BERLIN - FUTILE SEARCH FOR A BEER HALL

Trip date: April 23-24., 2016
Tickets

This year we again went on a trip for football. The same crew - I, my brother and our sons – Berlin was chosen this time. The reason was the following: In January, I discovered that the football club Hertha Berlin had information on its website that tickets for a match between Hertha and Bayern Munich will be selling on February 12, starting at 10:00. And this is something special, because Bayern Munich is one of the best teams in the world, and all its home matches are hopelessly sold out. Thus I was at the right time ready with the created account and with a loaded credit card.

memorial

I started looking for suitable places at 10:02. It appeared that there are many vacant seats, but when I reloaded the page 2 minutes later, only a small part of them remained. I immediately booked four places, and had only a few minutes to pay for them. At 10:15 everything was sold out and I had four tickets for Bayern at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

tower Berlin olympia stadium

Funkturm
The match took place on April 22, 2016. Thanks to the fact that Berlin is only about three hours by car from Prague, we had more time to visit Berlin. We arrived before noon on Saturday. We parked the car in front of the hotel and set off to explore Berlin. Our first activity was a climb to Funkturm. Funkturm is the tower in the exhibition centre in the west part of Berlin. There is an excellent view around Berlin. We could see the center of west Berlin, Berlin Zoo and also the Olympic stadium. Due to cold weather we endured just one hour at the top.

tower berlin

Olympia Park
Anyhow, after Funkturm it was high time to set off to Olympia Park. It was a distance of 4 km from us and we went on foot, because we expected problems with parking. When we arrived, we saw pretty crowded places around the arena. No wonder, the capacity is more than 80000 people.

stadium olympia berlin

The whole area was built in 1936 for Olympic games. In addition to the arena, we also saw the ruin of the open-air swimming pool, or Maifeld, which is a huge field for gymnastic demonstration.
The stadium itself reminded us of ancient arenas; we could see the inspiration by the Colloseum. The atmosphere in stadium was spectacular and magnificent. There was only one small inconvenience. Due to the fact that the stadium was build in the 30's and the roof was added in 70's, there are some columns that hinder the outlook on the football field a bit. But it is nothing serious. We really enjoyed this match. The favorite - Bayern Munich - won 2:0, but the home fans from Berlin were not disappointed. During the football break we had "obligatory" currywurst and beer, which we cannot omit when we are in Germany:) And the experience was complete.
 
West Berlin Centre
After the match, we left our teenagers in the hotel room, and my brother and I went down the Kantstrasse to look at Berlin at night. It is one of the main streets of the west part of Berlin. We were looking for a German pub with beer. The street is approximately four km long. There is an enormous number of restaurants. We found Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish restaurants; we saw American McDonalds, Turkish Kebab, Thai food, noodle restaurants, many cafes, pizzerias, and some luxurious restaurants, but we found absolutely no German beer hall. Very sad. Especially for Czech guys :) We ended up in an Italian bistro where at least they had draft beer.
For Sunday, we planned a walk through the city center and a visit of Berlin Wall Memorial. The original plan was to use Berlin public transport. But when we found out how high the price is, we decided to take the car. It is cheaper to pay for the most expensive parking lot in the city center than buy 4 return tickets for public transport. It is not clear to me, but it is the fact. Not only in Berlin.
 
Brandenburg Gate
We drove in the morning on Sunday and the first stop was Brandenburg gate and its surroundings: Reichstag and other parliament buildings, the seat of German Chancellery and the street "Unter den Linden". This is indeed the center of Berlin, the streets are wide, everything looks very imperial, all buildings are tremendous. Yet I was not very impressed or overwhelmed. Maybe it was because of the fact that there were not many people (It was Sunday and everything was closed). The feeling was different than in the other big cities in Germany like Hamburg or Frankfurt.

brandenburg gate berlin
 
Berlin Wall Memorial
The last sight of this trip was the Berlin Wall Memorial. The memorial contains the last piece of Berlin Wall with the preserved grounds behind it and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s. The Berlin Wall was a complex of the walls and towers and we could see it as Berliners saw it from the ground and also from above thanks to the lookout platform on the museum building. There was also an exhibition with historical photos and many stories of Berlin people. Very impressive. I think it is must see sight when you are in Berlin.

wall memorial berlin

wall memorial berlin