Monday, 12 January 2009

Berlin....the old & the new

It has been six years since my first visit to Berlin, each time we have stayed at The Swiss Hotel. This time Emin decided on a change, and so he booked us into the SAS Radisson overlooking Alexanderplatz. Six years ago we had wandered around this square almost alone, one of the few visitors on a chilly day. This hotel had yet to be built and all around was a cold and barren cityscape.
Now the square is thriving. A sea of new buildings and restored old ones have risen from the rubble Only the Stasi building is left to go, hundreds throng the Christmas market and skate around the central fountain. When Emin booked he chose a courtyard view of the Aquarium this was the view from our balcony However like all hotels the room was too hot and leaving the window open was of no help as it was so noisy. every spoon dropped, every glass filled echoed round the atrium. Luckily for me the bathroom was faulty so we were moved to...
This view instead, with an icy cold breeze I felt a lot better. We left our window open all day only to be left a polite notice to close it in case any spiders or other likewise brave souls managed to haul their frozen butts all the way up !

This was the view from across the river of the Reichstag

This magnificent church was just outside our hotel

Finally back to Potsdam, we went right instead of left, to wander around the Royal Palaces, unlike last year the day was almost beyond endurance, it was so bitterly cold with an icy wind that cut you in half. The images are of the Summer Palace which was so overly ornate as to be rather cloying.
Around the palace were a number of other buildings, but I was beyond enjoying anything after an hour. We marched down the longest boulevard in the world, to another Palace bursting for the toilet, then we had to look at flats. I slept all the way home and my reward was the most streaming cold I have had for years. Despite the fall in value of the pound against the Euro Emin is still keen to get a toe hold in Germany and Potsdam is a very beautiful place, but I may wait until it is warmer before going back.


La Belette Rouge said...

Those black and white photos are STUNNING!!!!I have only been to Hamburg and nowhere else in Germany. Berlin seems so sexy and modern that I would really love to go.

indigo16 said...

It truly is the best city to visit in Europe at the moment, and I say that as someone who hated it at first. It does feel like a very vibrant exciting place to be, and because of the time delay in joining the real world everything is so much more considered and better thought out than other German cities. I will meet you there!