The month of May has been exceptionally busy travel-wise, and I have loved every minute of it. I felt really lucky to be able to zip around some wonderful places, whether it be for work or for pleasure. And it so happened that in one week I managed to zip through three B cities! Brussels, where I showed a visiting friend around for a few days, Belgrade, as you read in my previous post, and Berlin, the absolute undisputed highlight of that week, and actually, of the whole year, when it comes to travelling.
I fell madly in love with Berlin. I had been there once before, but it was winter and miserably cold, and I kept wondering why I had wished so bad to go there for such a long time… All of that was made crystal clear during this trip, though. Berlin in the spring – my, it just absolutely entrances you, there is no getting away from it!
All the space (loads of it! you cannot feel claustrophobic in that city), all the green (and the people taking advantage of it to the fullest), all the bikes (and so few cars – heaven!), all the rhythms of life slowed down and relaxed…
Oh, and all the craftiness as well! We went to one huge craft shop on three floors which was out of this world. I came away with some sweet gifts for dear friends. I had decided not to look for any yarn shops (even though my friends, knowing me, were shocked by this decision), but it turned out I couldn’t avoid them even if I wanted to. On my way to the airport bus on the way home, I bumped into this:
Luckily the shop bit was closed, as it was a public holiday, and only the cafe was open. So my no-yarn decision held fast! :)
Anyway, for the trip I was in the best possible company and we made the most possible use of our time there. So much so that at the end of each day my feet were hurting so bad I could literally not stand on them!
We saw all the major sights…
And some of the history really got to me, I have to admit. So much terrible, terrible stuff crammed into one city. As a big believer in books and all their uses and benefits, I found this square, where they used to hold book burnings, very sad. It inspired me to go and read Fahrenheit 451 (actually, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it before!), and I really enjoyed it – highly recommended.
But it was also nice to see how the city is rebuilding itself, not wiping the historical stuff away but putting its own brand on it, remembering, but also transforming.
The architecture of Berlin is not particularly impressive. It has simply been run down too many times to have old buildings standing around everywhere. Most are only a few decades old and primarily functional. But there were a few survivors :)
The museums are plentiful – you could probably spend a lifetime in them. However the weather was too nice and we didn’t want to spend too much time inside. Though some, like the Bauhaus Archives, were quite impressive from the outside as well.
And of course, we didn’t miss the obligatory trip to the fleamarket either! I quite like this new travel fashion of going to fleamarkets that’s catching on!
On the whole, Berlin was one wonderful, refreshing, exciting and relaxing holiday. I can’t wait to go again. :)
What inspiring place have you been to lately?