Emily Dawe visits Berlin...
Guten tag! Assistant Home Editor Emily here! I have just returned from, what I can safely say is, the greatest city break I have ever been on – Berlin.
A couple of months ago my friend Vicky and I were brainstorming cities to visit, so I casually asked on Facebook if anyone had been to Berlin and would they recommend it – I was inundated with friends raving about how fantastic it is, ‘it’s my fave city’ ‘you’ll love it’ ‘the most exciting city’ etc etc. I was sold!
It is such a wonderful time of year to visit! Nothing beats the exciting atmosphere of the German markets. I was in my element, all wrapped up in chunky knits, eating plates of curryweist whilst clutching a steaming mug of gluhwein, bliss.
Being in Berlin in winter was like going back in time. Their take on Christmas is so unbelievably magical it was like stepping into the pages of a fairytale.
The shops and stalls at the markets were filled with wooden carvings including the iconic ‘nutcracker’ is all his shapes and sizes. We were so inspired and taken in by him, that we purchased a few for friends, family and, of course, ourselves!
We also fell in love with the Christmas candle carousels – you simply pop in a tealight and watch mesmerized as angels spin round from the heat of the flame, softly chiming a bell, creating twinkling lights and dancing shadows. We bought two each.
We of course did the proper tourist thing by jumping on the tour bus (two days in a row!) – it’s definitely the best way to see all the sites and get acclimatised to the area. We jumped off as and when to take snaps, purchase an ‘I love Berlin t-shirt’ and, of course, a few well-earned mugs of gluhwein!
One night we treated ourselves to dinner in the TV Tower; a revolving restaurant at the centre of a sphere, a whopping 1,207ft from the ground! It was such a beautiful way of looking at the city. We could only afford a cheese board and bottle of red, but the atmosphere and views were magnificent and well worth every penny.
On our last morning we got up very early and took the S-Bahn to see the East Side Gallery. It’s the largest open-air gallery in the world and appears on a 1.3km stretch of the former Berlin Wall.
Artists from all over the world rushed to Berlin after the fall of the wall to create original murals as a testimony of the joy and liberation of the time. It was quite eerie standing alongside the vast stretch of concrete – a riot of colour and emotional imagery, splattered with tags, poems and heartfelt messages. It was a poignant end to our mini break.
Berlin was an inspiring, welcoming, surprising and magical city; I can’t wait to go back there again next year.