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    Monday, 4 January 2016

    DAY ONE IN BERLIN

    If you read last week's Thankful Friday post, you'll have seen Tom and I headed over to Berlin last week for a little mini-break between Christmas and New Year.

    We wanted somewhere which could offer good food, beers and Christmas vibes as well as lots of culture. Tom ran the half marathon in Berlin a few years ago so threw the idea in the mix and next thing you know we were boarding an 8am flight from Gatwick to Schonefeld airport.

    We decided to stay at the Pullman Schweizerhof in the West of the city, close to Berlin Zoo and right in the heart of the city's main park the Tiergarten. After dropping our bags, we took a walk through the park and made our way into central Berlin to take in the sites passing the Victory column en route...
    First stop on our walk was two of Berlin's most famous landmarks the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building. Standing at 28 metres tall, the Brandenburg Gate marks a key entrance point to the city of Berlin. 

    The Reichstag building has been the home to Germany's parliament since 1999 and the dome at the top is open to the public so you can see the sites over Berlin. 
    Next we headed on for more sight-seeing and this time to one of the most fascinating and sombre parts of Berlin. The Holocaust Memorial, designed by Peter Eisenman, is made up of 2,711 concrete slabs to commemorate the deaths of jews in World War Two. The land it's built on has different levels which helps to give the memorial a confusing and uneasy atmosphere.  

    One of the things which really riled me when we were there though was the fact that people (adults not just children!) were jumping on the concrete slabs! I was outraged that parents were letting their kids jump around on something which is designed to be a memorial and I was even more pissed that people my own age and older were getting involved...
    Next stop for us was lunch. I practically lived on Currywurst in Berlin. As far as national dishes go - it's a bit weird. Essentially it's just a sausage, covered in tomato sauce with a dash of curry powder but it was so incredibly good, I ordered one almost every day for lunch!After lunch, we headed up to Alexanderplatz to take a look around the infamous Christmas markets. They were exactly how I imagined, filled with little wooden huts selling all sorts of arts and crafts, delicious scents in the air and people swigging glasses of glugwein...
    For dinner we headed up the TV Tower. We booked VIP tickets which give you access to the viewing platform 207m up in the sky and guarantees you a window seat in the restaurant. As you sit down the platform turns so you can get a 360 degree view of the city while you eat...
    After a few more Berliners, we made our way back home to the Pullman, got ourselves into bed and ready for another big day of exploring tomorrow.....

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