I broke up for Christmas on Friday 23rd, and then set of to Berlin on the Sunday to visit the Christmas Markets. This is a tradition of the family which has now been running for three years and each year we have enjoyed them more and more. Me and my brother had visited Berlin twice before and were very excited this time to go back with family. This is me and my brothers third time to Berlin, where we went with sixth form in February.
Day One – Sunday
To get the most out of our time we set of early Sunday morning and arrived in Berlin mid-day. After leaving our luggage in the hotel we walked to Postdamerplatz where me and my brother enjoyed the area when we visited the last two years. After eating some food at one of the Christmas market stalls we walked to a section of the Berlin Wall and went into the Topography of Terror museum. Finally, we decided to go to Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Although I have visited this area before it still is very moving just to see the wall and the stories of the cold war. We even found another part of the museum which we had never seen before. For dinner we decided to go to one of the local restaurants near the hotel which was a steakhouse. Finally we decided to visit our first Christmas market which was the closest to our hotel. When we arrived at the Christmas market most of the stalls were closed. It was a good first day with a lot happening and getting the most out of the time away.
Day Two – Monday
For our first full day we headed to buy some discount cards for the attractions and transport to use round Berlin. We headed first to Berlin zoo where we saw Orangutans, Gorillas and many more animals. We were exceptionally suspired that in 2017 the zoo will be receiving pandas again. This gives us an excuse to go back to Berlin and revisit the zoo. After having food at the zoo, where my brother and dad tried out currwhurst and Schnitzel we continued round the rest of the zoo. Afterwards we headed to the DDR museum where there were many changes since the last time me and my brother had visited. The DDR museum, which is about life in the cold war, was one of our favourite museums because of its interaction which is engaging. Finally, we visited Alexander Platz and the Berlin Tower Christmas markets. Out of all of the Christmas markets this was one of the best as it had great pizzas and gingerbread, which has been hard to find. On the way back to the hotel we decided to revisit the market which was close to the hotel, however it was closed due to the terrorist attack which killed 12 people. To end the night we then decided to go to a local pub to inform friends and family that we were safe.
Day Three – Tuesday
On the second full day and final day in Berlin we went to visit the David Bowie memorial plaque which is located outside of this old apartment. Afterwards we went to the Hansar studios where also to see the memorial to David Bowie. This was close to Postdamerplatz, where there is an Arkaden which we went inside for some food. Memories of the Arkaden came flooding back as we visited here on the last two occasions in Berlin. On the afternoon we headed to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building. There was great sadness and half-mast flags in memory of the terror attack which happened on the Monday. Afterwards we went close to Alexanderplaz where museum island in Berlin is located. We visited the Pergamum museum which houses Byzantine artefacts and then visited the Neus which has the real head of Nefertiti. Me and my brother had visited these musiums before but still were very interesting to visit them again. After a busy day we decided to go to see an 80’s themed show where there was also food included. The show was really nice to end our time in Berlin.
Day Four – Wednesday
For our final day we flew from Berlin to Amsterdam. Instead of connecting from Amsterdam straight back home, we decided that we would have an afternoon in Amsterdam. The last time in Amsterdam was even shorter and were not able to do too much so it was in some ways the opportunity to look around a part of Amsterdam. From arriving at Amsterdam we went to the centre where we took photos outside of the ‘I am Amsterdam” sign. Afterwards we spent the majority of the time in Amsterdam looking round the Rijksmuseum, where there are Rembrandt and Vincent Van Gogh works. The gallery had a number of exhibitions which ranged from medieval art to contemporary art. The gallery had 5 floors of exhibitions which we were unable to visit all of them. When the museum closed we then walked to the ‘Pancake bakery’, where we ate last time for some lovely food. My pancake had bacon and mushroom inside. Just like last visit the pancakes were gorgeous. We then headed to the train station to catch a train back to the airport where we were so tiered. We arrived back in Teesside late on the night.
A lot of the places which were visited last time me and my brother went to Berlin. Although the last two times were in February and were very different atmospheres. In addition, this time was with our parents. Even with the terror attack we had a very good time and were very tired from the short break and are now looking forward to a few weeks of chill time around Christmas and New Year.