quickly did I give up....

Cultural and architectural diversity caught me eye. I could take a trip around several architectural styles: from pure modernity of Posdamer Platz, sociasist style along Karl-Marx Allee or artistical Oranienburger Strasse. 

Three days in Berlin: 
On the one hand, not enough, but on the other - enough to realise if this is one of your places to be on Earth. 
Berlin is a huge city and visiting all the most important/interesting places is simply impossible. 

We started the sightseeing form Reichstag, which is the seat of German Parliament.

Bear i mind that if you want to admire the 'Berliner' view from the Reichstag's dome, you need to make a reservation in advance (at least two days before your visit). Of course, the entrance is for free.

There's an interesting story connected with the building of Reichstag too. In 1995, as a result of an artistical act, the building disappeared for one month. Two performers, Christo and his wife Jeanne - Claude, with a little help of few professional climbers, wrapped Reichstag with a silver foil and a blue bow. As a result the seat of Parliament looked like a huge Christmas gift. The whole action involved great expense, but was incredibly popular as well.

Then we reached the Brandenburger Gate, which is the symbol of united Germany. Its symbol is visible on the coins of 10, 20 and 50 eurocents. What is more, in the northern annexe of the Gate there is a meditation place.

From the Brandenburger Gate there goes Unter den Linden street which, through the Island of Museums, leads to the Alexander Platz.
Museum Insel: well, this time we decided nt to visit any of the museums. It was a real shame, but on the other hand, we lacked of time. We did not miss the DDR Museum, which is definitely worth visiting. Interactive, fun and educational.

to be continued...

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