Monday 29 August 2016

Berlin || The End Of A Travel Triad

Here marks the end of my travel diaries from my European adventure this Summer, with a few photos and memories of Berlin. Berlin was definitely the city that surprised me most; I imagined something quite dull and historic, but the city is one of the most vibrant and alive (and modernised) that I've visited. It reminds me a lot of London, with the hustle and bustle and the fast paced environments, and some areas reminded me of Camden, with the mish mash of characters and colours. If you want a city with plenty to learn about and lots to do, then Berlin might just interest you.
The major sights were a must-see for me when I visited; the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building are particularly close to each other and are well worth a look. We went to the top of the Reichstag and saw the whole of Berlin from above, which was a free attraction and also pretty darn cool, and then (you might see a theme with these travel diaries, I'm just obsessed with picnics really) there is plenty of green space to relax and grab a bite to eat. The food in Berlin was probably the least to my taste - I'd much rather grab a trdelnik in Prague than tuck into a frankfurter over in Germany, but if that's up your alley then German cuisine is going to be your thing. We found ourselves wandering over to rustic Italian restaurants, since you can never go wrong with a big bowl of pasta, but I tend to do that regardless of what city I'm in anyway *fussy eater alert*.

The Berlin Wall itself is another site that provides a lot of material to think about; I personally didn't know a lot about Germany's history before travelling there, but I'm glad that after visiting the remaining fragments of the wall I can say I've learnt significantly more. I would warn that a few of the destinations in Berlin known as historic sites, have become quite touristy and therefore were (I felt) less likely to leave an impression. I would also suggest a walk through the Holocaust Memorial, to me its important to recognise the history of any city that I travel to, but this one in particular has a lot to see and reflect on. The memorial itself is so haunting and thought provoking that you leave Berlin feeling a little bit heavier, but in a way that I think we should encourage so that people are aware that we can never ever let history repeat itself.

I think what's evident when you go to Berlin is the progress that's been made since the war; areas that were completely destroyed have been rebuilt to such amazing design and quality that I think the city shows the resilience of humanity, and how times change. I loved that the city has its own characteristic qualities (it always interests me how similar cities manage to make their mark and individualise the sprawling architecture and typical city layout) - there's a lot of street art located around that gives such a unique vibe to Berlin.
All in all, and most likely the reason why I was less eager to write about this city than Prague or Vienna, this was my least favourite city that I travelled to. I think that was probably down to the slight anxiety that flares up in my mind when I go to a big urban city like this one where everything is so fast paced, and not actually anything to do with the city itself. I would be willing to bet that Berlin might not be high up on a travel bucket list for a lot of people, but believe me when I say that the city will surprise you in the best way possible. If you're willing to get stuck in, learn as much as you can, and enter with an open mind, Berlin is a great city to start your adventure.

Have you ever been to Berlin? What's the next city on your travel bucket list?


No comments

Post a Comment

© A Small Distraction. All rights reserved.