Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer Trip Day 4 - Berlin

As we normally did, we had breakfast in our room with the food we brought from London such as butter croissants, Smarties cookies and muffins. We also bought coffee from the cafe downstairs at €1 per cup.

Our first activity for today was Berlin city tour. Since yesterday we saw several hop-on hop-off buses at Kurfurstendamm, we went there again to try it. It costs
€10 for one day and the bus stopped at about 11 stations. The price was very cheap compared to other services so we joined the tour. The bus that we took was from Berliner City Tour company and the bus colour is red and cream. We need to make sure we took the correct bus if we stop at the stations later on.

It was raining heavily today. We did not stop at a few earlier stations to avoid rains. The bus service was good, it has a commentator in English. So every explanation could be heard very clearly. The photos taken along the journey were not so good with the rain drops sticking on the glass windows. The recorded commentator explained briefly about every significant buildings that we passed through, for instance shopping malls, offices, monuments, theatres and embassies.


We alighted at Gendanmenmarkt station. Here lies a few fantastic buildings with great design and architectures. German Bundestag is located here, it is a historical exhibition about parliamentary democracy in German. We did not enter the building, but we spent most of our times taking photos around the building and others. Near to the Bundestag there are two other beautiful buildings; one is church and another one I have no idea what it is.

There is an Ampelmann shop nearby. What is Ampelmann?Ampelmann is the symbolic person shown on traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR - East Germany).
[source: Wikipedia]

This shop is full with Ampelmann's stuffs such as t-shirts, bags, pens, keyrings, magnets, pins, mugs, postcards and many more. I think Germans must really love Amplemann so much.. We bought somethings from here as souvenirs, not to mention the products were quite pricey.

We took the next bus to continue our tour. The next stop was Alexanderplatz. A lot of attractions could be found here such as Fernsehturm (Tower Centre), Berliner Dome and Museuminsel (Museum Island). As soon as we reached there, the went up the Tower. The entrance fee is €11 per person. The tower is 368 metre high and the observation desk is located at the 203rd metre. There is a rotating restaurant up there as well. The lifts move very fast at 6 metre per second. The panorama observed from above was stunting. We could see the whole city at 360 degree view. Several binoculars were provided and could be used at €1 for several minutes.

After we spent few minutes there, we went down to find a place to have lunch. We found a Fish & Chip restaurant at the Alexanderplatz train station. I was excited because they served a wide variety of seafood here. There are fish burgers, seafood paella, tempura shrimps, fish & chips and others. The dishes were served with lots of veggies. For fish & chip we could choose different type of fish and potato such as boiled potato, fried potato wedges, fries or potato salad. It was heaven!

After lunch, we board the tram to somewhere around the city, just to gain experience. Then we returned back to starting point. We had the chance to take photo at a large rotating world clock. It was amazing. Then, we headed to Berliner Dome which is located just beside the Museuminsel. Museuminsel is consists of a few blocks of museums but we did not enter any of them. Just photographing outside them was more than enough and satisfying.

Our next stop was Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburger Gate). It is one of the must see monuments in Berlin. It was huge and lots of people came here ask for prayer. There is a room specified for people who want to pray in silence, remember back the history of Berlin in the past. In front of the gate, there is a big park called Tiagarten. We didn't explore this park because it was already late and we still need to visit Reichtag nearby. Reichtag is a parliament building and the public could enter this building with security measure. They need to pass through a metal detector and their bags had to be scanned for security. Because of the long queue, we were lazy to enter the building. After taking photos outside, we boarded the bus again back to Kurfurstendamm to meet my parents there and bought more souvenirs. The t-shirts which were quite nice were quite expensive but because tomorrow we were going back to London, we just went for them. It was better to buy them, rather than regret it tomorrow.
We bought kebab at a nearby kiosk before we returned to our hostel. It was not very difficult to find halal shop here because my Turkish lives in Berlin. Every time we walked around the city, we found them accidentally.

Back at our room, I wrote several postcards for myself and friends because I was going to mailed them tomorrow if we found a post office along our journey tomorrow.

[to be continued]


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