Early January and our first weekend trip away for the year was to Berlin. We had an ominous start with a half hour wait (some of it outside in the cold) just to get through passport control at Berlin and then some S-Bahn issues meaning it took us around 2.5 hours to get to our hostel from when we landed.
We finally got there and had a bit of sleep before getting up the next day and walking to the Reichstag - The German government building. We had booked ahead so that we could go up the top and visit the peculiar looking glass dome. We got to see the dome up close along with some good views across the rest of Berlin. We then did a walking tour of city taken by a very friendly and knowledgeable Kiwi girl. Our tour took us around all the key Berlin sites - Brandenburg gate, Hitler's Bunker, the Jewish Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, part of the Berlin Wall, the SS Headquarters and the book burning memorial. We then had a walk around ourselves and visited Potsdamer Platz, Museum Island, Alexander Platz and Hackescher Markt. We had rightfully earned a beer or two after all this tourist-ing so had some wheat beers before finding some dinner and heading back to the hostel feeling exhausted.
The next morning we headed out to a café which the Hostel recommended, Darin even got to have a flat white (and then another one). Fuelled up for the day we headed to Eastside Gallery which is the longest remaining part of the Berlin Wall. It has now been decorated with murals by artists from all across the world. As we walked the 1km-ish side of the wall we checked out all the very impressive murals (in the biting cold wind). After this we headed to the Topography of Terror museum which is built on the site of the various policing regimes of the Nazi state (such as the Gestapo). The museum was pretty informative and we spent some time reading up about the history. Unfortunately it was then time to head back to London.