Posted in Travel Diary

A Day in Berlin

you know those days when you’re super bored and just browsing flights and hotels in another country, just for bants?

it’s something i tend to do every once in a while, and then cry about, because i can’t really afford to actually go anywhere.

except down the street from my apartment. #brokestudent

but in november, i was just browsing groupon and came across an offer to go to Berlin, an inclusive deal of a flight and accommodation for just £69.

i sent it to Nahima.

we booked it straight away.

on december 3rd, we flew out to schönefeld airport at 7:55pm, and landed at 10:45pm, Berlin time.

we got an uber to the hotel, Comfort Inn, which was a super cute hotel. we were pleasantly surprised.

our room was stunning, with three single beds, grey tones, bright lights, a huge window, and a pretty big bathroom.

we had been expecting something akin to a prison cell.

as no restaurants nearby were open and nothing really delivered to the hotel, we grabbed a sandwich and water bottle from downstairs, and had some snacks in our bags as well.

we stayed up for a bit talking, set our alarm for 9:30am and then went to bed.

when i’m in a bed that’s not my own, or with other people, i. can’t. sleep. it’s horrible and so frustrating.

i think it took me like a good two or three hours to fall asleep, and when i did, i was still half-awake.

not fun.

but the next morning, we woke up, freshened ourselves up and did our makeup in front of the enormous window. all that natural light was flooding in and it was gorgeous.

blasting music whilst beating your face is top two, and it ain’t number two.

both Nahima and i opted for dark lips (though it did take a lot of convincing for Nahima to go for a dark brown lippie), to go with the winter aesthetic and all.

by 11am, we were out the door.

our first stop was East Side Gallery.

at first when we got there, it felt extremely underwhelming. but then we really looked at the art, took a gazillion pictures. and actually enjoyed walking around looking at everything.

after walking around East Side Gallery for a bit longer, we decided to walk to Checkpoint Charlie. it was a 46-50 minute walk, which wasn’t too bad.

on the way, we spotted a breakfast place, called Yada Yada . . .

i will definitely write a review on Yada Yada Breakfast Club. (spoiler alert: totally recommend it.)

we even made a friend, featured above!

the bathroom was super pretty and looked a little boujee, but it was also attached to a hotel so it was no wonder that this place was so nice.

after we finished eating and paid, we resumed our walk to Checkpoint Charlie.

on the way, there were so many people just looking at us, men in particular. i’m not entirely sure if it was in a racist way or a pervy way.

i mentioned it to Nahima and as soon as she said “nobody’s looking at m—”, an old white man gave her the dirtiest look.

it was the funniest thing ever, but also what the fuck?? like have they never seen two women before? two brown women? because we saw a lot of our own people in Berlin. so it’s obviously not something they’re unaccustomed too.

Berlin is literally London 3.0, (Paris is 2.0) half the time i felt like i was in King’s Cross or Euston.

anyways guys, Checkpoint Charlie was so dead. it’s literally just . . . a point with some stuff on the walls/an area with shops and it was just dead.

but we did find a cute souvenir shop across the street, Nahima got a shot glass and i got a keyring!

after, we made our way to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. as soon as i saw it, i felt like i wanted to cry.

whilst there, we realised it probably would’ve been better if we had joined a tour group so we could get a better explanation of all the historical places and landmarks we were visiting.

seeing the memorials was absolutely heartbreaking and i felt so sad. it’s awful that such a tragedy was overlooked whilst it was happening, the same way it is happening today.

Hitler should’ve suffered a much worse death than what he got.

but alas, it is an unjust world.

and our next visit was to Brandenburg Gate!

the sun was beginning to set around this time and the sky was a gorgeous purple/gold/pink shade.

we then visited the Reichstag Building.

at this point, we were absolutely freezing and could barely be bothered with taking pictures to document the trips, hence why theses ones aren’t so great.

despite the cold, we headed onto the local Christmas market!

we didn’t bother purchasing anything from the market, since we were going for dinner anyway.

about half an hour later or so, we stumbled across Ristorante Roma, a quaint little italian pizza place. it seemed like a local restaurant instead of a massive chain, which was nice.

there, i got an olive pizza and Nahima got a salami pork pizza. they were huge and thin, kind of like the Pizza Express ones. (i prefer thiccccc pizzas.)

in the restaurant, all the other customers (and the staff) were white and literally kept looking at us. we were both super uncomfortable, but grateful that the staff were at least polite and didn’t treat us any differently.

the couple on the table to our left kept glancing at us, which was extremely irritating.

Nahima and i switched between talking in English and talking in Bangla, whilst waiting for our food.

when the pizza arrived, i was a little nervous because well . . . it was huge. bloody enormous. i can’t even tell you how big it was.

it’s annoying me now, looking at the picture and seeing that it wasn’t on the plate straight. ugh. frustrating af.

but as we were starving, we both managed to finish the entire thing (save for like four crust pieces.)

it was really lovely, but a bit too cheesy methinks.

after we paid for our food, we rushed out of there, and as we were leaving, i could feel the stares burning into my back.

i’d never been so relieved to leave a pizza place before.

after a short walk, we came across another Christmas market.

we then got an uber back to our hotel and spent two hours looking through the pictures we’d taken, after i’d packed my bag and washed off my makeup.

we both set our alarms for 3:30am as our flight was at 6am and we wanted to be at the airport for around 4:30ish, since we didn’t know how long it would take for security etc to process.

we were exhausted and then a little hungry, once we got to the airport. looking at the chocolates didn’t help at all.

anyway, we got on the plane and there was a half hour delay before take off.

and how gorgeous is this sunrise???

and then our train back to london from stansted was delayed. and my tube home was also delayed.

literally.

when we got to liverpool street, we wanted to get mcdonald’s but didn’t want the breakfast menu. so we opted for wasabi instead. mmmm yummy.

but honestly, those few hours in Berlin were amazing and i loved it. would we go back? probably not, since it feels like we’ve more or less done everything there is to do.

i definitely enjoyed it and i want to go to more countries. the taste of freedom somewhere else is so much sweeter. and there’s just something about hotel rooms that i love.

have you been to Berlin? what did you think? what did you love about it? what were it’s peaks and pitfalls for you?

i plan to go to Paris and Barcelona next, hopefully. any recommendations whilst there?

—Sumaiya, x

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my to-be-read pile increases every day and i aspire to be blair waldorf. or jacqueline carlyle. or olivia pope.