Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Berlin in Short

WOW Airlines has opened up service out of BWI and I took the Thanksgiving holiday to try their service. All in all, not a bad airline. Lower your expectations accordingly: everything on their flights costs money. But it got us there and back for $455. I can't complain about that.

Berlin was a little cold on arrival, but I knew with such a tight schedule (only two nights) I'd have to hit the ground running. I arrived at Hauptbahnhof - Central Station - around 10am using the U Bahn.


On the stroll from the train station, I saw some cool stuff like above, where a Christmas tree is being installed at the Reichstag Building. I see a Japanese flag flying. I suspect a diplomatic visit was underway; I saw a motorcade while taking my photos.

I purchased a Museum Pass at the central station. This ended up basically getting me free admission after visiting two other museums. It's a great value and valid for three days of use. Learn all about the museum pass Berlin here. On this day, I decided to go to Museum Island and see the sights of the Pergamon Museum and the Neues Museum.

The back of the Pergamon Museum

Alte Nationalgalerie

The Processional Way

Inside the Neues Museum

View of the TV Tower from Neues Museum

There are lots of interesting artifacts at the Neues.

That evening I strolled around the neighborhood near my hostel. I was staying at 3 Pigs Hostel and I had a great stay in my private room (with bathroom) as well as enjoyed using the common kitchen  - reviews here. It's in Postdamer Platz, which along with a U Bahn station, also has lots of sites and is close to lots Berlin has to offer, including restaurants, shops and bars.

Tubing at the Christmas Market.

The Brandenburg Gate by night

The Holocaust Memorial

Outside of the French Embassy, people had left flowers in tribute to and in solidarity with the victims of the terror attacks in Paris.

The Memorial to the Berlin Wall is a great place to learn more about the history of the wall, some of its victims, and to get a small sense of what it was like. There is very little  left of the actual wall, and this is a small part of it.

Germany has done well to confront its past. This memorial is for the victims of Nazi programs that killed people deemed to have disease.

Even in the cold weather, the Tiergarten is still a nice place for a walk.

My final museum visits were to see fine art in the Gemaldelgalerie (above) and that evening, the Topography of Terror. I highly recommend the latter, especially for those interested in history. It deals with the rise, and fall of the Nazi regime. There's a lot of reading and it can be crowded, but it is free.

There is a small section of the Berlin Wall (above and below) outside of Topography of Terror.

On a lighter note, it was time for a stroll around including a delicious visit to the chocolate store, Fassbender & Rausch. There is a plethora of treats to choose from, in all price ranges.

The lovely square, Gendarmenmarkt has a great Christmas Market.

The trip home, starting with a smooth ride to the airport, had a delay in Iceland due to the weather. They took some time de-icing the plane, but eventually got us home safely.

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