My parents recently relocated to Berlin and having been there for a few months were absolutely full of talk of how great it is and how much I would like it! They very kindly agreed to have P and his parents join us to celebrate Christmas so that we could all be together.
I flew out on the 20th to have a few days with my parents before P and his parents arrived. My mother and I did some serious shopping which was great, the shops in Berlin are fantastic. They have a wide range of quirky boutiques as well as the big brands. Also the sales assistants are very helpful if a tad too honest!! After all the shopping we also had an all important hair appointment, it’s vital to be properly groomed obviously! I was also able to see my best friend who lives there, she wasn’t in a great way after a horrible break up but i was glad to be there to support her and tell her I cared and to listen. Sometimes it’s better to be there for the bad times I think.
Once P and his parents arrived we did lots of really interesting tourist things. We had an amazing private visit to the Reichstag, we were able to go right into the roof and see the views. The architecture is incredible! Once we had completed our tour there my parents took us around in their cars to point things out to us. We got out at various spots around the city. We went to the Fuhrers bunker which is so eerie. They have built a block of flats over where it was and if there wasn’t a plaque there you would never know it was the spot where Hitler died. The Germans don’t want any place in Germany to become a shrine to him. Worryingly there were flowers left by the placard…clearly people do admire him and his evil ways. I can’t really imagine living there that’s for sure! We also went to the Topogrophy of Evil where we saw cells that were used by the Gestapo, the idea of what went on in those rooms is harrowing to be honest. We also saw the Berlin wall, there are parts still left standing with grafitti on, and then there are cobble stones laid to show where it was. Even seeing it it is hard to imagine what it must have been like to wake up and realise your life was irreversably different. People had family the other side of the wall they could no longer see which is just so odd to contemplate.
It was fascinating to see so much history up front and I definitely want to learn more about what life was like when the wall was up. I realised I was very ill-informed on the subject so will be looking out some good books to help me learn more.
Christmas day we skyped P’s sisters in Australia, it was lovely to see them and be able to wish them a merry Christmas though it would have been even more fun to have had them with us. P’s niece gets cuter and cuter! My mother made an amazing lunch of roast duck in a cherry sauce and lots of trimmings. It was delicious! Then in the afternoon we opened our Christmas presents! I was thoroughly spoiled by everyone and felt very lucky to be given such lovely and thoughtful things.
I was very sad to have to leave Berlin to go to London for a few more days. I had such a wonderful time with my parents and I miss them a lot. Here’s hoping they come and visit soon!!
Even if you don’t have friends and family in Berlin I definitely recommend a visit. Especially at Christmas time there seems to be some magic in the air there – the markets were beautiful and the lights twinkling everywhere really are magical! I felt very festive even if it was a tad cold after 6 months in Dubai…