Right after my exams I went to Berlin with my family! It was a short trip of only 5 days and 2 out of those days consisted of traveling. You see we went with the train which is a 6 hour and 30 minutes trip from Amsterdam Central Station. To get there we can add 40 minutes to our traveling time. Anyway it was a big deal for my family (consisting out of one 13 year old, one 5 year old and one 2 year old) and i’m going to tell you all about it!
So like I said we had a traintrip of about 7 hours ahead of us. Because we do not travel that often we bought 1st class tickets. I had already taken the ICE before and honestly the 1st class and the 2nd class do not have big differences. We had a 6 person compartement á la Harry Potter for ourself. The train trip went, in my opinion, by pretty fast. I also had brought my car theory coursebook with me so I spend some time learning but also reading and browsing the magical internet. The kids had brought some games, books and entertained themself by running in the corridor of the train.
As soon as we arrived we went to the appartement and I gotta say. The traffic was insane. It was busy and everyone drove so freaking fast. I’d not want to drive there haha.
Anyway we had an amazing appartement from AMC appartements. Unfortunately I did have to share a room with all the smol kids ;’) They placed 2, queensize beds in one room. Besides our shower was awful, or I’m just spoiled with my rain shower at home haha. No it was nice to stay at!
After we had ‘installed’ ourselves in the room we went out to look around, buy some stuff for in the appartement and look for a place to eat. Behind the appartements there was this quite place with a few restaurants and a fountain. It wasn’t more than that but it looked cute and it wasn’t crowded. That basically was our entire first day.
On the second day we used the underground for the first time. Well it’s pretty much the same like every other underground in the world haha but for some of us it was the first time. Our first stop was the Alexanderplatz with the immense tv tower. It is surprising to see how small one can be. We walked around a little, unfortunately it was cold and grey but that didn’t stop us from having fun. Obviously we went in the tower. But we had to wait an hour first, so we walked around there for a while. Apparentally there was some church festival. There was music and loads of orange scarves. (I’m sorry my fellow German followers but we had to make a joke like: Hey they’re supporting our country…because you know orange) later on we discovered that there was this even bigger festival on another place called Kirchentag. and apparentally Obama was there but unfortunately we did not see him.
Anyway we finally got to go in the tv tower and the view is amazing. We could see so far, we could even see the famous Tropical Islands which basically looked like a pimple on the earth. I loved how they placed the boards describing what you we’re actually looking at!
Afterwards we went back to the underground to go to the Branderburger tor. There we dicovered the ‘Kirchentag’ because there was an immense podium right behind the Brandenburger tor. My photography heart was so dissapointed, because the building itself is so gorgeous and a stage kinda ruins the picture, but we had to deal with it.
Unfortunately I also came in touch with some rude girls. Apparentally I stood in the way of their picture, shit happens. But instead of properly asking me to step away, they walked past me secretively and pushed my bagpack. excuse you but one of my lenses is in there. I even heard one of them say ”Well at least I tried.” You know that you should’ve tried? Asking because you know you have a voice. I should’ve just stepped backwards so that I was even more in their precious picture.
Moving on, we walked further to the Reichstag which is even more impressive. I can’t even describe the feeling. That is basically Berlin: There has happened so much over there every building has this immense backstory. Even if you’re not into history it still is impressive. We walked around and around literally being confused tourist inbetween all of the Kirchentag visitors. My stepmum eventually asked someone about it. Because we just passed a security check without any kind of tickets. So many people came to it! Young and old. We left the terrain quickly tho, stumbling upon the Imax theatre. Where a beach was recreated I think to promote Baywatch. And can wel talk about the roof? It looked like some kind of ufo has landed on the surrounding buildings haha!
Besides that we didn’t do much. We were with young children and they needed to go to bed on time if we didn’t want to be surrounded by crying kids.
The next day we went again on a sightseeing trip. This time we started at Bernauer Straße for leftovers of the famous wall. Again so impressive to see. I can’t imagine what it must have been like. There were many informations points located there to educate, if you’re there definitely take a look at them because many things are not told in (atleast mine) history classes! Afterwars we wandered around until we found a beach bar. IT’S SO AWESOME ANS CHILL! I need one of these places over here (We have an actual beach 30 minutes away but still) There were these competitions and it was very nice to take a break. Besides they had this amazing parkour with cars and stuff. Now I’m afraid of heights so we skipped that, but it was fun to look at. Afterwards the plan was to go to Alexanderplatz for some shopping but we had the wrong underground or something, I still don’t get what went wrong. Because of that however we stumbled upon checkpoint Charlie. Which honeatly was…dissapointing.. It is so commercial. It was crowded and there was traffic as the checkpoint was in the middle of the road. I honestly expected more.
Bakc at Alexanderplatz we walked into the Primark to quickly get out of there because damn Amsterdam is nothing compared to thow busy the Primark is. No we skipped the shopping (apart from buying a bikin in the New Yorker) because everyone was tired and it was very warm unlike the day before. When we looked for a place to eat we noticed that everyone was looking up to the sky. We obviously followed their gaze and saw someone jumping from a building. Bungee jumping to be precise. Another thing I’d never ever do in my life haha. This basically was our entire day.
The next day was planned for something else: The Berlin zoo as a reward for being patient (The younger ones) We actually wanted to visit the Tropical Islands) until we read some reviews and saw the prices. 33 euros per person!? No we have amazing swimmingpools in the Netherlands (read: Center Parcs) which is half that price. We made a great choice with the zoo anyway: We all had a fun day and the weather was amazing. It’d be a waste to sit inside a swimming pool. Now the zoo: It was well decorated, it’s big we couldn’t even see everything, however there were some downsides: Some enclosures were so smalle for example the big cat house (I totally can’t remember the name) The animals over there were in a bird size enclosure. You don’t put a lynx in there? Furthermore the windows were very filthy and some enclosures were full of weeds? I hope they will change that in the future. They were building a new Panda enclosure and that seemed to be big. Hopefully they will do the same with the big cats enclosures!
When we left the zoo we suddenly got surrounded by football fans. And there were cops EVERYWERE. Once again we were the clueless tourist and even though I did do my research I hadn’t heard of any of these happenings! The streets were trashed. Once again we stumbled upon something really impressive: The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church. Broken churches are absolutely stunning and my new aesthetic.
Unfortunately everything fun has an ending and so did our trip to Berlin. What we didn’t know however is that our way home would be waaaay longer that our way to Berlin. We arrived two hours to soon at the station. ” Beter te vroeg dan te laat” (It’s better to be early than to be late) So we took some time to drink something and go to Dunkin’ Donuts: I love Dunkin’ Donuts. Please add more of those to the Netherlands thank yo uvery much.
Anyway half an hour in advance we got to the right platform and stuff only to find that it was completely crowded. Well no big deal we had reserved our seats anyway. But no. That didn’t matter. As soon as the train arrived apparentally everyone had to get in that train. In the Netherlands the conductor controls wether everyone had boarded or not. Apparentally the conducotr of the ICE did not feel like doing so. My sister stood in the train, my dad in the door opening, my stepmum, the kinds and I were still on the platform. Then a whislt was heard. The doors closed, my dad blocked it. We couldn’t go in the train because nobody moved and there was now ay to fit in there. The door closed again and my dad once again blocked it. We started screaming for help, another conducotr basically looked at us and did nothing. Then the door closed again and in that day I learned two things: 1. Train doors use more and mroe force with evety attempt. It is not like an elevator door that is like oh there is something in my way I cant close, no a train door closes and it WILL close. So my sister had already jumped out, out of fear and my dad got pushed out of the train by the door. The other thing I learned that day was that reservations don’t freaking matter to the ICE. Our train left and we were still on the platform together with another couple that had to go in and a family that said goodbye to another family member. My dad was furious, went tot he conductor that only looked and she JUST WALKED AWAY!? Like what!?
Now this family is important: They helped us so muchand I’m so grateful for them! They basically stayed with us until we got a train home. They translated everything for us. They made me see that I also have to be more kind because this was also their last day in Berlin. They spent it by helping us, and honestly I’d never done the same, but now I will. So we had to go to an information point. Were we got told that the other train of the day was full and that the soonest train would be the one in the middle of the night or the next morning. Middle of the night with small children is a no go and the next morning would have been a problem due to school. Fortunately the guy arranging our new tickets had a good bond with his boss, so he told us to get by in half an hour to see if he could fix something. And he could. The plan was: We had to meet another conductor that would tell us where to sit: or actually stand. If we couldn’t get on the train again she would help us with the hotel reservations and such. But we got on the train and spent 4 hours in the corridor of a wagon with a broken airconditioner. We sat on the ground, fortunately kept getting water form the staff until after 4 hours we got placed into another wagon with airconditioner. Later on in the Netherlands the locomotive decided to stop working but fortunately that was only for a quarter or so. Eventually we got home.
When I looked back on this trip I discovered something a little bit scary? Well the first day we missed Obama’s speech (I discovered the enxt day) The second day a car drove into the underground where we had been (My dad discovered the day after) on the third day we suddenly were in the midst of football supporters and on the last day we had train drama. Something happened every day.
I’m still glad that I had the opportunity to visit Berlin. I had a great time and I will not think about everything bad that had happened. I will only focus on the fun parts c:
If you are still reading this: congratulations because this is an immense story haha. I hope you enjoyed it!
ps.: Omg the traffic lights look so cute!