Berlin, Berlin! Wir fahren nach Berlin!

Photo 8-7-14 3 56 30 am

It’s Week 2; school’s in full swing, tutorials are starting and I…. am trying to enjoy the last leg of my IHG 14/15 season. With all the regrets I’ve been feeling, I have overlooked many happy memories. At the end of the day… it’s the moments that matter. So I’m going to do my best to give my team many, many moments that they can look back and smile upon 🙂

Anyway, as part of my de-stressing regime (I really need to stop being so terrible to myself), I realized that I need to do and see things that invoke happiness, so today, here are the 5 things you absolutely have to see in Berlin… for free 😀

1. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
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The sheer size of the memorial was staggering. Although truth be told, I was a little lost when I arrived. There were no words, no signs, just towering concrete blocks that got steadily more intimidating as you walked deeper within the area. On hindsight I suppose this is what you’re supposed to feel – those feelings were perhaps what the Jews had to face – loneliness, directionless, fear, intimidation…. It was quite thought-provoking.

(Although later in the evening it quickly became a hangout area for teenagers)

2. Berliner Dom
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The Berlin Cathedral was simply majestic. We didn’t pay to enter (#brokestudents) but it was lovely wandering around the grounds. Located on Museum Island, it was truly breath-taking.

Ah. But we met some con-women here though. They had tried to make us buy some random things from them, and when we refused, one of them made a quick snatch at my friend’s handphone. Thank heavens said friend had the sense to grab it back and stare daggers at her! What kind of crazy person would steal your phone from your hand?? They were definitely foreigners though, speaking in a language that was neither German nor English. They probably targeted us because we appeared to be relatively “not-dangerous” little Asian girls. Keep your phones close and wallets closer, y’all!

3. Victory Column

We weren’t lucky enough to capture the Victory Column on a good day – the skies were gloomy and it was drizzling. That being said it made for excellent night photography… if only my night photography skills were good o_o

4. Brandenburger TorR1008685 R1008691

Needs no introduction! Clearly the icon of Berlin, the Brandenburger Tor is truly majestic. Located at Pariser Platz (or Paris Square), it was surrounded by elegant hotels and embassies.

Our walking tour guide told us the story of how when the French came to Berlin, they saw the chariot on top of the gate and instantly liked it. They brought it back to France and placed it on top of their own gate, much to the anger and dismay of Germans. After the war however, the Germans managed to reclaim the chariot statue and return it to its rightful position on the Tor.

One small difference though, is that the chariot-rider’s face is now permanently turned towards the French embassy. Haha! BRILLIANT.

5. Reichstag Building
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Before you dismiss this magnificent building as just another parliament house, did you know that you could CLIMB UP THE GLASS DOME?? Best of all, it’s freeeeee~ *kiasu* Unfortunately while we were there, the dome was closed for MAINTENANCE (bah) so we couldn’t climb it 😦 We could still go up the roof though! And what an amazing place to watch the sunset 🙂

Berlin is a little flat so looking at it from the roof of the Reichstag wasn’t particularly stunning, but the vantage was still so very, very breathtaking.

It’s now the 2nd of February, and DP is officially over. I feel a mix of both relief and sadness, because while it means I can finally take a good proper rest without constantly worrying, I suddenly feel like I have too much time? Like how a friend put it, we’ve spent months planning for the 30th of January (DP), so now… what do we do?

Ah I guess I will start being busy again anyway (Year 3 already, free time should be a luxury Cheryl!) so I should really enjoy this while I can haha!

Till then, I’ll just fill my time watching the same DP videos over and over again hehe.


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