I don’t know if the Brandenburg Tor is everyones sightseeing objective on their first day in Berlin but it was ours. It appeared that thousands of others had the same collective thought too…
We made a classic mistake. We looked at the map and thought, ‘it’s not too far’. By the time we got up to Potsdamer Platz we were having second thoughts. Sitting by the fountain in the Sony Centre, people watching isn’t an unpleasant experience, though you won’t get to see much of Berlin that way.
Exiting the Sony Centre we stopped to look at the Berlin Wall remnants there. The wall is smaller than I’d imagined but perhaps that’s because it’s viewed in isolation. Strolling up Ebert Strasse we crossed over to see the impressive Jewish Holocaust Memorial, which consists of grey, tomb like, oblong blocks, of various heights and sizes. It’s impact was somewhat spoilt by children jumping from one to another. There are security guards but it’s a very difficult site to effectively police. We walked on with Tiergarten on our left till we reached Brandenburg Tor, very much one of the recognisable sights of Berlin. It was quite packed (including some Shaolin monks who had their ears glued to mobile phones) and had it’s usual selection of trike riders, walking groups with flags and umbrellas and open top bus tour reps.
We left and headed towards the Reichstag and looked at the long queue of people who felt the need to parade ant like round the inside spiral of the glass dome. In search of food, we went through the Brandenburg Gate to Unter den Linden and realised the photos I’d taken were from the back of the Gate. That rectified we strolled into a smart hotel near to the British Embassy for lunch. The surroundings were sumptuous, the service impeccable, the food dull and stodgy (to be fair the desserts weren’t bad) and the bill a bit on the steep side. We decided on a route home passing the British Embassy and unfortunately came across the ‘Mall Of Berlin’. You must appreciate that neither of us are exactly, ‘shop till you drop’ types, more ‘eat till you’re stuffed’. However Susie really needed a more comfortable pair of shoes, hence we put ourselves through a painful experience just this once.
It was a long old day and by the time we’d dragged ourselves down Potsdamer Strasse towards our apartment we were so tired we had no appetite for an evening meal……does Sushi count as an evening meal??