My best mate’s been studying in Berlin for the last three years and I’ve been trying to get over to see him for ages so when my girlfriend bought me a German guide book for my birthday I got the hint. And I’m glad she pushed me because we went for two weeks on a tour of Germany and loved it – plus I got to see Charlie and meet his girlfriend and friends. I flew into Frankfurt and took the train straight to Berlin – Charlie met us off the train and it was so awesome to see him – we stayed with him at his apartment which was actually a bit further out towards Charlottesburg. We got a rail pass for the whole of Germany which meant we could basically go anywhere in the country on the network in one month – think we did our whole trip in about 6 or 7 “travel days” and you have 10 so plenty for our two weeks.
It was cool seeing where Charlie lives and he showed us around Berlin. We did the museum quarter and Alexander Platz (also went to a cool club there one night called Weekend. It’s in a tower block and has different levels for different music – very techno).
Check Point Charlie, the Jewish Memorial near the Brandenburg Gate and saw the famous hotel Adlon but Charlie also showed us different areas. We spent evenings in Potsdamerplatz and the clubs in Berlin are so cool. He’d told me over email how cool the night life was but it’s hard to imagine unless you’re there and we went out a lot in Mitte area but the best club was Spindler and Klatt – it’s in a massive warehouse and we ate there first – you all sit round on beds! But it’s really chilled out and relaxing and then the club gets going later- my girlfriend loved it and we’ve got some great pics of that night. Charlie and his German girlfriend Trudi convinced us to travel to Potsdam before heading off on our Germany tour. Never would have known it – a beautiful city just east of Berlin with loads of Palaces – really picturesque. You can get there on the Deutsche Bahn and with the German Rail pass you can use those trains all over the country as well as the high speed ones which is pretty cool (we looked up a few routes on this website as we wanted to check which trains we could get but it’s pretty straightforward and anyway we had our German guides with us so we weren’t too worried).
We went back via Berlin and straight out to Munich. Trudi was helping us plan what to do in Munich but my girlfriend left the guide book on the train! Can’t believe she did it and she was really annoyed with herself but I just thought – well it’s an adventure and anyway we had Trudi in case we got lost. Charlie knew Munich a bit too but you can’t really miss the Neues Rathaus which is the town hall (it’s got a massive Gothic tower with views to make you feel sick!). We all enjoyed the museums – the Neue Pinakotek which has all the painters we knew like Degas, Gainsborough etc but our favourite was the modern art museum with Kandinsky, Warhol and Picasso. We’d been all clubbed out in Berlin so we took it easy in Munich although we did have a few beers one night and ended up with everyone else eating sausages and mustard… Trudi showed us how to squeeze the meat out…When in Rome and all that! After three days in Munich we took the train to Heidelberg (took about three hours and the scenery was awesome). Heidelberg itself is in a stunning location – imagine a forest with a castle and a river and lovely Romantic –era buildings – which made it really romantic! We had two days and this was the most relaxed we were on the whole trip. Because we didn’t have our guide we just wandered around and really enjoyed exploring without being told where to go and what to see. From Heidelberg we went straight to Frankfurt airport – only an hour or so on the train and actually bit of a shock to go straight there but was nice to have Charlie and Trudi with us to the end. Charlie has one more year and we are gonna go back out and tour more of Europe with him when he’s finished. Easy!