Classic Berlin Tour: Part II

Classic Berlin Tour: Part II

Our last morning in Berlin we started off with a pretty awesome and nutritious breakfast at the Hotel Pestana Tiergarten.  Located in the leafy and quiet Embassy District, the Pestana Tiergarten had nearly no online reviews when we booked a room there in Spring 0f 2011.  It was exciting to find out that the hotel was newly founded, but  more exciting was it to actually experience the comfort of the hotel.  An indoor lap pool provided ultimate unwinding after a full day of walking around the city and the food, particularly breakfast, were simply sumptuous and Quality,.  More on the food, including visuals, here at my blog Friday Feast.



Ehrenmal der Bundeswehr

Memorial to soldiers of the Bundeswehr, in the Embassy District of Berlin


 Not the hotel we stayed at, but I was caught by the nostalgic, classy elements of the place as we passed it by


The Berlin Philharmoniker

About 8 years ago, around this time of year, I was treated to my first concert experience in Germany.  A friend was playing at this eccentrically colored and shaped (and acoustically unique) music hall.  8 years later, I find myself a few miles a way (see Classic Berlin Tour: Part I), experiencing the interior of the Berliner Dom for the 1st time and trying to acoustically ferret out the voice of the same friend in the choir as I experienced a very unique show.

Ah Berlin, I can’t say I love you as a city that personally captures my heart, but every time I am there, I am endlessly, endlessly intrigued.  And I like exploring you a lot.

I do love you Berlin, for your history, humanity and for the sort of collective “spaceship” sense that some of us (yes, believe me, I have heard Berlin referred to in this way before), get from you.


The dramatic, but simultaneously approachable, city fabric of Berlin.

Some cool photo ops by the Brandeburg Tor

A scene like this is always what gets me stopped in my tracks for a moment in appreciation when I am in Berlin….



 We were slightly disappointed to find the Reichstag closed for visitors when we arrived there.  Well, unless you had a “reservation.”  Apparently there were enough warnings about bad stuff going on that this measure needed to be enacted.  Makes me wonder what kind of process one must go through to make a reservation in a first place.  Not criticizing, just wondering…..

We decided to do our whole- “Lets take a bunch of pics of ourselves plus several of the architectural details of the building” thing until one of the guards literally got out his van and pegged his stare on us.

Point taken.

Moving right along….


Well, after getting some shots of folks who apparently did have the knowledge or foresight to make reservations….




Nuclear energy protests going on all over the city this particular weekend, complete with Greenpeace reps scaling the Brandenburg Gate.  I assume they got a license for this.  Kind of wild that an organization can get a license to do this!!!



Ah, finally back to the peace of residential neighborhoods and enjoying the architecture of different apartment blocks and eras.  This is one of my favorite parts of almost any city visit- and why I can’t possibly feel totally satisfied with a journey if my focus is only on the landmarks and hot spots.

I want to go to these areas, off the main roads, where the cafes are full of locals, residents who live within a couple of blocks.  Not because I want to feel like a local, but because there is just such a different rhythm, and on a busy Spring day like this too, a certain peace to be found.

Back in the Embassy District, getting acquainted with the interior of the

Nordic Embassy’s cultural house.