When we went to Berlin Tommy had been just 3 months of making his Mummy very sick every morning. This meant I was dreading it to be honest but miraculously the morning sickness cleared up just in time and we headed off to meet some very dear friends in a frosty Berlin for New Year. It turned out to be one of the most memorable holidays we have ever had! Berlin was just beautiful with Christmas lights and markets,
in true Mr M style we griswoldedour way around to see as many sites as possible from the obvious to the affecting.
Berlin has a terrible history dating back centuries and it is acknowledged and handled so well without glorifying or trying to hide anything. Many buildings have been renovated to their former glory but others still show the damage caused by war through pock-marked walls. Sites of remembrance such as to political martyrs or the holocaust are dignified in their simplicity and elements of the wall still stand around the city.
There are other reminders of the recent history. The former ‘East’ is definitely very different in terms of it’s architecture and services, for example pipes running overground. There is an obvious poverty gap too. The most mundane things told a tale, for example the green man on the crossings had a hat on the Eastern side of the city and the wall in remembered through a variation in paving to show where it ran.
The evening ended with a massive firework display (and four English people singing old lang syne). This was a bit unnecessary as there were literally fireworks everywhere in Berlin for the whole evening. Banned in the park thankfully, there were people setting off rockets in their hands and out of windows and all over the place – they were falling from the sky all around! Not a tradition for the faint-hearted but certainly an experience. Clearly Berlin has not heard of the firework code!
New Years Day was magical. We left the hotel to visit the Bauhaus Museum and by the time we arrived the snow was falling heavily. The Museum was wonderful and afterwards we headed for a snowy dinner at a famous pizza joint called the Twelve Apostles.
On the last day we queued in the snow to visit the Reichstag as transformed by Sir Norman Foster and to see the fabulous view.
All of this was truly wonderful but we had two favourite things that even surpassed that. The first was drinking cocktails (non-alcoholic for the pregnant lady) at the top of the TV Tower. Sadly the fog meant the view was not great, and secondly our accommodation which was brilliant.
The thing that people may find odd is that there is a genuine nostalgia for the East in Berlin. This has it’s own term ‘Ostalgia’ and part of this was our apartment block which was called ‘Ostel‘. Fun and very friendly the photos speak for themselves. It was a retro-lovers dream!
keep the vintage love xx