I've just come back from an 8 day trip to Germany. In these 8 days I visited Mannheim, Heidelberg, Berlin and Frankfurt. The weather was cold but warming up in the early days of Spring. This was my first encounter of Germany and it was amazing. I already, can not wait to go back. I went to visit my boyfriend who is currently studying at Mannheim University. I could not have lasted this trip without a trusty pair of shoes to get me through the long days of walking through these cities.
I opted for light grey Nike Roshe Runs. I am yet to find a pair of trainers that are as comfortable and light weight as these. To get me through the cold temperature and being in the outdoors for the majority of the day, I wore my The North Face grey fleece that I recently got in the Winter sale. The quality and warmth in this jacket has been far better than others that I have purchased. On top of this jacket I also wore my Tommy Hilfiger puffa jacket that I found whilst I was studying a Semester abroad in Canada.
The Wasserturm (Watertower) in Mannheim was one of the first locations that I visited when I got to my destination. The blue sky made for a beautiful late afternoon. I sat on the grass as the sun went down with my boyfriend for my first evening in Germany. The Mannheim University building was incredible, the Mannheimer Schloss. It's a large Baroque palace that once resided the Prince-electors of the Electorate of the Palatinate of the House of Wittelsbach.
Heidelberg was the next location for a day. Here I tried my first Weiner Schnitzel in an authentic German restaurant where the waitresses dressed in full traditional outfits. The castle was incredible, from the view from the infamous Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) to the view next to the beautiful historic building. A day was well spent exploring this beautiful and history filled city.
I took an 8 hour overnight bus journey to Berlin. First on the list to visit was the Brandenburg gate, followed shortly by the Reistag building. We then went to visit The Memorial to the Murdered Jews. Seeing this monument in real life was just staggering, the sheer size of the quantity and height of the concrete statues could not have lived up to any expectation. Pictures really do not do this justice. Underneath was the museum for the memorial filled with so much information on the victims during WWII. I also visited the DDR museum. Finding out so much more about the history of Germany was fascinating and heartbreaking. That evening, for the victims of the recent Brussels attack, the Brandenburg gate was lit up. I witnessed this sad and unbelievable event during my trip to Berlin and stood as a community with others in Germany.
The Berlin Wall remains were quite a sight, I was amazed to see that where the Berlin Wall used to be is throughout Berlin and can still be seen and followed through bricks in the roads and pavements. This just adds to the historic values that the fantastic city of Berlin has to offer. There is a section where the wall is covered and there is a hole in a wall that you can peer through. Through this wall you can see an old watch tower from the former East German side. This was so fascinating to see and it is so hard to imagine what life must have been like during this time.
Checkpoint Charlie was such an amazing destination to visit and to see the two acting guards as the American guards was amazing, as was the opportunity to have my boyfriend to take multiple pictures of me with them, free of charge! Apparently you can get a stamp in your passport to mark that you've visited this place. McDonalds is just beyond this location, of course, on the American side!
On my last day of three in Berlin I visited the Berlin Zoo. This zoo was one of the best I have ever visited with the sheer size and amount of animals they have. Alongside the tourist attractions I saw in this gorgeous city I also found the best burger joint I have ever been to. I am not a fan of burgers but this place exceeded all of my expectations and previous experiences. Hauptstadt Burger (The Capital Burger). This I found in the Berlin Mall, which as shopping malls come, is probably one of the most beautiful shopping centers I have been to. Within this visit I experienced amazing white chocolate and mint ice cream and got to write on a chalk board, as I could not let up a chance like this.
The next stop was back to Mannheim for a couple of days to rejuvenate, which consisted of a beautiful day trip to Luisenpark. Then the final stop was Frankfurt for a day before my return to the UK. The city of Frankfurt was incredible and the weather brought it's A game for my boyfriend and I. A day filled with blue skies, coffee and a lovely Italian meal at Vapianos. The fact that Frankfurt is the financial capital within Europe only made my day better as we saw many super cars and gorgeous sky rise buildings throughout the city. Including the European Central Bank, old and new. A perfect end to my perfect 8 day trip.