A window of opportunity presented itself just after New Year for a few days away and a change of scenery. Tempting bargain flights from Liverpool and a host of recommendations from friends saw us Berlin bound at the beginning of January. I’m not a great lover of public transport but we had pre-booked the Berlin Welcome Card which included all public transport during our stay and this was so convenient. All the methods of getting around the city were so easy and efficient. The u-bahn also had very mid-century inspired upholstery which made me happy!
We did an excellent ‘pay what you want’ walking tour on our first full day in the city. As well as leading us around all the main sights, our guide gave personal recommendations for things to do and encouraged us to visit the DDR Museum. It’s a compact museum examining the life of everyday people living in the former East Germany. There’s lots of interactive exhibits and a fantastic recreation of a tower block flat complete with dodgy lift!
Like lots of major cities, street art is a highly visible interesting distraction from the typical city scenes. Berlin is no different. We particularly loved the East Side Gallery which is a long section of the Berlin Wall which is still intact. It features paintings from artists from around the world, some beautiful, some scary and some downright bizarre! The themes were varied but many focussed on freedom and the changing world.
We never visit a new location without checking out the local flea markets and vintage shops. This is where the holiday turns into a full-on buying trip! Luckily we had some inside information which gave us some excellent starting points for our treasure hunting. We visited several markets during the weekend we were there and managed to fill our spare case quite easily! Prices were generally sensible, communication was easy (finally got to use that GCSE in German!) and it was refreshing to see some different items. The only downside was the temptation of larger items, we did have an option for this but it still would have been quite tricky.
Here’s a little selection of the items we brought back with us, these will be coming up for sale in the next few weeks and some will be coming with us to the Vintage Home Shows in the spring.
We had a brilliant time in Berlin but I couldn’t finish this without a mention for the fabulous food! Every cuisine, every budget catered for. Our favourite evening was spent at the Markethalle Neun in the trendy Kreuzberg suburb. All kinds of top quality street food and craft beers, it was amazing. Berlin, we loved you. We’ll be back (and we’re bringing the van next time!)