I have been neglecting this blog for a while now, and for that I am sorry. I am. Really. So dramatic… 🙂
BUT WE VISITED BERLIN!
How awesome is that?? Okay, maybe I am bit overreacting, but hey, it is still awesome. We only went there for the weekend and did not see as much as I wanted to, but here are a few things to sum it up.
Berlin is huge.
Anyone who says othervise is lying. 😀 Buildings are emormous, solid and..very concrete. Building styles are mixed (my significant other disliked this a lot) and very distant eras are represented next to each other making it look like patchwork city. One example of this is the American Embassy and the Brandenburger Tor next to each other, so different still almost built together.
The TV Tower is a LOT bigger than you would expect (I had an epiphany similar to this when visiting England for the first time: I realized Stonehenge is not that big) and a lot more expensive to get in than I would have ever thought.
But Berlin is cheap.
Not everything, but most things are. The TV Tower, as I mentioned before was a slightly less pleasant surprise with costing 25 EUR for two. It is a lot, considering that for this same price we booked a super nice double room in Steglitz for a night, Haribo included.
Food is really cheap, we could fill up for 5 EUR each, we even had some overlefts that later ended up donated to a homeless guy. Lidl is cheaper than it is in Hungary, and compared to the wages in Berlin, you can live off on basically close to nothing.
Berlin is well-organized.
Especially public transport. We could basically visit everything via taking the U-bahn or the S-bahn. Everything connects, the rail and bus system works perfectly. Day tickets worth their price and you actually get nice and clean service for the amount of money paid. Bicycles are everywhere (no, I mean literally everywhere) and bicycle roads can be found all throughout the city.
And the people?
Strange. I am not ready to decide just yet. The people off the street seemed very helpful, calm but distant. Customer service in the shops however seemed a bit off. First, we met the not very helpful lady in the mobile shop, who finally sold us four (yes, 4) SIM cards for the price of one. I still can not believe how we ended up with this many, but if you need a German a SIM card, you are welcome to contact me 😀
The hotel receptionist was preoccupied with her personal to-do-s and had an attitude when we needed help, but she might just had a bad day. Or PMS.
The tourist info guy literally kicked us out from the kiosk, to get real money or a real debit card. ***Useful info: Mastercards are not commonly accepted in Germany, only Maestros *** Which makes me wonder why Mastercards are advertised as the world’s card, and perfect for travelling? 😀 But it is not really about the cards, it is about the tone, gestures and face expressions we got for not owning a Meastro.
If you read this, Kiosk guy, we are truly sorry.
We also found out, that waiting at the reception of a company is not possible, as the receptionist sometimes has to leave the reception desk (don’t even go there, no logic behind this, maybe we could have stolen her computer?) and that travel expense reimbursements are not the first priorities if you are not selected for a job, even though they asked you to travel there for an interview and promised to pay for the journey. (Yes, this happened to one of us.)
Apart from that, the city is nice, organised, fairly clean and has really good vibes. I wish our public transport could be half as good as theirs and that Dounkin’ Doughnuts could be bought here, too.
I am really happy we had the chance to visit Berlin (I have however been travelling through a few instances, but had no times for sightseeing), and could spend some quality time together with my boyfriend.
To sum it up!
Compared to London it is less touristy and the people are a lot colder. The English charm is completely missing (probably becouse it is not England, duh). Compared to Vienna, it is huge. Compared to Hamburg, it looks poor (especially the east side) but more lively and artistic. Is is a lot more organised and a lot cleaner than Budapest, but it does not have the bridges and the sights by the Danube. It is unique, but I am still not sure how much I actually like it. Needs more visits I guess…and hopefully we will be there again, soon. I am ready to go tomorrow again. 🙂
All in all, it was one of the best weekends away for us, and the one of the worst weekends for the cats! Oh yeah, this blog is called life WITH the cats, but this was out first weekend without them.
They survived, but were not talking to us for about 48 hours. Málna still thinks that we will compensate her loss with food, and now started randomly shouting at us… it is only fun with cats, isn’t it?