One of the best things I remember doing as a teenager is going for my first holiday in Berlin, Germany alone. Even though I did not like the idea of going alone, my parents convinced me that at 19, I was already a grown up and could manage to take care of myself responsibly anywhere as an adult. After all, they were also very busy with other important duties such that they couldn’t find time accompany me even if they wanted to. So, they booked for my flight to Berlin, deposited enough money in my bank account, and saw me off at the airport.
Being my first time in Berlin, the capital and business hub of Germany, I was a bit confused at the airport. Were it not for the airport transfer that came to pick me up, I’m sure I would have got lost in the busy airport. Since I arrived in the evening, I had to go straight to my hotel – Hotel Adlon Kempinski, which stands out as one of the biggest and most luxurious hotels not only in Berlin, but also in Germany. The hotel is situated at the Pariser Platz Square, just opposite the famous Brandenburg Gate.
Hotel Adlon is full of splendour and specialises in preparing German cuisine fused with a few international flavours. I was surprised and happy to find my room fully equipped with almost everything I had at home including a DVD player, flat screen television, built-in shower, coffee making equipment, king size bed, and free Internet.
The following day, I woke up mentally and physically prepared to explore some of Germany’s main attractions. The first attraction I managed to visit was the Reichstag, Germany’s Parliament Building. The symmetrical building has a very beautiful architectural design featuring strong pillars at the front door, grey bricks, and a very large and superb glass dome at the top. It was very fascinating for me to enjoy 360-degree panoramic view of the city centre of Berlin while circling my way up the dome on foot.
The DDR Museum found in the heart of Berlin gave me the chance to learn more about the wonderful German culture. The museum is located on River Spree, directly opposite the attractive and famous Berlin Cathedral. Opened officially in the year 2006, DDR is considered one of the most modern museums in Germany. It has a wide collection of ancient artefacts, clothes, animal skeletons, and images of some of the most respected German leaders who have passed away.
I had a very nice experience being in touch with Mother Nature at the Hasenheide Park. Found in Neukolln District and covering an expansive area of about 50 hectares, Hasenheide is regarded as the largest parks in Berlin. Apart from having an animal enclosure, a dog area, and a rose garden, the park also offers several playgrounds for children, a mini golf course, a kiosk, and an open-air cinema showing both national and international movies.
Out of curiosity, I had to see what was left of the Berlin Wall. I learnt that the Berlin Wall was built in the year 1961 by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to separate West Berlin from East Berlin. Up to today, the 1.3-kilometre long Eastside Gallery located on Mühlenstraße remains the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall. It is covered in very colourful graffiti and other types of meaningful art.
Having loved shopping ever since I was a llittle child, I could not leave Berlin without visiting one of its elegant shopping malls – the Neues Kranzler Shopping Centre. The modern shopping centre is full of delicatessens, perfumeries, boutiques, and jewellery stores. I had no problem buying stylish bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and perfumes for my younger brothers and sisters.