Berlin for Three Nights
I like Berlin, It’s my favourite city so far. This wasn’t our first time here. We flew into Berlin from Australia last September, when we first came to Europe. We stayed at a backpackers for five days and then in a house in the German countryside for ten days. This time we stayed in a small apartment.
We had bread for breakfast. I love German bread. It is dark and dense and full of flavour, not like the white, fluffy and tasteless French and Italian bread (my dad made me write that, he’s very particular about his baked goods). Plus, It’s only 99 cents a loaf.
We decided to go for a walk to the Tiergarten, which is a 210-hectare (520-acre) park in the middle of Berlin. It used to be the hunting grounds for the Electors of Brandenburg. It’s now a huge public park. It still has statues of what are meant to be heroic hunting scenes, but I think they’re a bit violent.
Walking through the Tiergarten we soon found the Victory Column, a 67 meter (220 feet) high monument weighing 35 tons, with a statue of Victoria the Greek goddess of victory on top. It was built in 1873 to commemorate the Prussian victories in the Prussian-Danish war, and the Prussian victories against Austria and its German allies in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71).
It was so cold! I was wearing practically everything that I owned including wearing two pairs of socks, a scarf and Asha’s running gloves but I was still freezing.
We then walked past the Berlin zoo. Unlike most zoos that go to great lengths to make sure that you can’t see any of the animals from the outside, you can see many animals through the fence while you walk along the river. We saw vultures, Flamingos, a Cassowary and a Rhino! It took a long time to drag my animal-loving sisters away. By the time we left, I was shaking with cold.
We went into the Bikini shopping centre to defrost and watched baboons (I think they were Baboons anyway) in the zoo through the glass wall.
On our second day, we walked to the Philharmonic Orchestra which has a free concert every Tuesday between September and June. Frustratingly, even though we got there early it wasn’t quite early enough. They turned the line back when we were just a few places from the front as they were full.
On the walk home we went past the Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, The Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, and The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism. I respect that Germany does not try to hide what it’s done, but rather is open about it, to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
We packed and left early the next morning and walked up to a bus stop. By the time we were halfway to the airport, the bus was extremely crowded. I held onto a bar but Dad was stranded in the middle with nothing but my arm to hold on to. Holli and Asha were, in turn, holding onto him and it was only my clutching onto the bar for dear life that kept us all upright and not falling into the people next to us.
On the plane, Forest started talking to a little French girl across the aisle from him. He would try to say something to her in French and she would giggle at him and repeat it back to him with the right pronunciation. She didn’t speak a word of English but he tried to teach her what G’day meant. He repeated it back and forth with bonjour. I don’t think she understood, but it was funny to watch.
When we landed in Athens we were delayed getting off as two police officers came on the plane to arrest a man. I think he was verbally harassing the hostesses, but I’m not completely sure.
Three nights in Berlin just didn’t feel like long enough. I much prefer travelling slowly.