The second trip to Berlin this year, since at the last one, Aranka got sick. Also, there is new street art to discover (yes, in Berlin there is always new street art, but now they just had the latest edition of Berlin Mural Fest).
An early start on Saturday lands us around half past 9 in the morning at Berlin Schönefeld Airport. About an hour later we arrive at our hotel for the weekend (Motel One Upper West, at the Berlin Zoo). Our room isn’t ready yet, but we leave our bag and get out. By midday we are at the Botanic Garden. Not our first visit to this gigantic garden, but it is such a nice and quiet place, we love to go there. Also, we cannot resist the delicious ice cream at Lauter Eis 🙂 (located at the square in front of the train station). Our next stop is the purpose we came for: the new street art.
Our plan will not work out entirely this weekend, but this gives us a good reason to come back next year! Anyway, we see some very nice pieces around the Kottbusser and Skalitzer Strasse, some new and some older. We also check out the urban site across the Spree river (behind the train station Warschau Strasse). By the time we are finished we are starving. Luckily our table waites for us at Pappa e Ciccia, our favourite Berlin Italian restaurant!
So we are up and about early! We check out the hotel building, which is quite special and then start our walk along the Spree river from the Friedrich Strasse train station towards the Museum Insel.
At this time of the day, we have the city almost for ourselves! We have reserved the rest of the day for Potsdam. This is a town in its own, about 30 km from Berlin but easily (and cheap) accessible by train. First we think of taking a water taxi to spare our feet, but this is rather expensive, so the tram it is. We start at the water front near the Glienicke Bridge, famous as the location of numerous spy exchanges during the Cold War. This bridge was a frontier many times during her history, in the Second World War as well as in the Cold War. Nowadays, she is known as the Bridge of Unity.
We continue our walk along the water towards the Neuer Garten and are a bit surprised to discover this park is a place for nudists to sunbathing. But the park has many more attractions like the Cecilienhof Castle and the Marble Palace. It is also a lovely park to walk around.
After a lovely ice cream (Eismanufaktur) we have a look at the Charlottenhof Park, with the amazing Orangerie and the square surrounded by statues. On our way back to the trainstation we notice people walking around at the top of the Nicolai Kirche. We cannot resist of having a look ourselves and are rewarded by a very nice view over Potsdam and the surroundings (5 euro per person, steep stairs at the end but not very high). Back at the hotel just in time for the sunset.
Our last day starts again early, with a short walk to the Technical University for the Cafeteria Skyline TU (at the 21st floor with creepy elevators). From there we have an amazing (and free) view over Berlin.
We also wanted to see a new museum, close to the Bundestag: Futurium. We have our lunch along the Spree river, and decide we have to have a last ice cream at Lauter Eis. Before we start the rather long trip (just for an ice cream, yes), we head to see some more street art we missed on Saturday. Our initial plan was to go to some big walls a bit further out of the centre, but it is an hour drive by train and tram (and back), and we don’t want to rush. We end our day (and trip) with a lovely dinner at our favourite restaurant.
Our flight leaves around 6am the next day, so we get our bag at the hotel and move to the airport hotel well in time, that makes it easy for the very early flight tomorrow morning.
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