I think it was around the holidays last year when the idea of visiting Germany during the holidays would be a wonderful idea. The holidays have always been such a magical time for me and what better place to be during the holidays than a good ol’ fashioned German Christmas market. Originally, I thought to visit more than one city – Nuremberg, Berlin, and Hamburg and travel by train to each city. I was so pleasantly overwhelmed by all the photos I had seen of Christmas markets in all these cities that I wanted just a little piece of each. But, by the time I flew into Berlin on the first day of my trip, I knew that I would not have the time or energy to do it all. So, I embarked on what ended up to be a beautiful and memorable solo trip(of course!) to Berlin.
My plan for Berlin: Visit as many Christmas markets as possible(including drinking all the gluhwein I could get my frozen little hands on, eating currywurst, visit the remains/location of Berlin Wall, check out the East Side Gallery, and visit the Holocaust Memorial.
Did I accomplished all that I set out to do?
Yep! I did/ate all of these things and more. See below!
Surprises From My Trip
I spent my last day at the Neues Museum where there is an impressive Egyptian exhibit which includes the one and only iconic bust of Queen Nefertiti! Unfortunately, it’s prohibited to take photos of the actual bust, but trust me when I say that it was ICONIC. This was such a treat for me as I am fascinated by ancient Egypt(especially it’s queens) and I desperately hope to visit Egypt in the near future. Come through 2017, or 2018, or 2019, or whenever! Just get me to Egypt before I die!
The second surprise was taking a picture at Checkpoint Charlie where my father also has a picture of himself at the same spot in 1965. That’s right, 51 years ago! I’ve known that my father spent some time in Berlin when he was in the military but the iconic picture of him at the Berlin Wall never crossed my mind during my trip(although it’s picture that I’ve known and love of my father). It goes without say that I am so happy to be able to share this special place with my father 51 years later.
The third surprise was the unnaturally cold weather. As much as I thought I was prepared, I was not ready for the icy chill. I had to buy a new pair of thermal gloves and socks AND take hour breaks in between my adventures so that I wouldn’t freeze to death. I still think my fingers or toes haven’t forgiven me for what I put them through!
Last but not least…
The German Christmas Markets
If I had to describe German Christmas markets it would be: Enchanting and Joyful. The food(currywurst, bratwurst, pommes frites, mushrooms, potatoes, you name it!), the sweets, the gluhwein, the lights, the people, the music, the ornaments, the ice skating – it’s almost too much to remember! Thankfully, I was able to catch all of this magic through photos and video so that I can treasure the memories of the beautiful markets that I visited.
I spent my time around three markets: The market at Alexanderplatz, Berliner Weihnachtszeit, & Weihnachts Zauber Gendarmenmarkt(I know, I still no idea how to pronounce them either!).
It was so heart warming to see all the families out and about enjoying the holiday season with all that the markets had to offer. Honestly, that was the real treat in visiting the markets – the people. The people are what give these markets their holiday cheer.
With that said, my heart goes out to all those families affected by the attack at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market in West Berlin. Christmas markets are supposed to be happy, safe spaces that you enjoy with family and friends; Not places of fear and terrorism. I’m fortunate to have left Berlin the day before the attack and I never made my way to visit the market that was targeted.
See below pics from the three markets I paid a visit to:
With that said, I hope you enjoy the photos from my trip to Berlin. It was a successful trip and I hope to return to Germany in the springtime. Next time will be to explore some of the fairytale-esque castles that the country has to offer, one of which I wrote a school report about when I was in middle school!
Bonus photo that I captured: