Monday, December 26th
Time for a Christmas/new years trip to Berlin. First – train to Hamburg – then train to Berlin. Simple as that.
Arriving at Berlin Hauptbahnhof at 4.19. Then fix a travelcard to local transport for the coming days. Then bus to Turmstrasse, and check in to my fine room 502 at Hotel Park Consul. The area is called Moabit. First thing – check out the local hood. Wanted to see the markethall Arminius-Market, but it’s closed tonight. Instead – excellent dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in the same street. Then heading back to hotel.
Tuesday, December 27th
Time to make the travelcard useful. First U-bahn, then RE-train and finally bus 114 to Haus Der Wannsee Konferenz. It’s a villa where Richard Heydrick gathered people from the Nazi-party and the SS to find the final solution to the Jewish problem – the socalled Endlösung. There’s a fine exhibition about the process and the consequences at the place.
Then back to Wannsee Bahnhof and on to Potsdam. Bus 695 take me to Schloss Sans Souci. It’s a fine old castle build by Hr. Von Knobelsdorff in 1747. I walk around it a few times. I skip the indoor tour. Instead I walk down the steps in front of the castle, through the park and back into Potsdam Downtown.
There is a Christmas marked Downtown. Fine – if you’re into “glühwein”. I am not – so I head over to Holländisches Viertal – an old area with old Dutch houses. Hang out there – take some pictures – before heading to the railway station and back home.
The Arminius Market is open today, so I go there for eating tonight. Lots of fine places to do that.
Wednesday, December 28th
Another grey and rainy day in Berlin. But one has to do one’s things. Today – Neukölln – a area in the south of Berlin. It is going hip these years. I take the U-bahn to Hermannplatz and then walk down Karl Marx Strasse and neighbouring streets. I zig-zag through the area looking for shops, people, café’s, squares and other strange things. No tourist-sights here – unless you think of the parking lot on 5th floor of the Neukölln Arcade, where there is a fine view across Berlin. But not on a grey day like this. Lunch at a nice restaurant – and finish of walk at 2 at Neukölln S-bahnhof.
To early to go back to the hotel. Time for a museum. Märkisches Museum is Berlins official City Museum. It’s located in an old church. Unfortunately it’s pretty boring. When it’s done I can go back to the hotel.
In the evening it’s Circus time. It’s called Cirkus Flic Flac – and it’s spectacular, including motorbikes in a “Deathdrome”. Fine circusband – sounds like Rammstein with a Nina Hagen clone as frontsinger. Not the usual type of circus.
Thursday, December 29th
A little special tourist-day today. First it’s four different trains to get to Grünau. It’s a gamble to go here. There is an abandoned dancehall where I hope to get some pictures. It should be spectacular from the inside. But it’s all wrapped in fences so I can’t get in. I have to deal with pictures from the outside –through the fence.
I continue down to the river. It’s a short walk away. There is a ferry there crossin to the other side. There I can catch a tram going to Köpenick Altstadt. Nice little town with another fine little castle. I check this out before heading on another tram to Köpenick Bahnhof and then 3 other trains to get back home. Very efficient public transport in Berlin – and a very useful travelcard.
Later I head into the Zoo-station. Museum-time again. This time a Photographic Musuem. It was made by famous photographer Henry Newton. Most pictures are by himself and his wife Alice Springs. On the 3rd floor there’s an exhibition with pictures from before the wall fell – including pictures from other political hot spots at the same time. I even do some shopping here. In the museum-shop I buy a fine book with pictures of old Soviet Bus stops.
Dinner at my Vietnamese – before relaxing at the hotel.
Friday, December 30th
Nice but cold weather today. As usual – I am getting away from the main tourist things today. First a train to Warschauer Strasse and a visit to RAW. It’s an “ugly” place where fine peoples not so well-behaved kids hang out. Old and ugly buildings, skatehalls, music-venues and graffiti is out here.
Then I return to more normal tourist-area – Alexanderplatz – but just for leaving it again. Close by is Nicolaiviertal. A strange neighbourhood with cozy shops, restaurants and café’s in basemenst level – and mainly old eastgerman Plattenbau on top of that. I have lunch in a fine little restaurant that looks like it’s hundred of years old, but is probably just part of a concrete building from the sixties. From there I walk to Museum-Insel where all the tourists are hanging out. I don’t – I take bus 100 back to Zoo – and U9 to Turmstrasse.
Evening trip to Bundestag and a look inside the huge Dome. Very impressive.
Saturday, December 31st
Nothing special prepared for the day. So a little walk – just as I think of it. First a decent one. I head down to the River Spree and follow it east. It’s a nice walk under bridges along the river. I pass Schloss Bellevue – where the Bundespräsident is living – and the famous Sigesseule in Tiergarten as well. Then I continue before ending my walk close to Bundestag and Hauptbahnhof. Back I take Alt Moabit directly to my hotel.
Later a short walk around Moabit. Some call It Prenzlauer Berg without tourists. I’m not so sure about that – but It’s a nice and fine area. All locals are shopping Berliner-Phankuchen this afternoon – probably a local New Year custom.
Pizza is on one of the few restaurants open tonight. If you are into Bonnie Tylor and German pop music you should go to the party at Brandenburger Tor. I am not – so I stay away.
Sunday, January 1st
Nice and quiet farewell to Berlin. Check out at noon. A few hours of waiting at Hauptbahnhof. Then train to Hamburg, Flensburg, Fredericia and finally Aarhus. Back at 9.