08/25/2017 From Hitler to The Wall and more in Berlin

Friday 25th – Monday 28th August, Berlin, Germany

Campsite for three nights:  Wohnmobil Oase- Berlin

For the first time our Sat Nav behaved itself and did not do anything tricky on the way into Berlin.  We had a dream run and it wasn’t until the last 50 metres that we took a wrong turn. 

Not the fault of the Sat Nav. – just a case of missing the entry to the campsite. 

This is not going to save the Sat Nav though as we will be buying a new Garmin Camper 770 whilst in Berlin and committing the old unit to the scrap heap.

The Garmin will have the NKC, ACSI and Motorhome Facts databases preloaded so this will make it much easier to research and locate the sites we want to go to.

We had reservations about staying at this particular campsite, but even though the campsite is really old, it was so central and the staff were so great, we really enjoyed our stay here.

We didn’t use the WC or bathroom facilities as they were quite limited for the size of the park. 

Comments on the blog sites about sirens were correct. Such a big city kept police and other emergency services busy continually and only being 3kms out, sirens were heard day and night.

Noise from the nearby airport did not bother us at all as we were out all day and so tired at night, noting would keep us awake.

The restaurant area near the local S and UBahn stations (Gesundbrunnen) was full of Muslims – we went there to have dinner one evening but changed our minds as restaurant after restaurant was full of men only – not a female in sight – we did not feel comfortable so left the area.

Berlin is certainly a multicultural city – on the walk from Alexander Platz to Brandenberg Gate (a couple of kilometres) it was very rare to hear the German language spoken.

The International Clock in Alexander Platz

Day one, we went exploring without the aid of the SBahn, UBahn or buses and walked into Friederich Strasse – 3 km away and did some preliminary sightseeing. 

After that we walked to Alexanderplatz where we purchased our new Garmin Sat Nav system – we tried to buy it online whilst in Poland but for some reason the online agents would not mail it to Poland.

Went down as far as the Brandenbrerg Gate and then after a long drink and a short break tried to find our way home.

The Driver having a well earned beer with the Brandenberg Gate in the background

Long story short – we arrived home exhausted after over 7 hours of walking and just crashed after a wonderfully exhausting day.

Brandenberg Gate

This campsite closes its gates after 8pm to vehicular traffic but entry via pedestrian gate with key is permitted afterwards.

Took a while to get started next morning as we were keen to try out the new sat nav.

After a frustrating couple of hours trying to update the European map (7.9 GB) and with crashes every couple of minutes and each time sucking valuable data from our now limited supply of Sim card data, we closed everything down and hit the tourist trail.

We purchased a two day Berlin Welcome Card which entitled us to unlimited transport and up to 50% discount on entrance to museums and attractions and restaurants and then total confusion reigned for the next two days.

Won’t go into detail, but I think over the next two days, we spent more time, taking the wrong trams, going the wrong way and then trying to come back than we did on day one walking everywhere.

Looking towards the Victory Column – taken whilst standing under the Brandenberg Gate

Each day we came home absolutely exhausted after 8- 9 hours of being out and about but we have to say that this city is absolutely amazing and the sights and places we visited over the three days were just unbelievable as the photos will show.

From the Berlin Dom Cathedral – the Brandenburg Gates – Reichstag (parliament House) – the Berlin Wall – Checkpoint Charlie and so many museums.

Berlin Dom – what an impressive building

At the Berlin Dom we climbed the 271 steps to the top (and then back down again) – the view from the top was great.

Inside the Berlin Dom

The area around Checkpoint Charlie is really tacky and we encountered more American youngsters in that area than we have anywhere else on our tour.

The Reichstag – an impressive building – photo does not do it justice
Checkpoint Charlie – very tacky – attracted many Americans

It was interesting in that the younger generation seemed more interested in history surrounding the Berlin Wall rather than the second world war – maybe the war was too long ago whereas the Wall came down around 1989 and their parents memories of those events would still have been fairly fresh.

One of the largest remaining sections of the Wall – the Eastside Gallery – this side done professionally
The other side of The Wall – open to grafitti

We could have stayed many more days and it really wasn’t until day three that we became familiar with the complicated but efficient transport system in this great city.

This campsite takes over 100 motorhomes and over the three days we met so many really great people.

Dirk and Petra Neumann from Oldenberg, Germany were our neighbours for a couple of days and invited us to visit their home after we leave Berlin.

Our neighbours Petra and Dirk Neumann and their Motorhome – a Hymer of course

When they left on day two, Petra left us with a basket full of tomatoes and the longest cucumber I have ever seen, grown in her garden and promised they would refill our vege stocks when we visit them in Oldenberg.

Our blog friends, Debbie and Mike Cohen from the Gold Coast, arrived on Sunday afternoon and we met them for a drink and exchanged travel stories over a cuppa. We hope to catch up again somewhere before they head back to Oz next April.

Got to say our feet gave up before the thirst to see more of Berlin and after day three and probably 27 hours on our feet during that time, we decided to have a couple of days rest away from the buzz, noise, sirens, sights, fantastic buildings, history and attractions of this great city.

Reluctantly we left on Monday morning.

We had a big decision to make when we exited the gate at the campsite – should we turn left or right?