Next on the list was a weekend trip to Berlin, we took a 7-hour train to get there from Pforzheim. Once we arrived we tried to make the most of our time, so we cleaned up a bit then went out to explore the surrounding area. We found a mall close by and had dinner there, then came back to a park near the hotel and enjoyed the weather outside. Our schedule the next day was packed. After breakfast we were surprised with a tour of the city in classic Trabants; the best part, WE DROVE THEM. The cars were manuals so only a small number group could drive them, luckily, I was one of them. This was such a highlight of visiting the city, it was so much fun driving around in these tiny classics.
We continued touring the city, first we relaxed at a beautiful open beach bar in the middle of the city for a few hours, then we headed to Berlin Cathedral and had some time to explore there; stunning architecture with plenty of history to read about. We climbed up top and were welcomed by beautiful views of the city, then continued down to the basement where the caskets of royals could be found.
Afterward, we headed to the Holocaust Memorial. This was an emotional setting for a good portion of the group. We explored the museum quietly and individually. The memorial outside was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. You look at it and wonder how this represents the Holocaust, but the artist was trying to induce stress and anxiety as you walk through the maze; it certainly makes you think as you’re walking through.
Time for lunch! After a long day, we were forced against our will to Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap (be warned, there are two in the city, the real one is the food stand). Apparently, this was known to have the best döner sandwiches in Berlin; the lines can extend for wait times up to 1:30, which I thought is a bit insane for a sandwich pretending to be shawarma. Anyways, we arrived, and luckily the line was short. The sandwich is good but I probably wouldn’t wait much longer for it. If you haven’t experienced this type of food before its worth sticking around I would say. Afterward, we went to a Biergarten by the river to relax before heading back to the hotel where we watched the Champion’s League Final.
The next day we visited Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. We spent the entire morning going through a tour of the palace, which was unlike most palaces I’ve seen before. It’s not uncommon for kings/royalty to spend excessively on their homes, but this reached a new level; the materials, the space, the design, the collections of art, nothing was left to lower quality in this place. One very interesting point: one wall contained writing from Russian soldiers during WWI telling the Germans to leave, I wasn’t expecting to see something like that, really cool!
After the tour, we had lunch in the Biergarten in the park and headed back to Berlin. Upon arrival, we walked along the Berlin Wall Art Museum. A small group of us branched off to get dinner a restaurant called AMRIT as per recommendation from a friend; it was some of the best Indian food I’ve had. Finally, we headed back to the hotel to relax outside in the beautiful courtyard. The next day we visited the Reichstag Building for a few hours where we explored the political history of the Berlin. Finally, we ended our stay with a boat tour around the city.
THAT’S IT FOR BERLIN!