Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

One of those “the scheduled blog post has gone out of the window” weeks! Probably not helped in part by the excessive heat – we had 4 consecutive days when it got to 40 degrees or above equalling the record for Perth set in 1933.  Mercifully the sea breeze is back and it’s been in the mid 20s most of today, which is so refreshing! The heat did get me dreaming wistfully of colder climes (not rainy ones though!).  Fortunately I have been putting the finishing touches to our forthcoming European trip in April. We’re mainly visiting family in the UK but have 9 days planned on the continent including a long weekend in Berlin, which I featured on “Five Places To Go Back To” some time ago and also “Remembrance And Renewal : Berlin”.

 

View of the Fernsehturm Berlin (Berlin TV Tower) near Alexanderplatz in the Mitte

View of the Fernsehturm Berlin (Berlin TV Tower) near Alexanderplatz in the Mitte

Berlin certainly isn’t the prettiest capital city in the world but it has a fascinating history and the juxtaposition of the new and old was striking.

We stayed in the former East Berlin in the Mitte district just by the River Spree and a comfortable 10 minute walk to the bustling Hackescher Markt Square. Flanked by cafes and restaurants we ate out here a couple of times and enjoyed the locality so much that we’ll be staying around here again.

Berlin doesn’t shy away from its often uncomfortable history. In fact we were there during the time of a city-wide exhibition honouring and remembering some of the many victims of the Nazi era entitled, “Zerstoerte Vielfalt’ (Diversity Destroyed). It was 80 years since the Nazis had first come to power in 1933.

 

 

One of the things that I’m looking forward to seeing is how far the rebuilding has come along since our last trip there in 2013. The main avenue, Unter Den Linden, seemed to be a mass of cranes and construction (like so many parts of Berlin). The former Communist Palace had been demolished and work was about to start on rebuilding the Berlin City Palace (Berlin Stadtschloss) – the winter palace of the Kaisers. At the end of Unter Den Linden you come to another traditional symbol of Berlin, the iconic Brandenburg Gate. It seemed a bit surreal to actually be there and even more so to be able to freely wander around, something that would have been impossible when I was growing up. Suffice to say I’m very much looking forward to seeing Berlin for the second time around and sharing more posts and photos from our forthcoming trip!

 

Berlin

Copyright © 2016 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

34 thoughts on “Back To Berlin!

  1. Looking forward to reading about it too Rosemary! I went to Berlin years ago and found it such a fascinating place, definitely intend to go back so it will be great to see what you get up to. Hope the weather stays cool for you!

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    1. Thanks Joy yes isn’t Berlin fascinating?! We loved it the first time round (well the second for Monsieur) and I can’t wait to go back again. Have less time for this visit (4 nights) but we have already been to many of the main places so we plan to hone in on areas that we either didn’t see last time or wish we’d had more time to explore. It’s been a lovely weekend not too hot and it’s great to have the sea breezes back! Up in north WA (a long long way from Perth) it was in the high 40s and is still very hot – I have no idea how anyone could live up there. Hope you’ve been having a great time in Ireland and that the weather hasn’t been too wet though I guess they bear the brunt of the Atlantic storms. Have a lovely rest of the weekend 🙂

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      1. I think Berlin is the kind of place you could go back to again and again and still see and do something different Rosemary – I love this planning stage of a holiday, one of the best bits. Glad you had the breezes and lower temperatures – we’re back to school today (sigh) but had a lovely half-term and surprisingly good weather – crisp and cold but perfectly wintery!!

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        1. Yes the planning side is a very enjoyable part of any trip Joy! We’re hoping that our daughter can come across to Berlin with us – she’s been a couple of times before and loved it but has just started a new job so it may be a bit tricky. That sounds lovely weather for your half-term break – crisp and cold I can cope with far better than cold and damp! Hot again today and tomorrow but won’t last too long this time and then far more pleasant for a while. Only a few weeks to go until Easter – not sure where this year is going! Hope you have a great week 🙂

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  2. poshbirdy says:

    It’s somewhere I have never been, but you have put it on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear – Berlin is an amazing place and very easy to get around! This is only a small snapshot of what there is to do there – Berlin has so much history and yet a modern, trendy and definitely eclectic vibe 🙂

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  3. restlessjo says:

    It’s not really a place that calls to me, Rosemay, though I know it has a great reputation as a weekend getaway. I remember you liked it a lot and I have friends who love it too. I’d have to go and judge for myself. 🙂

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    1. Yes of course different people prefer certain places Jo and Berlin’s charms are not as obvious as some places on the surface. However it has a wonderful vibe with so many art galleries, music venues, eateries especially in the old “East Berlin” – that really appealed to us the former “West” was a bit run down and faded. I must do a post on Potsdam at some point, which is out to the west of the city. That had some lovely gardens and buildings dating back to the imperial days and was so pretty. We’re also going to Menaggio on Lake Como for 5 days before we go to Berlin (rest of the time we’ll be visiting family in the UK) so it will be a holiday of contrasts! Should be plenty to post about too on my return. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

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      1. restlessjo says:

        Mennagio was a little cloudy when I saw it last but no less beautiful. 🙂 I’ve read a few novels based in Berlin and Potsdam does sound like a place I’d go. Family based in Yorkshire, I presume? You’ll be looking forward to it.

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        1. Am certainly hoping that Menaggio won’t be cloudy Jo but whatever the weather am sure it will be beautiful 🙂 Only had a quick 2 days, 3 nights there 7 years ago so want to see more on this visit. I certainly didn’t want to leave last time! Yes up to Yorkshire for a fair bit of the UK leg of the trip but also spending a few nights in London. We haven’t planned it all yet as our daughter has just started a new full time job so we’re not sure how free she’ll be to see us (though of course we will see her!). She was supposed to be coming to Berlin with us but now it’s a bit in doubt though obviously we’ll still be going! Juts heading off out to my weekly German class to try and improve my skills before April – will be checking out your latest Monday Walk hopefully when I get home if my brain is not too frazzled with 2 hours of speaking German. Hope you’re having a lovely week 🙂

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          1. restlessjo says:

            It’s pouring at the minute but I’m off to t’ai chi soon. Coincidentally I saw a post on Meg Travels on Menaggio yesterday ( cloudy in May but very beautiful 🙂 ). Don’t frazzle too much!

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            1. I must check her latest posts out Jo – I knew she went there last year and saw some of her photos so will be very interested to see what she has to say 🙂 I will try not to get too frazzled – I must quickly finish this week’s German homework now! Enjoy your t’ai chi 🙂

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  4. Anabel Marsh says:

    I love Berlin too! We’ve been twice – the last time was 2012 and I remember all the construction going on. We must have stayed quite close to where you were, not far from Hackeschermarkt. I agree about them not shying away from the past. It’s everywhere. We took an underground tour of some of the wartime shelters. Horrifying.

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    1. Great to hear that Anabel – I found Berlin fascinating and the Hackescher Markt area was the perfect base. Some pretty grim history though – we didn’t do that underground tour can you remember which company you went with? We did a few walking tours though including Sachsenhausen – very sobering experience. Will be interesting to see how Berlin has come along since our last visit!

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      1. Anabel Marsh says:

        This is what I wrote about it – haven’t checked to see if they still exist though. https://anabelsblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/berlin-unterwelten-and-east-side-gallery/

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        1. Thanks Anabel for sending me the link! I’ll head over to read it now 🙂

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  5. We have been to Berlin twice and we really enjoyed it. It is a very interesting city…(Suzanne)

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    1. It’s fascinating isn’t it Suzanne?! Think you could visit many times and not get bored as you’d delve deeper into the city on each visit 🙂

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  6. Sartenada says:

    What a wonderful se of beautiful photos. My favorite is the last one. Berlin is beautiful indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes Berlin is a great place and I’m really looking forward to going back there in a couple of months time!

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  7. Berlin is a destination I would love to visit one day. I’ve been to Germany a few times but never made it to Berlin. It looks like it’s a vibrant city. April is coming !! yay !!! I bet you are excited

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    1. Yes you’ll definitely have to check out Berlin at some point Gin! It is such a vibrant city – not as picturesque as some places I know but there is so much depth to the city and it is a fascinating place to explore and get to know. Yes April will be here before I know it – it still seems rather a long way off at this point! I tend to get into packing mode a couple of weeks or so beforehand – there is always a lot to organise with the house and pets etc (we have house and pet sitters coming in so the pets can stay in their own home 🙂 ) Hope all is going well 🙂

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      1. Oh yes, sorting out the pets must be a bit stressful but I think taking a pet sitter is awesome ! they won’t get too stressed. I’ve started a new job this week, I will try to answer to your email soon and give you more details !

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        1. Yes it’s really good getting a pet sitter. We’ve been able to have our daughters or friends of friends living in when we’ve gone away before but next trip we’re going to use a pet sitting company for the first time. They are highly recommended by many people and so will make it easier for us to go away (and hopefully not stress about the pets!). No problems re email – just when you can it’s always difficult when you start a new job. Our daughter in London has just started a new full time job (before this she had a number of part time ones but even with 2 or 3 at once still had more time than she has now). We’re not sure yet how it will work out seeing her so we have to be flexible with the Uk time – it’s a bit of a juggling act!!

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          1. Oh yes, it must be hard to her ! It needs time to adjust to a new life style. I hope you will still manage to spend as much time as possible with her. It’s always difficult to ask for a day off when you start a new job.

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            1. Yes it’s a bit tricky Gin – we’ll certainly see her but not for quite as long as we’d planned. The important thing is for her job to go well! Hope you’re also getting on well in your new job 🙂

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            2. It’s hard. I suppose everything will be better in a few weeks once I will get used to every procedure

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            3. Yes it will be hard at first Gin – hope you feel more settled in a little while. Hope you have a good weekend too (if you’re not working!!) 🙂

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  8. RuthsArc says:

    One of my favourite cities. Thanks for bringing back happy memories of my own visits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ruth – it was good to have a chat and compare notes on Berlin! Hopefully I’ll have some more stories to share in a couple of months time – will be interested to see what my impressions are second time around! 😀

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  9. Hi Rose Mary! I agree that Berlin is not the prettiest capital city in the world, but that is has a fascinating history. It is worth a visit that is for sure 🙂
    Great pictures and post!

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    1. Hi Hanna – thanks! Yes I think if you can appreciate the history, the culture and the lifestyle one can have an amazing time in Berlin! Am really looking forward to going there again in a couple of months time! 🙂

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