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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Travel Diary: Berlin Part II

Welcome to the second and final part of my Berlin diary! (you can read part one here.) Our first full day was spent learning all about Berlin's history: and as important as it is, the city is far from stuck in the past. There are loads of opportunities to enjoy it! (including via the medium of chocolate...)
Day 3
For the third day we decide to spend some time in the plazas of the city in an area called Hackesche Höfe. Here there are markets, boutiques and museums- as well as some beautiful artwork.
It's a really nice walk from the main street (Unter Den Linden) since you pass the stunning Berliner Dome Cathedral located next to the beautiful Lustgarten. You also get up close to the Television Tower which can been seen in the above picture.

On the way I found a giant N so had to pose with it, obvs. We also stopped by the DDR museum- the subject matter is interesting (life before the fall of the Berlin Wall) but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have small children. It's for all ages but the displays are very interactive so the place is just a haven for excitable kids!
Hackesche Höfe was much more my style! These interconnected courtyards were built in 1904 as a series of buildings to function as housing and workshops. Today there's even a little cinema and a bustling outdoor market. 

I just love the look of these Art Nouveau buildings with their geometric patterns...I definitely stopped for ice cream! (mango sorbet if you care to know.) Scroll down to see the prettiest MAC store ever (you may have already seen it if you're following my brand new blog Instagram account...just a subtle plug there.)

The next courtyard along is known as Haus Schwarzenberg: a cultural association that houses some stunning street art and a few museums. The below photo was taken inside the Otto Weidt museum. During World War II, a small factory owner named Otto Weidt employed blind and deaf Jews in this very workshop.
It became a refuge for many persecuted workers and their families. Weidt hid people behind a wardrobe that lead onto a back room, saving them from near-certain death in the concentration camps– this room has been maintained in its original state. The story of Otto and his bravery is so amazing: it was refreshing to read about the good people instead of the bad ones! It's probably the world's tiniest 'museum' but an absolute must-visit.

The courtyard winds round corners, and around each is another stunning piece of street art. The below was one of my favourites. It's such a nice area of Berlin to visit as it has a bit of everything: a brilliant (I should mention, free!) museum, quaint little shops and beautiful things to look at!

Day 4
We began our final day with a trip along the river, which I recommend as a great way of ensuring you see all the sights! I totally forgot to note down the company but our tour guide was hilarious and made it a really enjoyable experience (the boat we took departs from opposite the Berliner Dome Cathedral, a few doors down from the DDR Museum.)
The next place we visited was probably the one I had been most excited for. It did not disappoint! I'm an absolute chocoholic (I live next to the Cadbury factory as well) so I had to visit Fassbender & Rausch. It's the largest Chocolaterie in the world! My sister had sent me some of their chocolate before so I knew I was going to love it. 

Around the store there are real chocolate sculptures of all Berlin's landmarks, which were absolutely incredible- but I didn't manage to get a single decent shot of them! The whole place obviously has to be air conditioned to the max as well, so it's a lovely place to go just to get some relief from the heat. Above the store is a restaurant where we went for cake and hot chocolate. It was all delicious!

Our final activity before travelling home the next day was to visit the famous Reichstag at night. The gate is just down the road so I got to see it as the sun was setting. It looked spectacular!
You do have to book to visit the Reichstag seeing as everyone who visits must go through a security check- don't forget your passport! It's a really quick process though and soon enough the sun had set and we were taking in the sight of the entire city. It's amazing up there. At the top of the dome there's even a place dedicated to lying down and looking at the stars which I thought was pretty cute!
That brings my travel diary to a close. I truly loved Berlin. Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear about your experience of the city in the comments. xo

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