Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
So finally we made it to Berlin again. Before September 2021, my only visit to Germany’s capital was in 2015. Danny had been twice before now.
Originally, we wanted to do Berlin in 2020 for Innotrans‘ public days. But COVID-19 stopped that from happening and Innotrans won’t hold public days anymore, sadly. Innotrans is an industry fair for the railway sector.
We tend to plan our days and this trip was no exception. Day 1 led us to Potsdam and its palaces in the state of Brandenburg. Day 2 led us to the Pergamon panorama exhibition, the new Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace and the Bundestag in the Reichstag building. We also took the time to take photos of Alexanderplatz, the Rotes Rathaus or Red City Hall, the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz. We also rode the new section of the U5 U-Bahn underground.
The links to the reports are at the end of this post.
Berlin was relatively calm, it seemed. Restaurants weren’t full. Speaking of restaurants, it struck us Asian restaurants were or are often marketed as Vietnamese. Are we experiencing a new fashion? After sushi, Hawaiian poké bowls and Peruvian cuisine?
We didn’t go for Vietnamese but we did go for East German cuisine at Volkskammer. Is East German cuisine so special? Not really, it’s mostly a throwback to the 80s. But there are some quirks.
Who’s afraid of backpacks?
Not only restaurants were calm. Public transport is far from pre-covid levels and museums were all but crowded. Except the Humboldt Forum.
In Munich in 2020 we felt the paranoia of museum workers. This year they were on the hunt for backpacks. We had to wear them in front of us. In Potsdam and in the Berlin Palace Cellar.
It’s not we have big backpacks. I use a swim bag and Danny a foldable bag for his coat. Ah well.
Berlin was a good start of our 2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe. It was also helped by a very peculiar room upgrade at InterContinental Berlin.
Next leg: Poland.
72 Comments Add yours