Sunday, November 28, 2010

Berlin: Live from Berlin Germany . . .

Whoo hoo! I'm in Berlin, former East Berlin to be exact. I'm in a District called Mitte and my beautiful Apartment (well, it's actually a Studio Apartment) is wonderful. It overlooks a park and has a view of the very tall TV Tower which I hope to go up today.

It is 1,000 times colder here than Amsterdam and last night I had to buy a hat which I never ever wear but that's how cold it is.

I arrived safe and sound in Berlin's main train station and let me say that if you didn't know it or saw the trains here and there within the structure you might have guessed that you were in some kind of shopping mall. It's a very modern and beautiful train station.

I took a taxi to the apartment and was met by Stefan who was soooo nice. After showing me the ins and outs of the apartment he took a lot of extra time to point how how to get to certain attractions. Very nice.

It was getting too dark to go up the tower today for a view but Stefan told me that there is a nice Christmas Market at Alexander Platz so that was the plan.

I studied the map a little then dashed out the door. The U Stop was not too far from my apartment, maybe a block and a half. The fee which a girl helped me to purchase was 1.30 euros and AlexanderPlatz was the second stop away. I probably could walk it in warmer weather. :)

I arrive and it is pretty cool. I can see the Tower much better and it is a huge place.  Here are a few images of my first night in Berlin.

The world clock . . .

View of Alexanderplatz  Christmas Market (open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily until Dec. 26, 2010) . . .

The potatoes looked yummy (I'm going to have to try them). . .

Wish I could sample these . . .

It was a fun time.  I had some coffee at one of the cafe/bars they built for the market, bought my hat and checked out all the stands.  I think this could be my favorite hang out in Berlin . . . .

So after freezing my you know what off, I decided to get back to the apartment.  I easily found the entrance to the U Station again but while waiting this really nice guy told me that due to rail maintenance (which I learn they sometimes do on weekends), the U will not take me back to the stop that I'm familiar with.   I will have to take the Metro for the rest of the way to my stop.  That was very nice of him to alert me as I couldn't understand the German announcement and he knew it and took the extra time to seek me out and tell me.

Ok, back to my story.  Panic sets in as I usually navigate based on memory and landmarks and if I don't return to the exact U stop this may be interesting.  He then told me to get on the train then follow all the rest of the people to the M stop and get off on the next stop.  He said don't worry because they were all in the same boat.

I have to mention this. I people here in Berlin are so nice and friendly.  But I remember on my last trip to Munich how nice the people are which is another reason I wanted to return to Germany.

So I follow his directions. I just missed the next M-1 bus along with another handful of people. It was only about 10 minutes before the next one came which gave me time to buy some water at this little food store.

I get on the M line and exit at the next stop.  I look around and nothing looks familiar and I'm in that I have no clue where I am state. Not panicking . . . I make my best guess in the direction to follow and just go.  Well, I'm still in that I have no clue state and there aren't very many people around. Finally I see this guy eating a sandwhich and I get bold and stop him to ask for help.  He was very nice and waited for me to pull up the address of my apartment on my i-Touch. He immediately recognized the street (since when I was pronoucning it, he couldn't).  He told me it is the next street over. I then recognized the park. I was so thankful. The guy was very helpful and I might add nice looking too . . .

He smiled, I smiled and then we parted ways like two ships or U trains passing in the night. Him continuing on eating his delicious sandwhich and I happily and thankfully walking through the park back to my warm and cozy apartment . . . Will I ever see this good samaritan and hotty ever again. Probably not,  but his wonderful smile and kindness is etched in my travel memories forever . . .

So as you can gather from my first post, I think I'm beginning to fall in love with Berlin already and I can't wait for day 2....


  1. Wow, sounds like you are off to an interesting start. We were in Berlin 3 years ago, mid-December. I remember it was so cold and that even with wool socks and hiking boots my feet would freeze. We would have to enter stores every so often and pretend to shop to warm up my little toes. The Christmas Market at Alexander Platz was lovely.
    I am glad that everyone is being so helpful and that good samaritan hottie was able to help you out. Hopefully you will run into him again. Kathy, take care and keep warm. Have fun exploring.

  2. Wow, Kathy, I think you need to call this your "Hot European Guys" trip! Some trips are like that, it seems -- some friends who visited Rome last spring for the first time swore they were falling over handsome priests everywhere they turned. I've not been so lucky!

    You're pretty brave to try the metro system on your first night in Berlin, good for you! Sounds like you're off to a great start!

  3. I am always in awe (head bowed) how you seem to acclimate so well and so quickly to newly visited environs! Looking forward to hearing about Berlin and photos of your new collection of hotties! Maybe we could start giving them names:O)

  4. HI everyone, thanks so much for your comments. I've been behind in my blogging and will try to catch up...Maya I know the feeling during the day it's not so bad but at naught with the wind eek! But I'm having an awesome time and managing the cold with a sense of humor. Sandra, Hmm "hot European guys" 2011 trip has a nice ring to it...M, I always can't wait to get out there the minute I arrive someplace. Berlin definitely has their share of good looking hotties too. :)

  5. Will there be a Berlin hottie post? LOL.

    When I was there they had an Easter market in Alexanderplatz.. loved the wine stand there. But maybe it is too cold for wine so look for mulled wine. Make sure to go into the gourmet section on the main floor of the departments store there. It is AWESOME. And if you want a fantastic pizza make sure to go to I Due Forni on Schonhauser Allee...

  6. Was just looking at the White Trash Fast Food music schedule and found this. Will you be there on Sunday? :)

    I bet that will be a fun show!

  7. Hi Shannon, you just might never know when a hottie might pop up on my blog. :) I regret not asking Hottie # 1, the good samaritan if I could take his photo. He was so cool he wouldn't have minded. I will definitely check out the mulled wine and the gourmet section. I'm always on the look out for great pizza places so will check out your recommendation. I had a pizza margarita yesterday that was decent but not great.

    Bummer, I leave Sunday morning so will miss that White Trash show.The place sounds really interesting and cool. I'm quickly finding out that one week is not enough for Berlin. There is so many interesting things to see and places to check out. I just may have to return someday... :)

    Thanks so much Shannon for all of your advice, tips and inspiration to visit Berlin.

  8. You are so resourceful. I sometimes have problems asking people for help. Do you speak any German? Or did you ask him if he spoke English?

    I know exactly how you felt when you got to your stop but didn't recognize anything. I got that ugly feeling in the pit of my stomach when I was reading your post. And I'm surprised it is colder in Berlin. Brrrr... I thought Amsterdam was cold.

    Have fun exploring and who know... you may just run into him again.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.