3 days in Berlin



This year, I missed my family Easter trip to the French alps for the first time. Since 2015, I've taken control of my own holidays and plans which has been wonderful but it's meant that I haven't spent as much time with my family as I'd like to - it's just a shame that time is so limited. Last year, attending VidCon Europe during the spring break meant I could fly from Amsterdam to Geneva in order to join them for most of the trip where we always stay with our family friend, however this year I was in NYC and Philly visiting my girlfriend meaning I missed the holiday completely. There are so few opportunities for Amelia and me to see each other that I had to pull my money together and go and see her which was 100% the best decision I could have made - we had the most beautiful time together and my heart aches missing her already!

One of the perks to missing the family holiday though was that this encouraged my dad to book another trip for just the two of us, since my mum would be back at work when we all returned home. Neither my mum nor brother were interested in visiting Berlin but my dad and I considered it to be one of the top places we'd like to go to. So, it wasn't long before he was booking a hotel for us and I felt incredibly lucky that I was being taken on holiday since I'd got so used to being in charge of my own trips.

We stayed for 2 nights, arriving around midday on Wednesday and leaving Friday night so we could make the most of our 3 days there. We stayed in the art'otel berlin kudamm which had a great aesthetic featuring Andy Warhol and an amazing buffet breakfast, I couldn't recommend the hotel highly enough. Our first day involved travelling into the city centre where we took in the sights around us and had our first taste of German food (sausage and curry sauce was very popular). We made our way to the Brandenburg Gate where I was grateful for the fact that my dad had brought his camera (I'd left mine at home so was relying on my phone camera), and wandered over to memorials. Visiting the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was an unsettling experience due to the fact that many people were running through it and laughing as if it was just a maze, and I wondered if they actually knew why this memorial was there. There wasn't any writing that I could see that explained the memorial so it was possible that they didn't realise. I also had a little weep at the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, as I stared at the entire video that played inside whilst people brushed past me, it was a lot to take in and I became very emotional.

We had a lovely time walking around gardens, talking about life and appreciating the absolutely incredible weather since England had been so damn cold prior to arriving in Berlin. Our dinner that evening was amazing, I ate something that resembled a pizza but wasn't a pizza, and we then got an early night. Getting up at 5am and then doing a day of exploring on barely any sleep is exhausting. The first thing we did the next day after breakfast was visit the Berlin Wall, and it was absolutely amazing to finally see it in person. We also took a relaxing boat tour that day and did some more exploring whilst eating some more great food. We then made our way back to the hotel to get ready, because we'd bought tickets to One Grand Show at the Friedrichstadt-Palast, which was an absolutely stunning theatre. We didn't know much about the show other than that it was very popular and heavily advertised, that it was definitely more my kind of thing than my dad's, and that the costumes were designed by Jean Paul Gaultier. I'm so glad my dad wanted to see it with me because it was actually one of my favourite theatre experiences that I've ever had - it didn't have much of a story so it was perfect for an international audience and I fell heavily in love with 5 trapeze artists. When the show had finished, we drank alcohol and ate chips by the river and appreciated the city at night since we'd been so tired the night before. It was a special evening that I was so glad I could share with my dad.

On our final day, after checking out of our hotel but leaving our suitcases there, we visited an Anne Frank museum which again meant that I spent a lot of the morning crying. We also visited the world's first gay museum, and I felt my queerness grow in a way I didn't even know was possible! It was really nice that my dad was the one to suggest we go to that, and marked a lot of progress from when I first came out to my family.

The weather wasn't as nice on this day but nonetheless we tried to go up to a viewing platform from this hotel which was meant to offer an incredible view of the city. The receptionist sold us tickets but when we went up the elevator and got to the floor we were told to go to, there was a queue, as apparently the viewing platform was shut despite the fact that it wasn't meant to be. A really nice Swiss family informed us that they were already trying to sort it out, and after a while we all went back down in the elevator and confronted the receptionist again. We were told that she didn't think the guy who could open it was coming, and gave us back our money, but as she did so she got a phone call saying he'd be there in five minutes, although she seemed doubtful that he'd turn up. The Swiss family had waited a lot longer than us for this view so we waited the extra five minutes with them, since they were determined by this point. We went back up the elevator and sure enough, the sign saying it was shut had disappeared, so we carried on along the route and went up the stairs. However, we reached a dead end that didn't allow us to see outside, so clearly it hadn't been opened after all. We weren't really that annoyed and instead just found humour in the situation, but as we made our way back down the stairs to get to the elevator, the door had locked behind us! We were so far up and we didn't even know if the stairway would be safe to walk all the way back down to the ground floor, so as the mother of the Swiss family determinedly banged on the door, I stood there hoping that one of us would have enough phone signal to be able to call the hotel to rescue us. Fortunately though, a guy who had also come for the viewing platform was on the other side and let us in upon hearing the banging - we managed to catch him before he also made the mistake that we did! Why the receptionist carried on selling tickets despite it not being open we had no idea, but it proved useful in meaning that we weren't locked out in an enclosed part of a very high building.


So I didn't get to see Berlin from a height, but I did have a lot laughs with the family's two daughters. We then went on to explore some more (on ground level), including Checkpoint Charlie, and as we got increasingly tired we decided we should make our way to the airport after food. In a way it seemed like we'd been in Berlin for much longer than 3 days, I felt like I got to know the city so well in that time and really felt like a part of my heart belonged there. Something amazing about Berlin is just how chill it is, you wouldn't know that you were in Germany's capital necessarily because it's not crowded at all and there's such a relaxing atmosphere. Also, importantly, Berlin is home to SO many queer people. I developed multiple short-lived crushes within those 3 days which is very unlike me.

All in all, it was especially nice to have this experience with my dad. We don't do many things together and it made me realise that we should do more - we had such a lovely time and I hope to return to Berlin sometime in the future. Feel free to message me about Berlin or literally anything else, you can find/contact me in these places:
Until the next post,

Em x




6 comments

  1. Very interesting article!!

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  2. I live in Berlin! I'm glad you had a nice, but short stay here! It is a HUGE city so hopefully you will come back and see even more next time.

    Karis | Don't Dream, Just Travel
    https://www.dontdreamjusttravel.com

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    Replies
    1. I would definitely love to to come back and explore more! It truly is an amazing city

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  3. Thank you for pointing out the importance of the memorial and so happy to hear that you have become more comfortable with your own self!!

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  4. Great experience you had! I would love to see more when you return to Berlin. Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance you are interested on doing collaborations, you can check out the collaborations portal of Phlanx.com and connect with amazing brands!

    Xoxo,
    Tiffany

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