Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Berlin Randomized !

First of all thank you all for those comments on my last post, the way you guys understood and supported i really thank you all. In the end, overall day turned out quite good, lots of gifts, outing and great food... hehehe
I think it was just morning blues which made me write that post. Reading all those comments also helped me a lot. Thanks for all the love and support.

Ok now about our trip to Berlin from where i left it. "Environment Badge".

As you know my last post that we decided to skip it, but then Ashu never rests until he gets what he wants. So he found out a place where if we go personally they give us a badge in 5 minutes. You pay a bit extra for taking that fast-track service, but at least you are safe in a way you won't get a ticket even when you parked correctly because you didn't have ( I mean your car) that Badge ! So we took a small diversion on the way to Berlin and went there deciding to have it irrespective of we drive or don't drive in the city. And not to mention we ended up driving everywhere.

First i was thinking to write a diary post day-wise, but now I am not. So now you have to bear with my random rambling about the trip.

We had lots of fun, it's a great place. Noticeable contrast with Netherlands is wider roads, fun to drive. And while talking about roads how can you miss cars... not only in show rooms / on display but also on roads, and we were quite surprise at the speed of those vehicles ! We knew there is no speed limit that people follow on German highways, but in city?
We could see people racing even around centre area like AlexanderPlatz on their bikes and cars ! Amazing !
But yes in a way it felt home...hehe

Other contrast thing about Berlin is it's past and it's present. Present gives you all the possibilities to have fun in a way you want but when you are there as a tourist and you are interested in those touristy places to visit, it is totally opposite feeling while going through all the history, eventhough we all know about
Holocaust and Berlin wall, but when we are actually standing at that place, it is certainly different. When i came out of that small exhibition-cum- documentation lobby on Jewish victims at Holocaust Memorial, i actually felt depressed.

But yes, world has moved on, Berlin has moved on and It helped me also to move on from that feeling !

Other noticeable thing, Berlin never sleeps, whatever time we went back hotel at night, or didn't went back... there were always people on road. We never found it as deserted that it can scare us !
And night clubs and bars, it looks so quite outside but when you enter one there is a whole underground world with people drinking, dancing or may be having drugs... in short having fun in the way they like. And we were even amazed at their soundproof systems, not a drop of that chaotic noise outside those doors !

Aaaah and do you know what was most memorable place to visit in Berlin? TV Tower... i strongly recommend, you have to see it to believe... hehe sorry just kidding, actually it was the most disappointing experience.
We went there on Easter Sunday evening. Actually we went there in the morning and saw that there is hours of waiting, and we can only buy tickets for 2.5 hours in advance. We decided we already had a nice city top view from Berliner Dom, so better we visit this tower at night and we can have dinner there at revolving restaurant at the top of tower with mind-blowing night view of the city. Yes, very nice plan. So we went back there around 8:30 pm, and stand in a ticket queue for quite some time. Actually i didn't stand i was relaxing while Anuj and Deepti queued up for tickets ;o)

After some wait we had tickets and on display we could see that meant more than one hour of waiting. We waited there half-dead for more than hours. At 10: 30 pm we were standing against elevator, and as we entered it we were informed where can we find what and also that restaurant was closed and have a pleasant stay !

That meant no dinner with nice night view of city, well then atleast we shall enjoy the view then right? Nop, the glasses were not very clean, they were hazy, we could see through that but that provided zero possibilities with photography which we were hoping for ! We started walking around for a view and in less than 5 mins, we were done. It wasn't that big area, it was crowded, we wanted to be here since we arrived in Berlin, we paid €10.50 p.p., waited for hours tired to come up here,and there was no possibility of clear view for photography and we were hungry !
Can you imagine how we felt that moment? Yes most disappointing moment in that over-all a lot of fun trip, but but but, there is a silver lining now tv tower is synonymous for a nice laugh for all four of us, part of it and we did end up cracking jokes on the name of TV tower later in the trip !

Ahh and not to forget that resulted in we searching for a restaurant to have dinner and resulting in we eating pizza at one of Italian place at 11:45 pm at night !

When i am talking about late dinner i cannot forget this other night. As everyday we went hotel hardly before 1:00 - 2:00 am, we decided on the last day that lest take some rest in the evening so that we are not too tired to enjoy the night life of Berlin. we cam back to hotel around 7:45 pm, decided we take rest for one and half hour or so and then go out, have dinner and then go to some pub or club.

Ok so we relaxed, in fact we fallen asleep in our respective rooms, at around 22:45 our phone rang, Thanks Anuj for that. it took us a few more minutes to get ready and leave hotel and we decided to some other place for dinner than those Italian restaurants and steak house. We searched from some Spanish restaurant with failed attempts, then too tired and hungry we decided to go for our own Indian meal, first restaurant we put in our navigator showed 15 kms away from where we were at the time, but we took the risk and drove there... it was really a risk as it was closed, now we drove back to main area near Alexanderplatz, searching for anything which was open at that time, hardly anything open. It started feeling like we are going to spend this night dining on drinks !

It was nearing to 24:00 hrs, Many dining places were already closed and some were closing, and when we all were about to give up we decided to have a last look at that left lane. We drove for hardly two minutes and we saw a big lighted place names "BOMBAY", an Indian restaurant which was open at this hour. We still asked them if they were open and letting us in, they happily did. As soon as we sat we got a plate of salad very similar to how we get it back home and we knew that we were at the right place. And we were ! It was on of the best Indian food we have had in restaurant in whole Europe. Staff was very friendly. One would have seen our faces, all lit up and happy by the end of the meal. All in good mood, may be as a side effect of over-eating ! We were so full that we decided no dessert, but may be they also like us the same way we like their food they gave us complimentary Indian dessert "Gulab Jamun" ... aaah some more over-stuffing... hehehe
So that was one of most pleasant things happened in the trip.

To sum it up, we had a lots of fun through out he trip.
I will recommend you to visit Berlin, if you haven't yet. We had a great fun trip, love it !


Deepti said...

Undoubtedly Berlin was a great trip. You refreshed my thoughts again. We guys had a good time with the two of you. Looking forward to more trips together!

AmitL said...

Lopa,that was a fun reminded me of the days I used to listen to Radio Berlin International and Radio Deutschewelle (East and West were separate then)...:)Maybe I missed it while reading, but was this East part of West part?Sounds more like the West part :)
One curious query-what were the prices like,in the Indian restaurant?:)

~ Lopa said...

@ Deepti 
Writing it refreshed my thoughts as well, specially TV Tower.... lol
Yes, we had a great time with you guys as well, will love more trips together, anytime you say next :o)
Anytime chalte bano is fun :o)

~ Lopa said...

@ AmitL 

Amit you won't believe, half of the time we were driving this is what we were debating if we are in west part or east part...hehehe Now there is no clear distinction that way to separate it, but our tour guide gave us a very good tip on that, whenever you see two marked lines displaying where the wall used to be, is you are able to read it correctly means you are standing in west Germany and when you cross it you are in East Germany... hehehe
West part used to be more developed in wall time, but after the wall is collapsed East has beaten west on development.

In Europe, Indian restaurants are considered a bit expensive when compared to other cuisines but this one was definitely cheaper and much above standard than what we have here in Netherlands.
You can visit the Menu on their website to have more idea on their prices, here is a link....


seems quite an exciting place Berlin. how come you didnt come across any of Hitler's statue. If you did, how come you didnt get a picture with it?

~ Lopa said...


Rajesh, That's because we didn't come across any, we were so surprised by that fact. We were trying to search for that area where Hitler's Bunkers used to be, we tried a lot with navigator, GPS but couldn't. Next day we took a walking tour and our question was answered.

Our Guide told us, those things happened and Germans are not proud of the fact it happened and by restoring it / preserving it one is kind of glorifying that past and they don't want to do that. There was not even a sign of where it was, only in 2007 when American Football teams visited and wanted to visit it, and after a debate they decided just to put a sign board where it used to be, and that is currently a parking place! They have built parking and luxurious apartments above the land where it used to Hitler's bunkers ! That is why we kept driving across that lane with help of the navigator but couldn't figure it out and thought Navigator has gone mad ;)

Even at Holocaust Memorial, there is no mention of Hitler, all i could read was German Soldiers, Soviet Soldiers, this army, that army.... and that's all !

Unknown said...

Fantastic photos! We're going to Berlin very soon, so it was nice to read more about what to see! Thanks for sharing & have a great week :-)

Hetal said...

Lops that rainbow effect snap is awsome... explore entire europe babes... all the best :)

sagarika said...

Love the pics(making full use of ur SLR ha ..haha)...guess u had grt time...finding Indian food aboard is like getting a jackpot..:)n that too north indian

gd to see u back in the blog..keep writing...

~ Lopa said...

@ A Touch of Dutch 

Wow, you are going to Berlin? I already know that you are going to have a great time as well.
Do share your experiences when back :o)

~ Lopa said...

@ Hetal
Yes, we were so amazed and thrilled looking at that rainbow created, we had to check if that wasn't some lighting effect beside fountain...hehehe
Yeah, that's the plan babes :o)

~ Lopa said...

@ sagarika 

Abhi SLR hai to full use to karna padega ;) hehehe
Yes, finding a GOOD Indian restaurant is like getting a jackpot indeed... By the way in Europe when you find an Indian restaurant 90% it will be north indian food. In Netherlands there are many North Indian food restaurants but there is only one south Indian restaurant which i know of, and they too serve north Indian food as well ;o)
But i guess when we visit Singapore it wont be a case as there i heard so many South-Indian restaurants. When Ashu was there for one project i remember him having Dosa almost everyday in dinner...haha
Ohh yes, I am happy to be back too. Now tell me what shall i write about? hehe

sagarika said...

Ya in singapore you won't have any problem with Indian food.but 10 yrs back it wasn't that easy...spore is a tiny dot on the globe and you find food everywhere here..haha

but for the past 10 years m trying to find a place here tat serves paka India pani puri..:( here they serve it in AC restaurants..which is so not Indian :P..pani puri has to be eaten in our desi style c u... :)Guess I will never find such place here...

Oh come on do I have to tell the expert what to write..haha..I am loving ur food blog..but don't bad I yet to step into the kitchen to try those..soon that will happen too :P ...

thamarai said...

I am definitely going to Berlin! After readng your post and seeing all the great places and pictures, I am even more convinced! :)

Btw, beautiful pics uh! great job!

~ Lopa said...

@ sagarika
Hehehe but now that's even getting case in India, more and more a/c restaurants serving pani puri and more and more health and hygiene conscious people preferring it over our won original road-side pani-puri :-)
Here we buy haldiram pani-puri packet from indian grocery, Sometimes when i am in mood to work harder i make all the chutneys and use those puri else be happy with that ready-made packet :-(

If you try any of those recipes do let me know how it turned out :-)

~ Lopa said...


Thanks Viji, I am sure you will like it as well.
But then we can enjoy any place if we have friends around to have fun, isn't it? :-)

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