Monday, October 20, 2014

Holiday - Germany (Day 3)

Today’s Blog is brought to you by the colour grey and dark grey! The weather forecast says: cloudy this morning and rain this afternoon - and with that in mind, we decided to explore Berlin on the inside wherever possible. As soon as ventured outside, it looked like it was about to p*** it down - and it stayed like that all day!

After a quick pit-stop in a local coffee-shop in the way to Alexanderplatz, our first stop was the Berliner Fernsehenturm  (the TV tower), a perfect place to get a panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately, the queue was as long as the tower was tall, (207 metres, if you’re measuring!), and so we decided to postpone our visit until tomorrow.


Berliner Fernsehenturm

Next on the list was St Nicholas Church, about a ten-minute walk from the tower by way of the Rathaus (that looked closed), and the rather disruptive mega-civil project extending the existing Underground network (that dominated the overall look of the local area).

The RathausSpot the disruption!

After negotiating various diversion signs and bollards, we finally arrived at the highpoint of the morning -St Nicholas Church. Drop us both into an old Church, and we’re totally sorted, squeezing every last bit of information out of the visit! Today was no exception, with the added back-story that this Church had remained mostly derelict since the Allies bombed the crap out of it in WW2. This remained the situation until the 1980s, when it was rebuilt using as much of the remains as possible - a very satisfying outcome!


















St Nicholas Church, Berlin

We really enjoyed our visit and it was great to see so much of the ‘old’ blended in with the ‘new’ - and it’s well worth a visit, (even if you’re not as nuts about old churches as we are), if only just to appreciated how well they’ve restored it all.

On leaving the Church, the weather looked even darker, so we beat a retreat to Galeria, a humungous great department store nearby - perfect for dodging the potential rain and killing some time! A drink and a dessert (plus some serious browsing) later, and we were now ready to head for our next Church - Marienkirche,  a short walk away. This Gothic redbrick construction didn’t need to be completely rebuilt, but there were signs of some serious restoration/rebuilding on the inside. It was good to explorer the inside - and certainly plenty of others must have felt the same, as it was pretty busy, and this was a weekday!




Marienkirche

We were now all ‘churched-out’ and as we headed outside, it had started to rain. So, we headed in the direction of our Apartment, stopping off for some nosebag for tonight’s gourmet evening meal of wine and crisps!

It’s been a good stay so far, although the poor weather seemed to really bring out the blandness of this part of Berlin (sorry east-Berlinners!) - such a contrast to yesterday’s atypical weather for October. Today, I think we suddenly became very aware of how ‘communist’ much of the architecture still looks - very drab and industrial - even though the impact of unification is quite apparent in the shape of many western brands integrating themselves into the shopping areas.

We’re hoping the weather tomorrow is a bit kinder, so we’ll leave the planning until we’ve seen the forecast first thing!