Day 3 in Europe: Arrival in Berlin

4 Oct

It was a four-hour train ride from Bamberg up to Berlin. And upon arrival at the main train station, it was only a 10-minute tram ride to my AirBnB accommodation in the Mitte area, right in the center of Berlin (and once part of East Berlin).

Once again the weather gods are with me — mostly sunny and upper 60s.

After checking in and getting keys from Klaus, I made for the meetup location for a four-hour walking tour I had booked in advance. We started near Berlin’s Museum Island, and in the next several hours I learned a lot about the city’s history. You won’t see very many pix of these though, because I’m not the kind of traveler who takes pictures of historic buildings, unless they are really, really pretty.

But we saw lots: Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, a remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, the spot where Hitler’s bunker was, etc., etc. my feet were killing me at the end. But it was a cool way to get orientated in the city.

Afterward, back at the apartment, I met my host’s colleague. He’s in the software biz and is working on a startup project. Apparently Berlin has a busy Internet culture. I talked a lot about that with Wolfgang, and he gave me a lot of great restaurant advice.

He ended up taking me to one of his favorite hangouts, a Vietnamese place that you wouldn’t know was even there when looking from the street. It had a great design and the food was good.

I’m telling you, this place is full of the young and pretty. There’s a bar a couple of doors down from where I’m staying that would make Greenwich Village look uncool.

Tomorrow I have a full day to see more of the city and enjoy its fabulous food.

Here are the pix, and don’t forget that you can click on them to make them larger.

Our tour guide gives us Berlin history lesson as we stand over the river Spree.

Our tour guide gives us Berlin history lesson as we stand over the river Spree.

Folks sit on the front of one of the historic buildings from the period of Frederic the Great.

Folks sit on the front of one of the historic buildings from the period of Frederic the Great.

The juxtaposition of the protestant Cathedral and the East German TV tower is interesting.

The juxtaposition of the protestant Cathedral and the East German TV tower is interesting.

The Holocaust memorial was interesting, built recently not far from the Brandenburg Gate.

The Holocaust memorial was interesting, built recently not far from the Brandenburg Gate.

There was a huge soccer match going on between Germany's top two teams. It was standing room inside and outside of every sports bar.

There was a huge soccer match going on between Germany’s top two teams. It was standing room inside and outside of every sports bar.

Sorry it's such a dark pic, but this was dinner at the Vietnamese restaurant. The fried wontons were great.

Sorry it’s such a dark pic, but this was dinner at the Vietnamese restaurant. The fried wontons were great.

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2 Responses to “Day 3 in Europe: Arrival in Berlin”

  1. John Payne October 5, 2015 at 4:19 AM #

    Really cool stuff.

  2. sharonpianchan October 5, 2015 at 11:22 AM #

    Thanks for these writeups!

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