Saturday, 11 August 2018

Best Places To Visit in Berlin

Hey!
I decided since I put up a post last week of my travel diary of Berlin, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite places in this city. I enjoyed everywhere I went to Berlin but there were a few attractions that I felt weren't my thing and I believe weren't worth the money. I am here to tell you about the best places to visit in Berlin.

Tiergarten

Tiergarten is a beautiful city park, similar to Phoenix Park in Dublin. It has a vast area of 520 acres with many different gardens, cafes and of course, is home to Berlin Zoo. If you want to get away from the busy city for a little while, it is the perfect place to have a leisurely stroll or even go sunbathing! Entry to the park is free and it is so central in Berlin too.

Topography of Terror

If you are interested, like I am, in World War Two history this museum is a good place to go. It is built on the area where all the SS offices were in Berlin and it goes through the history of the SS, what they did and the buildings they used. This is also free admission but they have donation points around the indoor exhibition if you wish to donate. You could spend several hours here and there is also a library on the lower floor.

Brandenburg Gate

This is the first thing I thought of when we first booked going to Berlin and I am glad I got to see it. It is close to Tiergarten and is also free to see. I went to see it twice once in the afternoon and another time just before sunset and I would recommend going in the evening as it is quieter and has a more relaxed vibe compared to it earlier on in the day. If you like taking photos, it is much easier to make beautiful pictures later on.

DDR Museum

I much prefer this museum over Checkpoint Charlie as it doesn't contain wall upon wall of writing and there are some interactive parts to the exhibition. The DDR Museum is based on everyday life for people in former East Germany from their education, hobbies and work. It was strange to learn about this world where you were told what career you were going to pursue and took 10-15 years to buy a car. I would recommend buying your tickets online especially during the tourist season as the queues can be very long. The tickets cost between €5.50 and €9.80.

Gemaldegalerie

If you have any interest in art this is the place for you. There are several exhibitions in this huge building and you could spend the whole day wandering from painting to painting admiring the work that went into making these masterpieces. The main exhibition contains 13th-18th century paintings while there's a temporary exhibit area where different things come and go. I really enjoyed spending two hours walking around this gallery. Entry is €5-€10 and it includes an audio guide which is excellent for talking about the history and stories of some of the paintings.

Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe

Down from Brandenburg Gate, there is an unusual looking monument of pillars that look like gravestones. This memorial is dedicated to all the Jews who were murdered in world war 2. It is a beautiful and slightly eery memorial and I would recommend walking through it as it is very unusual. I really love the design of it and what it represents. It is particularly beautiful at sunset.

That's my top 6 places to visit in Berlin that won't break the bank.

Have you ever been to Berlin?

Thanks for being awesome,


Saturday, 4 August 2018

My Travels: Berlin

Hey!
Last week, I spent five days in Berlin with my family. I had a really wonderful time, the only thing I wasn't prepared for was the weather. It hit over 30 degrees every day so it was hot! We worked around the weather pretty well, going back to the hotel in the afternoon and take a break before going out in the evening to do more sightseeing.
We stayed in Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz which was a beautiful hotel in the middle of the city, it had everything you would need wifi, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, a hairdryer and of course, air con. For the five of us, it was around €40 per person per night for 2 rooms. It was a walking distance from everything and we only needed to get public transport to and from the airport.
The rooms were very spacious and comfortable. I got the short straw and had to sleep on the couch bed but surprisingly it was very comfortable. The hotel is also pet-friendly which is cool, I saw loads of people with their dogs in the lobby.
The first place we headed to after we dropped off our bags at the hotel was Topography of Terror which is a museum in the area where the SS offices used to be. We didn't fully realise how hot it was going to be and after twenty minutes outside looking at the outside exhibit, we sheltered from the sun within the actual museum. I really enjoyed walking around and learning about what went on in this area of land and it was quite shocking. Tired from being up at 4am and the lack of AC, we ventured back to the hotel for a rest. We did return in the evening time one of the other days to do the outside exhibit and we just got it done before one of the employees clapped at us as a sign that it was time to go.
After a break from the heat and some food in our bellies, we headed for Tiergarten which is a large park. We spent the evening wandering around and just taking it easy. We also returned on our last day to see the Pride parade but unfortunately, we had to catch a flight home.
To get a better idea of where everything is in Berlin, we did a bus tour. We were going to do the typical City Sightseeing but we opted for Der Tempelhofer. We spent the morning going around seeing all the monuments and enjoying the beautiful views of the city.
In the afternoon, we went to the DDR Museum which was about the lives of the people living in East Germany. I would recommend buying your ticket online as there was a huge queue to buy tickets but thankfully, I had bought them online and avoided all the queueing in the sun. This museum is interactive and if you aren't a fan of reading loads of information, it is the place to be. It also has AC!

Throughout our stay, we went to many famous monuments. We went to Brandenburg Gate, East Side Gallery, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Checkpoint Charlie and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.
We went to Brandenburg twice, once in the afternoon and another time just before sunset and I will say going to it in the evening is much nicer as it isn't as crowded and the photos are beautiful with the sunset in the background.
I feel like the East Side Gallery is one of the must-see attractions in Berlin. It is a part of the Berlin Wall that was painted by different artists. Some murals showcase political issues and of course, a few about the actual falling of the wall itself.
The Jewish Memorial was another very interesting one, as we walked around it everyone was quiet as a mark of respect. The architect didn't state what is the meaning behind this monument but there are many interpretations some saying that it represents graves or that it aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. Both interpretations I agree with.

Checkpoint Charlie is another spot that is very famous and of course, we had to stop to have a look. I learned that the reason it was called Checkpoint Charlie is due to the phonetic alphabet. We went to the Museum of Checkpoint Charlie but I found it quite boring as there was nearly too much to read and also, there was no AC.
German Spy Museum was another one of the numerous museums that we went to. Like the name, this museum showcased the history of spies from Egyptians to World War Two to spy movies. It contained many interactive exhibits and didn't have too much to read in it. It also had a piece of the digital age with companies obtaining our information and using it to sell ads and the infamous fake news.
My mam and I went to Gemaldegalerie, an art gallery showcasing 13th-18th-century paintings. I hadn't been to an art gallery in years and I found it relaxing walking around with my audio guide learning about different paintings. We concluded that all paintings was in one of three categories, religion, nudity or violence and sometimes even all three!
How can I forget about shopping? I went to both the Mall of Berlin and Potsdamer Platz Arkaden. I spent a larger amount of time in Arkaden mainly because it was five minutes from the hotel and it was much smaller and quieter than the Mall of Berlin which had an Eastside and Westside Mall.
I really enjoyed my trip to Berlin and how the city still shares their history of what happened from pre World War Two up to the falling of the Berlin Wall. It was eyeopening to see how many people were affected by this sixty-year time frame.

This won't be the last post about Berlin, I will be putting up a post next week about the best places to go to and if I have enough interest I might do a post about the places I ate at.

Please let me know if you would like the foodie post as I would happily do it.

Have you ever been to Berlin? What did you think of the city?

Thanks for being awesome,


Saturday, 28 July 2018

Binge Worthy Shows on Netflix

Hey!
With plenty of free time and the urge to watch a few new TV shows, I have been watching a lot of Netflix. I love that there is so much to pick from and plenty of variety for everyone. I thought I would share with you a few shows that I am obsessed with recently.

Queer Eye

If you haven't watched this yet put this on the top of your things to do. I had no idea what this show was about going into it. I thought it was a gay drama but boy was I wrong! Netflix's Queer Eye is based on the original Queer Eye by Bravo where five gay men known as the Fab 5 make over a straight man's life, they have changed it for season 2 with them helping a woman and a trans man. I love all the members of the Fab 5 but Jonathan and Tan are my favourites. Each Fab 5 member are an expert in a different field, Jonathan - Grooming, Tan - Fashion, Antoni - Food, Bobby - Design and Karamo -  Culture. I love this show so much as it isn't a typical make-over show where they give the participant a new look but with Queer Eye they help with making these people well rounded. They also address some political issues and makes dialogue for not only the LGBT community. It is such a heartwarming show that made me cry on a few occasions.

The Good Place

This sitcom is the forking shirt! I completed watching season 2 a couple of weeks ago and I am looking forward to the end of September for season 3 to come with a bang. The Good Place is based on Eleanor Shellstrop, played by the lovely Kristen Bell, who wakes up in the afterlife known as 'The Good Place' in reward of living a perfect life. The only thing is Eleanor didn't live a perfect life and was a horrible person on earth. It is easy to watch with jokes about modern culture. It contains many plot twists that are all creatively done and I really enjoyed. Overall, it is a good show if you need a good laugh.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I didn't hear of this show until NBC cancelled it and the internet went wild for 24 hours until NBC announced that it was not cancelled. This is another sitcom style that revolves around Jake Peralta, an NYPD detective who comes into conflict with his new commanding officer Captain Raymond Holt. I am not even halfway through season 1 but I know now that I will watch all seasons of the show. I think it is a mix of The Good Place with CSI, two of my favourite shows. I think this is a great TV show to watch if you are doing something and want to half watch something. I watch this when I'm washing my makeup brushes all the time.

Nailed It

A cookery show for people who can barely cook, what more do you want. That is the simple premise of Nailed It, three terrible cooks are put against each other and whoever does the best job at recreating something wins $10,000. I wouldn't be the best baker in the world but this show makes me feel a little better when I see that someone put salt instead of sugar into their cake or they forgot to grease the tin. My favourite thing about the show is the presenter Nicole Byer's colourful personality. I always feel happy after watching an episode or two of Nailed It and I can't wait to watch the Queer Eye Special.

These are the shows that I have been enjoying recently on Netflix.

What have you been watching on Netflix? Please let me know, I love getting suggestions.

Thanks for being awesome,