Last week I embarked on my spring break adventure to Berlin, Germany. I had previously visited the city for the first time in November last year and it was a magical expirience especially since that was my first expirience of flying! In 2015 my friend, Adam, moved to Berlin and began building a life in the city so it is always an excellent oppertunity to catch up and see what he’s been upto while I’m there. Last time I saw the sights and explored a range of museums. This time I felt more relaxed and spent more time feeling as if I was on holiday.
First on the menu was Olympiastadion, this is a short 20-minute journy on the S-Bahn and sits on the edge of Grunewald Forest. I made it, purely by accident, in time for the last and only English tour before the Germany Vs. Brazil football match and preperations were already underway which made the tour even more interesting. The tour began by addressing the history of the stadium which was originally built by the Nazi regeim for the 1936 Olympic games. In 1998 Berlin debated the future of the stadium, some wanted to demolish it, others let it crumble, but the final decision was made to repurpose the stadium and modernisation in 2004 led it to be ranked as one of the worlds greatest stadiums. The tour was extensive, we took in the views from the VIP seats, explored the changing rooms, press room and training area as well as the rest of the park.
Following my visit to Olympiastadion, I jumped back on the S-Bahn and delved deeper into the forest. This time I alighted at Heerstraße and took a 2km walk along a neverending road. Eventually, after clambering up the steep hill that climbs to 114m above the city. The hill itself is man made, from the rubble of the war-torn city and its name translates to Devils Mountain. Soon, the three remaining giant white radomes entered my eyeline, and I set off exploring the decaying complex which was built and used by American forces between 1950 and the end of the cold war in 1989. The deep secrets of what went on here are still unkown, but the archieves are set to declasified and open to the public from 2020. The view from the top of these towers is breathtaking, you can see the whole of the city and beyond.
A day trip to the city of Potsdam was very much on the cards and Adam decided to join me which made the visit all the more enjoyable. After arriving in the city via a double-decker regional train service, we found a self-cleaning public toilet which turned out to be quite the marvel. We opted to hire some bikes using the Next Bike service; this gave us a new level of freedom to explore the sights. First, we visisted Alexandrowka, a small Russian colony built by Frederick William III of Prussia between 1826 and 1827. We then followed some ambiguous signs for ‘Biosphäre’, and it turned out to be a giant indoor botanic garden, so naturally, we took some time out to explore it, and it was pretty unique, offering up a scape of exotic plants and animals and interactive displays. Back on the bikes, we took a route around Sanssouci park, veiwing the palaces and windmill as the sun made an appearance.
My time in Berlin was filled with friends, good food, adventures and goodness. I also visited Tier Park, The Stasi Museum, Alexandraplatz and more but the above three points of interest were very much the highlights.
Check out my photo highlights on Instagram!