I wanted to do a little recap of my first day in Berlin. This city is definitely busy, and full of history! I am so glad I decided to make a short stop here in between my trip to Copenhagen. Berlin is fairly close to CPH, and only about a 40 minute flight. I had dreamed of visiting Germany for quite some time.
I am awake. I am awake. I am awake.
I had quite the early flight to Tegel, but I was decently awake even without coffee (a first). Must have been an adrenaline thing! The flight was super short and I arrived within an hour of taking off.
I finally made it to the hotel, and just as I was walking up the stairs I heard an “Emily?” in a German English accent. It was Katrin, who I was supposed to meet with for a coffee and a tour of Bikini Berlin. Talk about perfect timing! I actually had no idea where I was going, so that worked out. Katrin does the PR and digital marketing for the hotel. But, as I quickly learned, the hotel is only one aspect of Bikini Berlin. This place is literally its own small city, and I loved getting to know all the details from Katrin. Bikini Berlin is seriously unimaginable for any normal human. It took nearly 10 years to complete and everything was perfectly thought out. Literally, there are no details left undone.
I quickly ran up to my hotel room to freshen up, and then Katrin and I went for cappuccinos at Elephant Coffee, which is also a part of Bikini Berlin. She graciously showed me what trains to take for the day, and it was so pleasant to chat with her. It definitely made a great start to my time in Berlin. Thanks Katrin (if you’re reading this)!
At this point, it was photo time. I grabbed my camera and started snapping the hotel and my room. Real blogger problems are when you can’t settle in and throw your crap everywhere, because you have to take photos first. Just sayin’…
I finally set out for the day. I knew I wanted to tackle museum island, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Victory Column. I got to museum island first, as both the gate and column were on the way back towards Bikini Berlin. My first stop was the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) and it was absolutely breathtaking. I will say though, by this point my legs and feet were absolutely dead. I still managed to climb to the very top of the dome, to which the views totally paid off. The day prior, I had walked about eight miles through Copenhagen. While I consider myself in shape, I was definitely not used to walking that much! With the time getting later, and having spent a good deal of time in the Berliner Dom, I decided to move on from museum island without seeing the rest.
Next I made the 3o minute walk to the Brandenburg Gate. Along the way I spotted a little used book sale on the street with a few different vendors. I can never pass up a used book sale! Especially if I can find any philosophy books. One of my hobbies is collecting really old philosophy books. I think my oldest is from 1867 or thereabouts. Anyway, no such luck here. Though there were a few mid 1900 copies of Marx and Engels. Ohhh Germany…
I arrived at the Brandenburg Gate, and I have to admit, I was slightly underwhelmed. There was just an insane amount of people. Mostly teenagers taking selfies. It just didn’t feel how I thought it would feel to see this huge magnificent gate. It was really beautiful, but it’s hard to appreciate the history when you’re constantly in someone’s selfie. I would suggest going early in the morning I think, when there aren’t as many people. It definitely takes away from the experience unfortunately. I guess that’s just the history junkie in me! All business. I’m not messing around with my gates, dammit.
I had the hardest time figuring out how to get to the Victory Column. I think my brain and entire body was just shot, but I finally figured out that you actually enter underground. At this point it was starting to get painful to walk. I quickly and reluctantly ran through the museum portion of the Victory Column. I knew the pain was only going to get worse, so I decided to make a beeline for the stairs and head straight to the top. When I finally made it up the 300 or so stairs, I was greeted with the most magnificent view of the Tiergarten and the Brandenburg Gate. Now this was not underwhelming whatsoever. It was just like all the photos and all the WW2 stories I had heard, only a million times better in person. I shot a few photos that I want to blow up and frame. Definitely one of my favorite things I did in Berlin!
By this time my legs and feet were so beat. All I could do was head home. I debated calling an Uber, but there wasn’t really a place for them to pick me up. Also, after looking at Uber about 10 minutes ago, I’m not sure it even works here? So it’s a good thing I just walked. It was another 30 minutes home, and it was seriously the longest 30 minutes of my life. My feet were literally in so much pain.
Finally made it back to my hotel room at Bikini Berlin, kicked off my shoes, and laid in my hammock. It was the perfect way to end the day. I headed to dinner shortly after.
Got a second wind of whatever wind I was handed in the first place, and started pumping out emails. I think I ended up in bed by around 10:30. I passed out so fast and didn’t wake up once during the night. Now that’s a good day in Berlin.
It’s back to Copenhagen for me tomorrow. Really sad to leave Berlin and my wonderful room at the Bikini Berlin. This place seriously feels like home. It’s so cozy, and I could live here. Stay tuned for more updates!