We’ve always been the couple who takes pictures of anything at any place. Whether dressed up or just chilling at home, it’s always been a thing of ours to take out a camera and document.
So our first trip together, our honeymoon, was no different- except maybe we had two cameras and a selfie stick and we were in a place where any shot you took was bound to turn out fantastic.
They don’t account for Berlin as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe but our pictures would have to disagree. I can’t get over how beautiful they turned out and how much memories they hold. Here are some of my favorites:
The Brandenburg Gate is the icon of Berlin, and no trip is complete without a visit and a customary photo with it. This was the only chance we had to take a picture because on all the other days we went, the road was closed (either due to the Berlin Marathon or the Day of German Reunification). We couldn’t walk though it and this was the closest we got. You can’t tell here but I strategically stood where I am to hide an ugly white tent that was taking away from the beauty of the structure. I’d say it turned out quite alright.
Alexanderplatz was fairly close to our hotel so we spent quite some time in the area. Even when we weren’t up for sightseeing or venturing out, we stayed around the square. You could easily find everything from coffee shops to your standard fare of clothing stores to supermarkets, so you never needed to go anywhere else. And if we did want to go elsewhere, this was the easiest place to find any form of public transport. This picture was taken on our first day. Ahmad poses with the main elements of the square: the TV-Tower, the station, and the World Clock (which coincidentally includes Beirut!)
Before traveling, I had read that you can find photo booths scattered around the city and taking a picture and having it developed is one of the essential experiences. We were not disappointed since we found several in Alexanderplatz on our first day. We were so jet-lagged though (having not slept in three days), that I didn’t realize I didn’t reset the machine and we ended up with a picture of two complete strangers. There goes our two Euros. Luckily, we realized our mistake and ended up with this cute one that now hangs on our fridge.
Thanks to a kind stranger on our walking tour, this is one of the few pictures we have from the honeymoon that isn’t a selfie. This was taken at the site of the former Nazi ministry of air transport which later became the ministry of ministries under the Soviets. This mural depicts classic communist ideals and the emphasis on equality among all. The building is massive, so my husband who is a pretty tall guy, looked tiny in comparison.
I take a break from all the sightseeing to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and some delicious cheesecake. Except it’s not a total break for me because I dig out my tour books and guides and start to brainstorm what else was left to see and do. Ahmad snapped this picture while I was at the height of my concentration, trying to figure out how much discounts we could get with our Berlin Welcome Cards.
Full disclaimer: this was not our idea, but the people watching us seemed to think it was and fully cheered us on as we posed with this iconic mural on the East Side Gallery. It was one of those things that I missed on my first trip to the city so it was a high priority this time around. It did not disappoint and we spent close to two hours trekking along the wall and the river as the sun set. I love this picture so much that I have claimed it is the picture from our honeymoon.
In keeping with the romantic aspects of our trip, we took a nice river cruise on a day when there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. The cruise was a fun way to see the city from a new perspective and we had a pretty funny commentator who proved to be highly entertaining, re-confirming everything she said to no one in particular.
I am yet to write about our trip to the Olympic Stadium, but when I do, I hope it expresses the awe I was in to visit such a historic site in Berlin’s history, and what a testament it is to rebuilding and breathing new life into things. Much like the East Side Gallery, we spent a lot of time here (even though the journey out was pretty long), and still had a lot left unseen- it was just too tiring. Still, it was so amazing that I was totally unfazed by the Charlottenburg Palace we saw later on in the day.
I was so glad we decided to extend our stay in Berlin and got to be there for the Day of German Reunification. We got into our comfiest sneakers and jeans, walked a good length of the Tiergarten to get to where the celebrations were being held. We got to dance and cheer and celebrate with the Germans on the occasion of 25 years of reunification. They got Felix Jaehn, who is one of the big DJs right now and you hear them on the radio all the time, to play a set that had everyone moving. They even played 99 Luftballons which is like totally my jam- I think I was the most excited to hear that and sang along in my broken German.
And finally, time to go home. As beautiful as the trip was and as much I enjoyed the time away with my new husband, I was pretty much all set to go back home and start our lives together in our new place. There’s only so much you can handle when you’re in a tiny hotel room with barely functioning air conditioning and the world’s most uncomfortable pillows.