Contiki Eastern Road
Berlin- Days 1-2
For me Berlin was a little bit of a daze. My flight was long and unusually uncomfortable, so when I got into Berlin it was about 1pm- same day as the tour started. Not a whole lot happens on the first day. If you get in early, or the day before, then do a run around of the city and get your footing. Otherwise, the day has is a group meeting, followed by getting to know your group with a little mingling session.
The first dinner is always a little bit quieter than the last- but I remember it being a great dinner! Who doesn’t love a little bit of German sausages, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. Drinks were good, company was good and it was just the start of a great trip!
Day two in Berlin was different though. Now well rested, it was a packed day of sight seeing. It started with a 3 hour walking tour in the morning followed by free time, which by choice, we seemed to pack as well. We did everything from visiting museums, shopping, a hunt for the Birkenstock store, beer, sausages and more beer filled up that time fairly well. And when in Berlin, you just MUST try the currywurst- It is the quintessential Berlin snack food- and its good too!
Berlin is a city that is filled with history, yet at a quick glance you may not realize it. All though there are monuments on every corner recognizing one moment of history or another, it also seems like a city that truly tries to distance itself with Germany’s sorted past. Most of the memorials you stumble upon are modern and abstract where everything seems to be presented as a metaphor. To me it was a bit of a bizarre juxtaposition, but interesting to see how a city with so much destruction and so much division can become what it is today.
After a day of sightseeing, and trying to take in the vast importance of this city, we had a short break before dinner. Everyone seemed to opt for the Bavarian style Hofbräuhaus, which I was all over! Who doesn’t love a classic German beer hall in a very modern German city. Great food, great beer and of course- the great people didn’t hurt either. I opted for a pork knuckle, and a litre of beer! It was fantastic, clearly.
As everyone stuffed their faces with awesome German food, except for my friend Craig who made a critical error in ordering- we also got serenaded with the contagious sounds of polka and an accordion.
Once dinner was over, there was an optional tour called the “Eye Spy” tour, which gave us a little bit of history on the Berlin wall and the division of East and West Berlin. Then right after that a mini bar hop. Although it was meant to end at a club, I skipped out and a new friend of mine- a fellow Canadian to add, and we found a pub…so eloquently called “The Pub”- a great bar- quiet as it was a Monday night, but nonetheless a fun, chilled out night in Berlin- which seems pretty suitable, as that basically sums the city up!
The following morning was our last taste of Berlin before we made our way to Prague. We visited the famous East Side Gallery; that is the remaining portion of the Berlin Wall which has all of the Murals- Also, probably a highlight for me of the city. I truly could have spent all day there as I love street art and photography, sadly there’s not much more than 30 minutes spent there. My suggestion to anyone taking this trip- if you arrive a day early, go check it out yourself and do it at leisure as there is just so much to see, and you can take some wicked photos!
Berlin is a cool city- Is it my favourite city in the world? No, its not. But regardless of it getting added to a list of favourites, I do think it is a must see for anyone visiting Europe, especially if you are a big history buff.