postcards from berlin

Taking off from Oslo Gardermoen an hour delayed and arriving at Berlin’s Schonefeld Airport, Vanessa, Neil and I took a taxi that drove us directly to our hotel in the Charlottenburg district. Our home for the holiday was the boutique Hotel Otto – with its Aveda bath products, organic breakfast  and a location close to the sights of Berlin.

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Hungry and eager to breathe the crisp Berlin air, we headed out late that night wishing that KFC near the Zoo was open. Or at least the Dunkin Donuts store we whizzed past by earlier. Poor hungry souls. We had to wait until the next day. We found solace in the sight of the Gedächtniskirche. With its severed spire and crumbling facade that serve as a reminder of the second World War, it felt surreal standing next to it but at the same time you are left in awe finding beauty in destruction. It was a sight to behold at night, and a perfect tourist backdrop in the day that followed.

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Day 1 led us to specialty stores near our hotel, as well as the shopping street of Kurfurstendamm with its rows of designer label boutiques. And these rows of glass vitrines displaying each boutique’s merchandise that left us perplexed. Berlin retailers took window shopping to a whole new level. KaDeWe was also a short taxi ride away and while its fashion floors are built to impress, it’s the deli section at the 6th floor that wowed me.

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Day 2 began with the hunt for the Rituals store in Berlin. I first discovered the home & body cosmetics of Rituals in Amsterdam and I’ve fallen in love since. I also tracked it down in London, and going to its store in the Alexa department store was the tall order of the day. Taking the subway for the first time, we zipped to the eastern part of the city and successfully filled our baskets with products from shower gels to scent diffusers. Not far away was Alexanderplatz with its huge square, the disappearing-into-the-fog Fernsehturm TV tower, and very stiff eastern architecture all around. Along the way, we saw statues of colorful bears as they are supposedly a symbol of the city.

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While most of the day was covered in grey mist and cloaked in winter cold, we were flooded with warm colors and bright lights when I met  up with Vanessa and Neil at Postdamer Platz after my final visit to the Louis Vuitton store. Thereafter, we took a 20-second taxi ride to the Brandenburg Gate, the last standing gate of the city. I couldn’t believe that I found myself walking in between its passageways, it was clearly one of the highlights of this trip. 

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On our last day, we took Buses 100 and 200 – the economical (2.10 euros for a 2-hour bus ticket) alternative to sightseeing tour buses as these two lines traverese past all the important Berlin sights. We took Bus 100 from the Zoologischer Garten which drove along the magnificent  boulevard of Unter den Linden, rounded about the Victory Column and coasted along the huge Tiergarten park before we witnessed the grand buildings of the Reichstag and the Berliner Dom. Getting off at Alexanderplatz, we took Bus 200 which took us to the more sober, residential part of Berlin and on the way back, we stopped by the Berliner Dom for some photo opportunities.

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After having lunch back at the Zoo, Neil (who was already feeling sick) and Vanessa decided to chill before we headed back to the airport while I decided to go to the Reichstag building and enter its hallowed halls. Waiting in line out in the cold was not so bad, for inside it was amazing. The iconic glass cupola at the top of the wounding ramp provided a 360-degree view of the city. The building is a sight in itself with its glorious facade, especially when lit at night. 

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There were still many sights that were left unseen. But I know there’ll be another time for Berlin once again. Until then, I’ll cherish the fond memories I’ve shared with my best friends Vanessa and Neil.

I hope you guys enjoyed my report on our trip. And yes, it was lovely.

With additional photos from Neil and Vanessa.

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20 Responses to “postcards from berlin”


  1. 1 Kevin February 14, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Oh Berlin is a fantastic city! I was there just Dec 2007. Me and my friend had a great time there:-)

    My favourite area is Mitte. So many interesting shops and hotels. There is this noodle bar called Susuru which serves fusion japanese noodles. The decor is so cool:-) I am a wallpaper guide whore. I follow earnestly.

    You rock that Graffiti pareo, Mark:-) I love your travel pics. You always make holiday mood inducing travel pictures. I need to visit Europe! Somebody sponsor me!

    hahahahah

  2. 2 Traveloholic February 14, 2009 at 6:06 am

    You’ve convinced me with these photos to check out Berlin! How many days do you think should be enough for me to see the essentials? Love the photos!

  3. 3 00o00 February 14, 2009 at 11:04 am

    very nice pics
    & very scary, you guys only travel in vuitton!

  4. 4 freshmess February 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    @ Kevin – I would like to go back to Berlin to explore more of Mitte. And next time I’m there, I’ll follow your steps and head on to Susuru. Thanks for the kind words, LVoe. :)

    @ Traveloholic – you should definitely go to Berlin, and allot 5 days to a week, imo.

    @ 00o00 – ah, of course not. nothing beats our good ol’ checked-in samsonite and carlton luggages. sturdy and ever dependable. thanks joe and have a great weekend!

  5. 5 Bagaholicboy February 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Loving all the pics Mark! And you rock that pareo so well! Gorgeous!

  6. 6 freshmess February 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks Bagaholicboy! Can’t wait to see you rocking your Pareo. Enjoy!!!

  7. 7 K February 14, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Nice architecture – buildings built in centuries.

    Plus the LV scarf, agaw-pansin.

  8. 8 freshmess February 15, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks K! The scarf did good, no? :)

  9. 9 Alexander February 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    What a Louis factor! Great clique :)

  10. 10 freshmess February 16, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Thanks alexander! You know I love my friends. :)

  11. 11 deluxeduck February 16, 2009 at 11:29 am

    excellent photos, wonderful city, fab people!

  12. 12 freshmess February 16, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Thanks, dd! I wanna go back to Berlin for more. :)

  13. 13 yed February 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    ugh. i wrote a comment here and somehow my internet connection was up and down, it didn’t come out. anyway, nice photos!!! i miss berlin. :) love that fabric of that lounge chair in that hotel you stayed. :)

  14. 14 biancaboo February 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    G, we should really go back to Berlin again. It’s beautiful! I had so much fun there with you and Neil:)

  15. 15 freshmess February 16, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    @ yed – that lounge chair was really nice, although the hotel with the best lounge chairs (both in rooms and public spaces) i’ve stayed in would be the clarion hotel sign in stockholm. with pieces from Arne Jacobsen, Bruno Mathsson and Alvar Aalto. You should go there! P.S. See my most recent Stockholm post. :)

    @ biancaboo – you wanted to go back nga right away e. hahaha! i had fun, too! we all did.

  16. 16 Eric February 17, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Hi; I like ur pics of Berlin. I was in Frankfurt in 2004, it’s a very beautiful place, very quiet. With all this pics i can see how big is ur new LV, it’s very stunning. It’s a very good choice, and i like the fact that it is all in leather. I Like leather a lot, and exotic leather much better. lol.
    Have a nice week, and take care with all this snow around,ok?
    Cheers.

  17. 17 freshmess February 17, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for your comment, Eric. I’m sure Frankfurt is nice, I want to go there someday. This is my first all-leather LV and it’s indeed unbelievably nice and so soft to touch.

    Have a great week, too!

  18. 18 Guruizzm February 19, 2009 at 12:29 am

    kanye west aka the louis vuitton don should watch his back!


  1. 1 jane plane » Blog Archive » postcards from berlin Trackback on February 14, 2009 at 7:48 pm

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