14 hours in Berlin- East Side Gallery

One of the top attractions has got to be the Berlin Wall and the best place to see it is the East Side Gallery. It is a 1.3 km long section of the Wall located on Mühlenstraße.  I walked along a small section of the wall, and I’m tired of saying why- because of BAD WEATHER :/

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery

The Gallery consists of 105 paintings by artists from all over the world, painted in 1990 on the east side of the Berlin Wall. Two-thirds of the paintings are badly damaged by erosion, graffiti, and vandalism (tourists chipping parts of the wall off to bring home as souvenirs). One-third have been restored by a non-profit organization which started work in 2000. Please remember, that no one is allowed to paint on these walls because it is a monument on which professional artists paint.

One of the most well known paintings on the wall is “The Fraternal Kiss”. It is a painting of Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev’s mouth-to-mouth kiss.

The Fraternal Kiss

I think everyone must visit this historical monument especially since the transportation system in Berlin is really good. You’ll get there in seconds! Besides that, the Berlin Wall is the key to the history of Berlin and all of Germany. It’s definitely worth a visit!!

Other places to see remains of the Berlin Wall: Zimmerstrasse, Niederkirchner Strasse, Bernauer Strasse.

More photos HERE!!

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14 hours in Berlin- Schlossbrücke + Berlin Cathedral

Having seen so many interesting monuments already, the best was yet to come! But first I must cross the schlossbrücke (palace bridge).

SCHLOSSBRUCKE (PALACE BRIDGE)

It is somewhat like Ponte Sant’ Angelo in Rome because of the statues atop the pillars. But this bridge has its own story like any other.

The eight different sculptures were created by eight different sculptors. The sculptures show the development of a hero from early youth to manhood, and then to death on the battlefield and the taking of his body to Olympus. It is much more fun to walk along this bridge when you know the meaning of the statues.

Nike instructs the boy in heroic historyPallas Athene teaches the boy the art of spear-throwingPallas Athene teaches the boy the art of spear-throwingNike crowns the warriorNike supporting a wounded warriorPallas leads the warrior in battleAttacking the enemy with Pallas at his sideIris carries the fallen hero to Mount Olympus

BERLIN CATHEDRAL

This was my favorite attraction of Berlin! I have never seen such a big and remarkable cathedral! It just took my breath away! I like that the cathedral is on the museum island which, when at the top of the dome, gives great views of the river Spree and the museums.

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral

It costs 4 euros for students to visit the cathedral. Before leaving for Berlin, I checked online, that with my ISIC (international student identity card), it would cost me only 2 euros. Unfortunately, the ticket seller didn’t understand what I was telling her (or she didn’t want to understand) and I ended up paying 4 euros. The funny part is that at first she told me to pay 7 euros (full price). Come on! I look like a student!! I told her I was a student and then she told me to pay 4 euros. Always find out what the ticket prices are. Or you may end up overpaying. At least the view was worth it… But the climb to the top (270 steps) was a bit hard. The stairs were really narrow and I was scared at times, that they might break! At least I don’t have to go to the gym for a whole month now!!

More photos HERE!!

14 hours in Berlin- Bebelplatz + Neue Wache

I really enjoyed Gendarmenmarkt, but because of the time limit, I had to move on to the next object.

BEBELPLATZ

St. Hedwig's Cathedral

St. Hedwig’s Cathedral

I made a little shortcut to Bebelplatz by going along side St. Hedwig’s Cathedral on Hedwigskirchgasse. When I made it to Bebelplatz, all I saw was construction sites. The building opposite of the Humboldt University Faculty of Law was completely covered. That was a bit disappointing.. Because of the construction, St. Hedwig’s Cathedral was also almost covered. It was only possible to take a picture of the top half of the cathedral or else all of the equipment would have been in the frame.

As I was crossing the street to get a better view of the main building of the Humboldt University, 4 helicopters were making circles above Bebelplatz. The first idea that popped into my head was that the Berlin police were looking for some criminal! Wow, I’m really creative!! I still have no idea why they were flying around..

The main building is really nice. The sculptures of Wilhelm von Humboldt make the building even more attractive. I got the feeling, that the Germans are very proud of their university.

NEUE WACHE

Neue Wache

Neue Wache

Right next to the Humboldt University is Neue Wache (New Guard House). It was originally built as a guardhouse for the troops of the Crown Prince of Prussia, but since 1931, the building has been used as a war memorial. In 1931 is was known as the “Memorial for the Fallen of the War”. After the German Reunification, Neue Wache was rededicated as the “Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Tyranny”.

Inside you will see a sculpture called Mother with her Dead Son. The oculus is directly above the sculpture.

The outside of Neue Wache sort of reminds me of the Pantheon in Rome.

More photos HERE!!

Read the about my visit to the Reichstag + Brandenburg Gate!

14 Hours in Berlin- Holocaust Memorial + Gendarmenmarkt

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

After taking good pictures of the Brandenburg Gate, instead of walking down the beautiful Unter den Linden boulevard, I headed towards the Holocaust Memorial which is, when standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate, to the left. It wasn’t far, maybe about 300 meters. In pictures, the concrete slabs looked very interesting and mysterious. When I saw them in person, the slabs looked…..unusual, but in a very interesting way. They have nothing written on them which adds even more mystery. The tallest slabs were the most interesting to walk by, because you feel like a very tiny person. There was even an emergency exit if you can’t find your way out!! It’s hardly possible to get lost, but you never know… Overall, it was an interesting experience to walk among them.

GENDARMENMARKT

French Cathedral

French Cathedral

On the way to here, I passed some remains of the Berlin wall and the Galeries Lafayette- a large shopping mall. Since the mall was still closed, I decided to go on and head towards Gendarmenmarkt where I saw the French and German Cathedrals and the Konzerthaus. Both cathedrals are identical and are currently undergoing  reconstruction (that was the worst part of my trip- too much construction going on!!!!). I really wanted to visit the viewing platform of the French Cathedral, but there was an event happening, so my plan was ruined. Oh well, there’s always next time.

German Cathedral

German Cathedral

The Konzerthaus is the most recent building added to the square. The red carpet really adds flavor to the building. Many people like to take pictures of themselves on the carpet to feel like a celebrity!

Konzerthaus

Konzerthaus

I really liked Gendarmenmarkt. The statue of Friedrich Schiller in the center of the square is like the finishing touch. I would love to visit Gendarmenmarkt during Christmas, because this square hosts one of the most popular Berlin Christmas markets every year.

More photos HERE!!!

Part 3 coming soon!!

14 hours in Berlin- Reichstag + Brandenburg Gate

After a loooooong journey to and from Berlin (bus trip all together was 34 hours), I’m back home. I actually spent more time on the bus than in Berlin… But all I can say is that that one day was enough to see all must see places, especially since it was the raining most of the time… :/ and the construction sites all over the city ruined my mood and the cranes ruined all the panorama pictures from the dome of Reichstag. I have so many reasons to go back!!! Now a little about my trip..

My first stop was the Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof (Berlin central bus station). It’s about 7 km from Brandenburg Gate. I didn’t feel like I was in Berlin when I first got off the bus. There are no monuments around (except the radio tower, which is right next to the station) and the station looks like any other station… After my disappointing first impression, I found the S-bahn stop I needed and got to the main railway station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) from which I began my journey..

Walking on a bridge over the river Spree, I was heading towards Reichstag. I registered a visit to the Reichstag dome for 8:15 am. The letter stated that I had to be there at 8am because of the security check. I honestly though I will not make it in time because the bus had to arrive to Berlin at 7:15am and to get to the Reichstag from the Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof takes about 20 min. Thankfully, the bus got to Berlin 15 min early so I took my time.

REICHSTAG

Reichstag

Seeing the Reichstag was surreal. It’s big, incredible and a true masterpiece. I have seen it many times on TV and in pictures, but in person it’s something completely different. I had registered online to take a look of Berlin from the Reichstag dome. It was 7:55am and there was a line for the security check. At exactly 8am, students that work there, opened the door to let us in. We had to show the letter we received by e-mail and have a valid ID. It seems like everything in Germany happens like it should. We had to go in a line to the entrance of the Reichstag..

The dome of the Reichstag didn’t really impress me.. First of all, clouds ruined the view. Second, the view wasn’t as impressive as I thought it would be… basically because of the bars. But on the balcony of the dome it was much better. But it would have been even better if the sun were shining. Oh well, you can’t change anything about that, can you?…

If you are planning on visiting Berlin, visit the Reichstag. It’s free, but you MUST register in advance!! You can do this HERE.

BRANDENBURG GATE

Quadriga

Not far from the Reichstag is the most famous attraction of Berlin- the Brandenburg Gate. The road behind the Gate was blocked (fan zone for the football European Championship). I was sooo tired because I hadn’t slept almost all night on the bus, so I decided to get a cappuccino at Starbucks, which is located on Pariser Platz. After having finished my coffee, the Brandenburg Gate seemed more impressive. There were not many tourists around so there was a great opportunity to freely walk around.

More photos HERE

Be on the look out for PART 2!!!!

A Turning Point

Hello World!
I have finally decided to start my blog!

For the past two months, I have been obsessed with Travel Channel. All of the different cultures, monuments and cities seemed so close to me even if the show was an hour long. Watching all of those shows about all of the different places inspired me to start my own blog about travel so I can inspire other people to travel and fall in love with it like I did. So read all my posts and you will become a CrAzY explorer just like me!

World of blogging- here I come!