WHAT THE HECK IS BERLIN ALL ABOUT ANYWAY?

I consider myself a Berliner who is also British hence, the blogname thebritishberliner.” I have been living here for 14 years (Yikes!)  and I have loved every moment of it but if you had told me that I would ever live in Germany, not to talk of Berlin, I would have laughed in your face.

Klaus Wowereit - Lord Mayor of Berlin.
Klaus Wowereit – Lord Mayor of Berlin.

Yeah right.

Why would I do such a thing and live in the city that has a history of getting rid of people that they don’t like, and is technically in East Germany?

Well, I have never been a person shy of challenges. In fact, once upon a time, I lived in Eastern Europe just a few years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Now, that’s an adventure all of its own …..

Yes, but why Berlin? I hear you ask.

Well, I didn’t plan to come here actually but my boyfriend at the time was German and happened to live in Berlin so I came to visit. Only to visit mind. I wasn’t convinced that Germany was “it”. I was quite fond of the Czech Republic you see….

Anyway, I was living in the British capital in those days wouldn’t you know, so I was quite able to commute from London to Berlin. In fact, I commuted for almost four years! I didn’t plan to do that either but there you have it.

Later in the relationship, it was obvious that something had to give. London was beginning to get trite and I was ready for another adventure, so I moved to Berlin.

It’s no wonder.

Did you know that according to the Berlin official tourism website Berlin is the only city in Europe with more museums than rainy days (that’s 180  museums folks, but considering that in my humble opinion as a Brit it hardly rains at all, that’s saying something right.…)?

Did you know that the very famous East Side Gallery (which was a part of the Berlin Wall) is the longest open air gallery in the world?

Did you even know that Berlin. Yes, Berlin, is Germany’s greenest city (Whaaaat?!) and that 44% of Berlin is covered with parks, forests, fields, rivers, lakes and canals? Surprisingly when I think about it, I have ALWAYS lived in places surrounded by water, but I digress.

My husband and son cycling through our local park.
My husband and son cycling through our local park.

I bet you never even knew that the largest department store on continental Europe is not the fabulous Harrods of London, that we all know and love, but is actually the amazing KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) and is 106 years old!

Please tell me that you have even heard that Berlin has about 960 bridges which is much more than the ever romantic city of Venice, has about 30 beaches, and that there are 9 castles (yes, you heard) and 6 aristocratic manors and mansions within the city of Berlin itself!

Through the canal
Through the canal

Berlin is a fabulous city. Its so exciting, engaging, out-there, disorganised, grimy and elegant all at the same time. With only about 3.5 million people, it’s a living city with over 776 years of history and glory.

When I moved here in the 90’s, it was still in the throngs of the East / West divide and you could see the birth of 21st century Berlin.

Myself and my son around the Reichstag and The Dome.
Myself and my son around the Reichstag and The Dome.

You could even smell the hunger of a new emerging city, but the reason that I finally decided to move to Berlin was the fact that it felt like home.

I had been to so many places and lived in so many cities. Heck, at the time I wouldn’t even stay with an organisation for a year before I was out there looking for the next job or looking for the next country to visit. I was quite nomadic in nature, was easily bored and had very itchy-feet but in Berlin, it was different.

sailing through the Reichstag building or the Reichstagsgebäude.
sailing through the Reichstag building or the Reichstagsgebäude.

Berlin is a city with a starved soul. It’s a city that calls to you. It’s also a city where you can find yourself and be yourself.

I found myself.

I moved to Berlin. I lived in Berlin. I stayed in Berlin.

l love Berlin.

Brandenburger Tor at dusk
Brandenburger Tor at dusk

Do you have a place that you call homeHow did you recognise it? Do you still live there or do you have a vision of where that place could be in the future or even your past?

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35 thoughts on “WHAT THE HECK IS BERLIN ALL ABOUT ANYWAY?

  1. Thanks for this post. I’m leading a trip to Berlin tomorrow (which I’m going to for the first time) and will include some of the facts you mention in my spiel before we get there with a mention of your blog. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome!
      Are you a tour leader Amanda? Where are your clients from? And you’re visiting Berlin for the first time? So cool! You and your group will have just the best time.
      Yes, do feel free to use some of my info with reference to my blog of course as The British Berliner. 🙂 You’re in good hands as I was recently featured on German TV during the Queens’ visit. If you search through my blog post in June, you’ll see it!
      If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. 🙂

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      1. I’m a volunteer trip lead with a group here in Kaiserslautern. I’m not a guide but do give some info about the locations we go to on the bus. Yes it was my first time in Berlin. Hopefully I’ll get to go back. We were only there about 10 hours, which was time enough to have fun but definitely not enough time to see everything I wanted to see. That’s cool. I’ll have to check the post out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nice one Amanda! I’m so glad that you got to visit and show my new home-town around to your group. Are they adults or kids? Did they like Berlin?
        I hope you can come back again soon and see more of Berlin for yourself. As for myself, I can never get enough so if you want to know more, keep reading most of my blog LOL!

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  2. Berlin is one of those cities that I want to visit in 2016. I have an itchy feet as you. I moved to Sydney from Kenya 8 years ago. I am currently bored and want to move to another country. My preference would be Europe but I am above the working holiday visa hence everything seems to be like climbing Mt. Everest. Long live Europe. Maybe I will consider Asia as I love anything called Asian food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Irene! Go for it! Berlin is the best! Seriously though, Asia is just “down the road” from Australia and should be a breeze. If you’re looking for the next place to visit then I suggest Thailand or Hong Kong. Both absolutely buzzing places! 🙂

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