Despite being in Berlin for four full days, the truth is that two of those days – tomorrow and the next day – I’ll be doing day trips to both Leipzig and Dresden.

What does that mean?

Well, today was my last chance to go explore the city of Berlin during the day.

And I had alot to explore…

A walk in the park

I started the day bright and early again.   Once again I was up before everyone else and made my way through the dark room to get ready for the day.

The hostel I’m staying at was highly rated but sadly it’s missing a common room so the only place to relax and hangout (or in my case, type up a blog) is sitting on a hard stool in the tiny kitchen.

But, that’s what I did.

I spent a good hour this morning popping together part two of yesterday’s blog recapping the free walking tour and I still hadn’t finished it by 8:30 when I put it to the side for a few hours to go out exploring the city.

After stopping for breakfast at Zimt & Zucker again, this time for an amazing gluten free crepe, I was off to tourist central – Brandenburg Gate.

This time around I bought a 24hr metro pass for €9.90.   I figured I’d be using the metro alot today going from one place to another and there was no way I was going to give myself a panic attack like I did yesterday almost getting caught on the subway with no ticket.

I arrived at Brandenburg Gate around 9:30.   This was where the 11am walking tour would start off but I purposely arrived an hour and a half early to give myself ample time to visit Tiergarten, a huge park similar to Stanley Park in Vancouver, which lay just outside of the gate.

There’s just something about strolling in a quiet, peaceful park literally mere feet away from the busy traffic on the nearby street that just makes you smile.

After walking for a half hour, I had made it to the opposite end of the park where the Victory Column lay in the middle of a huge roundabout.

The column was built in 1864 to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Second Schleswig War and it stands tall overlooking the park and the city.

After walking around for a bit, I decided I’d try my hand at biking back to the other side.

This way, it allowed me to take a longer path back and explore a different part of this vast park.

It’s pretty easy to rent bikes here using an app you can download.

After a few clicks and email responses, I was off and running on my bike.

I got back to the starting point of the park just minutes before the tour was to start.

Perfect timing!

I walked up to my tour guide only to discover he was the guide for the same 11am tour I had taken yesterday.

The tour I wanted, the Third Reich tour, didn’t start until 2pm.


Alrighty then!   Guess I’ll just have to call a quick audible…

East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery is a 1.3km collection of artwork on the remnants of the Berlin Wall located about a half hour by metro in the southeastern part of the city.

The wall here is the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall still in existence.

I had planned to visit here later in the afternoon after the walking tour so it was pretty easy to switch up my plans on the fly.

I had to take three different metro lines to get out to this part of the city with each line looking progressively older and more worn.

At one point I realized the station I was transferring lines was where Der Berliner Fernsehturm was.

It’s a tower similar to CN tower where you can go up to the observation deck for a 360 view of the city.

I didn’t really want to fork over the €24.50 to go up, so I just took an obligatory photo and popped back into the subway station to continue on my way.

At just before noon, I arrived to my destination.

I actually traveled one stop further than I needed to just because I wanted to walk over the Oberbaumbrücke bridge.

The bridge was built in 1896 and was a symbol of division between between East and West Germany during the Cold War.

You can’t actually walk over the bridge as the lower level is for cars and the upper level carries the metro line over the bridge.

Instead, you walk over the bridge right next to it, crossing the Spree river, over to the other side where the 1.3km stretch of the East Side Gallery begins.

As I said, there are mural after mural painted on the wall each with a little QR code you can scan on your phone to get info about the artwork.

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

Palace of Tears

By 1pm I was heading back, this time by bus, into the main part of the city.

I grabbed some gluten free currywurst and fries for lunch and walked over to Tränenpalast, otherwise known as the Palace of Tears.

The museum located right next to the Friedrichstraße station which used to be located half in Eastern Berlin and half in Western Berlin.

In the middle where families said goodbye to each other was dubbed the nickname Palace of Tears for all the tears shed as families parted from each other.

Inside the museum there are replicas of different parts of the guard booths located inside the train station as well as stories from those who had indeed shed tears.

Checkpoint Charlie

My next stop was probably the most touristy of them all.

My tour guide yesterday said it was the most overhyped tourist attraction in the city but, ya know, I’m a tourist and all and my trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without an obligatory photo of it.

I hopped another subway out to there where I was, indeed, greeted by an overwhelming amount of tourists milling around and posing in front of the checkpoint.

There were touristy restaurants, a museum, and tacky souvenir shops lining the streets.

So, I took my photos, walking through the souvenir shop to laugh at the souvenirs and was on my way.

Oh, by the way, this was my favorite souvenir items…

I returned to my hostel around 2pm and just hung out there for a few hours finished off yesterday’s blog and indulging in a little bit of Jeff Probst and Survivor.


At 6pm it was time for dinner and, honestly, there was only one place I wanted to go.

Back to Schnizelei where I had that wonderful gluten free schnitzel dinner last night.

Tonight I went for their chicken cordon bleu and a glass of their rose.

I also decided to try one of their gluten free desserts – vegan vanilla ice cream in salted caramel almond crust, served with raspberry sauce.

It was possibly one of the best desserts I’ve ever had!

Never mind the fact that it was vegan ice cream, after I took my first bite a smile raced across my face and, honestly, I couldn’t stop smiling with each bite.

The textures, the flavours.   Oh my God, as I write about it now, I want to have it again!

No time to dwell though.   It’s time to see a show…

…and a show

Before I left for Berlin I was looking for unique events and shows taking place during the evenings while I planned to be here.

I found a show called Falling | In Love at the nearby Palast Berlin theatre down the road.

I had no idea what the show was about, but I didn’t care.

Ticket booked.

I actually bought a ticket in the front row.   I know you’d think the front row would be a primo seat but it’s at a lesser priced tier than other seats because you can’t see the whole stage.

The more expensive seats are about a dozen or so rows back.

I didn’t care though – front row seats for the win!

I remember from my time in London I also bought a front row seat to see Les Misérables under the same conditions and I couldn’t have been happier with the seat.

Now, how can I describe this show?


It was so bizarre!

I mean, it definately was a musical but the songs were alternating between German and English so I only got part of the story.

There were over 50 dancers who were mostly female.   Most of them were wearing very revealing tights which, admittedly from the front row, looked a bit more revealing than if I had been, say, seating near the back.

And then there were 3 trapaze artists high above the stage for some reason.

And then a group of 10 gymnasts were brought out and did a trampoline/high bar show.

Keep in mind that this all has to do with the plot somehow?

It was so bizarre.

Oh, and then there was a water show.

On the stage!

Like, literally, fountains just showed up from the stage floor and they were dance and swimming – yes, swimming – in the water.

And then confetti came down from the ceiling.

It was just all so surreal.

It might have been the cheesiest/best most artistic/crazy show I’ve ever seen and I was there for it.

After it was over I still couldn’t compute what I had just witnessed as I was trying to describe the show to someone else staying in my dorm room.

Yeah, it was crazy but I loved it.

And, that, my dear friends, was my crazy day in Berlin.

Tomorrow I’m off on a day trip to Leipzig where the forecast is for rain so, yeah, that should be interesting…

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