Posts Tagged With: GDR

20-22/12/11 Potsdam and Berlin

Berlin, the capital of Germany also seems to be the capital of history. Logan has been looking forward to seeing Berlin for a long time and is quite excited to finally retrace Hitler’s foot steps and the former Berlin wall that separated all of Germany.

On our way to Berlin we stopped in Potsdam at a castle called “Sanssouci” meaning “without worry”. The castle was built in 1745-47 by Friedrich the great and later extended by Friedrich Wilhelm IV. It is surrounded by a large park with many more castles and rococo-style buildings.

Winter is making it a challenge to enjoy the beauty of the castle. Cold temperatures, showers and wind ensure our visit will only be a short one and even daylight says good bye at 4pm.

In Berlin we are checking into our hotel and decide to explore the capital’s popular nightlife. With a Berlin Welcome Card (16,90€) we can use public transport without any extra costs and get concession prices at tourist attractions like museums or the sightseeing buses. Thinking that Berlin Mitte (centre) should have some bars, we get off the subway there and find ourselves in the middle of a long shopping street, all shops closed obviously. Just a few metres away we discover a Christmas Market beautifully lit up in warm lights and stalls with food and drinks everywhere. It is a lot more crowded here than in Magdeburg or Braunschweig, even though we had to pay 1€ entry fee. I assume this helps to keep the homeless out which there are a lot of in Berlin and they ask for money everywhere.

Luckily I looked up a few bars before leaving the hotel and found one that I optically liked quite a lot. I convinced Logan to check out “Kitty Cheng” so we walk along cold Berlin streets for 20 minutes until we arrive at the bar. Inside I’m a bit surprised that we are the only people in here but soon realise it’s only 8:55pm and the bar doesn’t actually open until 9pm. The very friendly staff are serving us promptly. I’m having Champagne and Logan Rum and Coke. Not knowing the prices, we order the bill after two drinks each out of precaution, only to find out that Logan’s drink was 8€ per glass. A bit steep considering that alcohol is quite cheap in Germany. My champagne was 4€ a glass but Logan changed over to beer. The bar slowly filled up, a DJ started to play some really good music and we sat there until the early morning hours, enjoying the stylish atmosphere of a Berlin scene bar.

Quarter to 10am we frantically jump out of bed, Logan barefoot, to the hotel restaurant: Don’t miss out on breakfast !!!
Lucky Logan checked his phone in the morning, finding out by accident that it was 10 already.

The buffet was great and reinvigorated we made our way to Berlin’s most popular shopping street: The Kurfürstendamm. Shopping: Logan’s favourite part, but it’s Christmas in three days, so no way around some shopping today! It only takes about 30 minutes and we got what we wanted and even Logan said: “Wow, that wasn’t too bad.”

Thick rainclouds are hanging above us and we don’t really feel like sightseeing today. The DDR museum is a great and entertaining way to end our day. On more information about the DDR /

GDR and the separation of Germany until 1989 click here:

On Day 3 we went on a City Bus Sightseeing Tour and got off at Potsdamer Platz where part of the wall is still displayed and DDR visa / stamps for your real passport can be collected. While this may be funny, I hope that everyone keeps in mind the terrible history of people having died at the border. I wonder if people would get the swastika stamped into their passport too? Is this really a difference?
We also drive past Checkpoint Charlie, the TV tower, the Reichstag and the statue of victory.
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