KamarudinS in Berlin

I love Berlin. It’s such a pretty city.

It’s one of the places I insisted we add to the itinerary. Why? Simply because it made such an impression last time I was here.

I’m not sure what it is precisely. Is it the old buildings that survived a world war or didn’t and were rebuilt again?

Is it the history of the city from the communist then Nazi reign to the division of Berlin?

Berlin eye

Is it the mix of old and new? From decaying sections of the Berlin Wall and former Stazi Headquarters with its secret detention centre. To the Gotham-like buildings of Potsdamer Platz and the impressive architecture of the Sony Centre.

Is it the organisation of paths, cycle ways, roads, buses, trams and trains that is so good you don’t need a car?

Whatever it is we are both in agreement…we are in love with Berlin.

Berlin segway tour

With a week to explore Steve thought a good way to start would be a Segway tour with City Segway Tours Berlin.

Others may prefer a bicycle tour, which this group also do through Fat Tyre Tours, but for us this was the best way to get a sense of the city and what we wanted to see more of.

The tour started with the basics, alighting the Segway. This was funny because Steve and I had an advantage over the other couple on our tour – we had segway’ed before. We took to them like ducks on water. Even our guide, Jonathan, was impressed with our skill saying ‘this tour will now be led by Kim’ – chuckle, chuckle. After some encouragement and practice we were all ducks in a row behind our leader.

Jonathan did a great job of the tour, starting with a rough history of the city, sharing details about Museum Island and the square that was the site of the book burning during the Nazi regime.

We visited the Jewish Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, Hitler’s Bunker, Check Point Charlie and a number of other sites.

Zooming and zipping around Berlin

Apart from seeing all of the sites on the tour the best part was zipping along the road. Segways are not permitted on the walk ways in Berlin and must use the cycle ways, which are fantastic. They run along the edge of the road, on the wrong side for us Aussies mind-you, and vehicles actually give way to the bikes. The cycle ways even have their own traffic lights.

Back to my point, zooming along in the bike lane was super cool and people kept stopping to watch us zoom past which was also super cool. Also, while zooming it was super cool so I was glad to have my jumper on.

Okay, so since arriving we have spent two hours at The Topography of Terror – the site of the gestapo and SS headquarters as well as the longest section of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. The free museum exhibits documents, photographs and detailed descriptions in English that are fantastic. Yes, the information is shocking and sad and highlights the insane-genius and extensive long term plans of Hilter but it is also well worth the visit wearing comfy shoes.

Oh, we saw Susan Sarandon there too, talking with people.

Exploring Berlin – comfy shoes a must

On the day we explored Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Centre we stopped at Corroboree, an Australian-themed restaurant for a beef and bacon burger that was OMG!

After a short siesta on the grass in the sunshine we walked to the German Museum of Technology, to burn off some of the burger. This museum is filled with historical stuff from working trains, jewellery and suitcase making to full size boats and aeroplanes. It was another comfy shoe day.

Another day of exploring

The next day we travelled by train – train – tram out to the Gedenkstaette Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen (try and pronounce that one.) Otherwise known as the secret political prison interrogation / detention centre of the East German Communist Ministry of State – Stasi – well worth a visit.

Steve happened to accidentally find a German motorbike museum on the map so we just had to visit there.

Steve happened to accidentally find a German motorbike museum on the map so we just had to visit there.

We almost missed Television Tower because we didn’t look up – image at top. Pretty impossible really.

There are so many more things to see and so little time – off we go to explore some more!

For more of our Berlin excapades check out ‘A bump in Berlin.’