The Berlin Experience

The Brandenburg Gate

Easter has brought about the first holiday or break of the year and it is not to my beloved Italy but, to Germany to explore the delights of its capital city, Berlin, mmm. My devoted partner the Contessa Di La Proctero informs me that Berlin is currently the third most visited city in Europe so let’s just see what it has to offer. We stayed at Westin Grand which has featured in Richard E Grant’s hotel secrets series and is certainly one the best hotels I have stayed in, I would suggest that Berlin is very much coffee cultured and is more laid back than other capital cities that I have visited which is no bad thing. First stop on the itinerary was a trip to the Brandenburg gate, commissioned by Frederick 11 of Prussia, this entrance to the capital was built between 1788 and 1791, it is probably the most famous landmark in Berlin, and is one of the main tourist attractions for overseas visitors alongside other sites such as Check Point Charlie, the Jewish Museum, the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, the Holocaust Memorial, the list is wide and varied so there was always plenty to do and see. With all of this to explore this was not going to be a restful break, the Contessa was on a mission making us walk up to 15K per day, irrespective of the weather which was not that good. Although I found Berlin enjoyable, especially when relaxing in Newton’s in the evening ( Newton’s is named after the legendary German-American photographer Helmut Newton those pictures adorn the walls of the establishment) I have to say that the highlight of the trip was the day I spent in that  Teutonic stronghold that is Potsdam, this former capital of Prussia is an absolute gem of a city and has been completely underrated by the frozen northerner, I have to honest I loved Potsdam and in hindsight I would have much preferred to stay there rather than Berlin, whether we spending time in the old market square or visiting the palaces or Schlosses I was completely captivated by the whole place and one day was just enough to do the place justice, as pointed out at the start of this blog I badly needed to escape the charms of Italy to gain new experiences, which Berlin certainly was, would I go back I am not sure, but another visit to Potsdam is an absolute must.


Postdam’s Schloss Sanssouci



Postdam’s Brandenburg Gate


Postdam’s Schloss Babelsberg