Why Haven’t I Tried to Use a Party Bus Service Before?

I’ve always just taken a limo or even a taxi when going to a party, but decided I wanted to try something different this time around. We were visiting family for a wedding and they wanted everyone to be on time so they arranged for us to be driven to the party in party buses. It was an interesting experience using a party bus for Toronto.

They lined up outside of the hotel and we all climbed onto them in order to get to the church where the wedding would be held. There was at least five buses, I’m not sure how many, because I got on the second bus. I didn’t realize how many friends and family we had, and each bus carried at least 30 people.

It was an exciting experience using the party bus, because it was something I had never done before. I got to spend time on the bus with cousins I hadn’t seen in years, and we caught up on old times for the ride to the church. After the wedding, which was beautiful by the way, we climbed back onto those buses and made our way to the reception hall across town.

I honestly don’t think I have seen a more beautiful wedding, and the fact that we didn’t have to fight for parking in the parking lot when we got there because we were all just climbing off the buses made it so much better. I’m pretty sure that this was the best decision the bride and groom could have made in order to make their wedding day smooth and stress free.

The party lasted late into the night because we were all having so much fun and enjoying ourselves. Those party buses weren’t fazed though, the drivers were used to having to wait on people and tote them around the city to their destination so they were very pleasant about everything. It was a great experience.

Making New Friends on the Party Bus

I did a search a few weeks ago for a party bus Toronto company. Up until an hour before I searched, I had not even considered getting a party bus. However, my boss told me that he was in a huge jam. He had personal guests in town, and he would not be able to entertain them. He had planned on showing them around town, and he asked me if there was any way that I could do that. He didn’t tell me that there were nearly two dozen on the guest list for this tour though.

When he told me to just get a party bus as that is what he was going to do, I jumped at the chance. He was letting my bring my wife and our two teen children on this fun night out, so it made for a total of 27 people going, not including the driver. I went to the website that he told me about, and I was able to look at the different buses available. Continue reading →

Are Phentermine 37.5 milligram Weight Loss Suppliments Worthwhile?

The Truth About Apettite supressants 37.5 milligrams Fat Loss
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48 Hours in Berlin. Things To Do Hour by Hour. Berlin Travel Guide

Here is Berlin 48-hour travel guide. If you are in the city for just two days, you’ll still be able to see a lot and experience this great mixture of history and modern life.
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin | Source
Day 1.

10 am. Compare It To Paris

There is no doubt that Berlin is unique, but some tourists do find it a little bit similar to the capital of France. This impression starts at Potsdamer Platz, the business center of the city. This square, surrounded by skyscrapers and hi-tech architecture, reminds the ultramodern La Defense district in Paris. Its trademark is the Sony Center Complex, completed with iron “umbrella” – a giant metal cupola covering numerous offices, hotels, restaurants, as well as a cinema and a museum.

Eberstrabe leads to the famous Brandenburg Gate. Built in 1791, it became the symbol of the reunion of the country after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Does this 20-meter high gate ring any bells? You are right – it resembles the Arc de Triomphe. However, the Parisian monument was built in 1836, 45 years after the one in Berlin appeared.

Just like in the French capital, the Gate leads to one of the most well-known city streets. As the Champs-Elysees of Berlin, the one-and-a-half kilometer long Unter den Linden Boulevard was named after the trees planted in 1647 to the order of Frederick William I, King of Prussia.

Both French and German streets lead to the main city museums: in Paris it’s the Louvre, and in Berlin an entire Museum Quarter, situated on Spreeinsel Island.
The Reichstag, Berlin
The Reichstag, Berlin | Source
Best Berlin Travel Guides and Maps
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Berlin
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Berlin
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Berlin (City Guide)
Berlin (City Guide)
Buy Now

11:30 am. Higher Than Angela Merkel.

The Reichstag, where the German parliament sits, is situated near the Brandenburg Gate. In its 130-year history, the building suffered destruction several times. In 1995, on the roof of Reichstag, a modern glass dome was constructed. It was the creation of British architect Norman Foster, who had been entrusted to reconstruct the building.

Since the striking modernization, the German parliament building has become one of the most visited landmarks in the world; in the last thirteen years, it has been visited by more than 13 million tourists. To add yourself to this list, make an appointment for a free tour on the Bundestag website.

The top of the roof boasts a beautiful panorama of the Tiergaten and Potsdamer Platz, as well as one unpretentious white building that houses the personal office of the Federal Chancellor. It is from here, head of German government, Angela Merkel, has a fabulous view of the glass-domed Reichstag.

12:30 pm. Under Two Stars

if quality is what you value in food, you will definitely like Fischers Fritz restaurant. It’s the only restaurant in Berlin to ever have been awarded two Michelin stars. Lunch comes to around 50 euros; and even the most selective gourmets will be satisfied.

However, there are plenty of places where one can replenish the inner self; almost every restaurant offers great meat inner, along with a glass of beer.
New Museum, Berlin
New Museum, Berlin | Source

2:30 pm. The Island of Arts

Art devotees will be more than glad to spend all day in the Museum Quarter, located to the north of Spreeinsel Island in the center of Berlin. In the Pergamon Museum, you can enjoy the collection of Islamic art from the 8-19 centuries, as well as ancient Greek and Roman exhibits. The Old National Gallery shows paintings and sculptures of the 19 century. In the Old Museum you can see ancient art, while the Bode Museum impresses with masterpieces of Italian and German sculpture.

The most famous is the New Museum, which houses the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti, Despite its name, the museum is almost 200 years old, and in 1940s was severely damaged by the war. Bringing the design back from the ruins, British architect David Chipperfield replaced missing elements with modern materials. Such eclecticism now helps visitors experience time parallels and presence of the past and present.
Aquadrome at Radisson Blu, Berlin
Aquadrome at Radisson Blu, Berlin | Source

5 pm. Wave at the Fishes

The Radisson Blu Hotel stands right next to the Museumsinsel. Even if you are not among its guests, you still should go there and see the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium which occupies several floors.

The grand Aquadrome, with its capacity of a million liters of water, is inhabited by about 2,600 species of fish. Rumor is that the giant tank of eleven meters in diameter costs its owners more than 12 million euros! A transparent elevator will take you through the center of the aquarium, up to the observation deck where you can admire aquatic inhabitants in all their glory.
Berlin river tour
Berlin river tour | Source

6 pm. Count the Bridges

The German capital is rich in bridges. There are nearly 1,700 of them, even more than in Venice! The main stem of Berlin, the Spree River, flows through the heart of the city and reveals a very different face of the capital.

From March to October, the river is like a highway, as excursion boats run up and down. Strengthen your feel of the city further by going on a typical tour route, Berlin Cathedral – Reichstag – Palast der Republik – Museumsinsel. Besides interesting stories, a guide will provide you with a glass of local beer and a plate of German sausages. These treats are truly hard to refuse!
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Source

8 pm. Hotel Experimentation

Berlin is famous for its wide selection of hotels (about 600), as well as for reasonable accommodation prices. The central district of Mitte has the largest concentration of hostels and hotels, where you can book a room from only 15 euros.

But if you are looking for a hotel, why not book a room in a piece of art? Every part of Propeller Island is a work of art. The idea of this creative property belongs to German artist Lars Stroschen, who called the complex by his own nickname. Only here you can find a room entirely decorated by mirrors, or a room with a bed suspended one and a half meters above the floor, or one which is upside down and has furniture attached to the ceiling, in one of the rooms you can even try sleeping in coffins. Due to the huge popularity of the hotel, you may have trouble with availability, so make sure you book early and specify your stylistic preference. If you are lucky, Propeller Island might become the strangest hotel you’ve ever stayed in. The rooms there average from 79 to 115 euros per night.
Berlin subway
Berlin subway | Source
Day 2

10 am. Subway

The subway is the most popular form of transport in Berlin; it is used daily by students, entrepreneurs and tourists alike. Built in 1902, the U-Bahn Berlin is the oldest subway in Germany. With an extensive grid of stations, it reaches every part of the city. Although it’s easy to get lost among the 173 stations and 10 lines, Berlin’s subway is certainly worth seeing.
Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall | Source
“Brotherly kiss” by Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev. Berlin Wall.
“Brotherly kiss” by Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev. Berlin Wall. | Source

11 am. Walk Along the Wall

For more than 28 years, the Berlin Wall separated West Berlin from East. Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine that once, massive four-meter-high concrete slabs extended up in the air, stretching for 155 kilometers! After the fall of the Wall in 1989, it was dismantled and taken apart for souvenirs. Today, the scattered pieces of Berliner Mauer can be found all over the city and beyond.

One of the best ways to explore this symbol of Cold War is to take a bicycle ride along the wall, which can be ordered from Berlin on Bike. For 19 euros, you will get a bike and four hours to cover the route along the landmark.

As you go along the extensively reconstructed and modernized Friedrichstrasse, you’ll come to a metal badge of a bunny on the ground. It was installed in place of a former checkpoint, because only rabbits could cross the border without penalty. Finally, you will see the longest extant piece of the wall, which stretches for nearly two miles. That’s where the famous “brotherly kiss” of Brezhnev and Honecker is – it appeared on the wall in 1990, together with another 105 pictures from 11 artists of 21 countries. Thus, the so-called East Side Gallery has become the world’s longest open-air art gallery.
Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin
Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin | Source

3 pm. Lunch within the Walls

At the intersection of Friedrichstrasse and Mauershrasse, there is a small white box with bags protected by a military in uniform. This is the famous Checkpoint Charlie, the most renowned crossing point between East and West Berlin, and the Eastern and Western worlds. It is worth visiting for the chance to touch history, or just to dine in one of the many cafes located in a spot it was impossible to be not so very long ago. For only 2 euros, the military guy will gladly pose for tourists’ cameras.

4 pm. Zoo in the City

The first German Zoo was opened on August 1 1844. Today, it has over 1,500 species of wildlife, living on 34 acres of territory. Water ditches or subtle fences separate animals and visitors. Several years ago, a white bear named Knut was the star of the zoo. Today, a 34-year old panda Bao has taken his place. Also pay close attention to a touching hippo monument, established in honor of the only hippo to survive World War II in the zoo.
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Want to Explore the Rest of Germany? Check Out These:
Rick Steves’ Germany 2012
Rick Steves’ Germany 2012
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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany
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6 pm. Sky Above Berlin

The highest building of the capital. Berlin’s TV Tower rises to 1207 feet not far from the largest city square, Alexanderplatz. At a height of 670 feet, there is an observation platform and a revolving restaurant, where you can dine as you watch Berlin revolve around you. By the way, the circular top of the tower is jokingly called Pope’s revenge, because the sun’s rays form the image of the cross on its surface. U.S. President Ronald Reagan mentioned this phenomenon in his famous Tear down this wall speech on June 12 1987.

8:30 pm. No pictures

The Kreuzberg district, where Bohemia along with Turkish and mainly Balkan expatriates live, happens to be the truly alternative area of the capital. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was the eastern outskirts of west Berlin, with its cheap housing where students coexisted with artists, radicals and immigrants. Even today, the district is effectively divided into two parts. In the bourgeois west, with zip code 61, residents live the measured life of wealthy Germans. The eastern part is assigned code 36, where Turkish community is concentrated, and it is said that German is rarely spoken here.

Kreuzberg has become a melting pot where about 180 cultures coexist, and which attracts tourists from all over the world. It’s the place you can taste traditional kebabs, have hemp tea and just hang out with the locals.

However, taking pictures of Kreuzberg nightlife is strictly prohibited. On May 1, you’d be best to keep away from there, as local festivities had been known to turn into police clashes, car burning and looting. The best time to visit Kreuzberg is during the annual Carnival of Cultures: you will have the chance to see how African and Turkish rhythms flow alongside each other, along with German beer. This is the true face of the most experimental district of kaleidoscopic Berlin.

Good places in the US for low end property investment?

Which states or cities offer the most bang for your buck? I am looking to acquire American property for investment purposes, in other words to rent it out, with an eye on the long term (enough time for your markets to recover, maybe even 20 or 30 years).

I am not looking for the lower end of the market in San Francisco, which is equivalent in value to the higher end of the market almost anywhere else, I’m talking about homes in decent and safe neighbourhoods for $50k – $60k.

The obvious one is Florida, and I am looking at Florida as a distinct possibility, there have also been a hell of a lot of foreclosures in Vegas (some real bargains there, the 15% unemployment paints a grim picture but that is a result of construction being wiped out overnight).

Anywhere else? The only conditions that I have are:

1) safe neighbourhood, in other words a low chance of being carjacked or mugged. Also, and I hate to say it, safe for a white man to check on his investment without needing an armoured car.

2) Close enough to a decent airport, say two to three hour drive to a good domestic airport which offers flights to numerous major airports (e.g. to JFK or other international airports) or even better within 3/4 hour drive to an international aiport.

3) Not a hotspot for frequent natural disasters, a slim chance of an earthquake is fine, but a high chance of a hurricane every year wouldn’t bode well for my investment.

4) low or lowish property taxes, or at least ‘acceptable’ property taxes, to ensure that I can manage them if I struggle to find reliable tenants.

5) actual homes, not trailors slapped in the middle of woodland plots with dirt track roads.

I would consider buying condos (in otherwords, the two adjoining condos). Any suggestions?

And anybody who says Detroit or Philidelphia is not being funny, I am not that stupid, if I wanted a home without utilities I would build one out of cardboard boxes or rent out tents.

Cool And Unique City Names

Strange, Odd, Unique, Funny, Unusual And Cool City Names That Writers Will Find Quite Useful

If you’re someone who is looking for a few good names of towns and cities for a story your working on (or some other creative endeavor), then you’ve come to the right place. Any writer knows that a city or town can be a character unto itself, and the better name your characters have, the more memorable they are.

This article is chock full of unique and unusual town names that actually exist or once existed at some point in time. I’ve also included where the city is located in case you want to do more research on the actual destination (to make your story seem more real). I really hope you find an interesting name that you can use, and be sure to check back every once in a while as I plan to keep adding to the list. Thanks for taking a look.

This photo of Kuwait City courtesy of Ghassan Tabet / flickr.
Small Towns And Out of the Way Places Are A Lot Easier To Find With A Map – A City With A Cool Name Isn’t Always Enough – You Must Do Your Research

If your story takes place in a town or city with your own specific layout, then a good name for it is all you will need, but if you plan on basing your story in a real place, then you need to investigate. I have actually planned three vacations based upon how weird, strange or unique the city name was. They were all very memorable and very enjoyable trips.

Renting An Apartment In Berlin

The flats Berlin has to offer are your best bet for sticking to your budget in a city where the U.S dollar is no longer king among currencies.

Berlin is a fascinating city. Since the fall of communism in the former East Germany, the city has once again become the center of the German Republic. It is recognized as one of the most interesting metropolis in Europe, perhaps even the world. Additionally, is not only a symbol of the reunification, it is also a mecca for nightowls and a melting pot for great architecture, culture, and modernism.

So, when in a city as deeply entrenched in history as Berlin, stretch the value of your dollar by staying in an apartment instead of a hotel. Finding an apartment is not a problem. The flats Berlin offers range from the dirt-cheap to the reasonably-priced.

Among the types of flats Berlin ads frequently advertise is the WG-Zimmer. WG stands for Wohngemainschaft. In this flat type, a group of people share one apartment, which comes with a kitchen, a bathroom, and occasionally, a living room. Within the WG, each flatmate gets a room. Only the kitchen and the bathroom are communal.

Other flats Berlin visitors could avail of range from one-room studios to the more elaborate and pricey apartments. There are two important things to pay attention to when looking for an apartment. Often, tourists are confused by the term, “One Room.” One Room flats, Berlin style, consist of one room plus a kitchen and a bathroom. Most Westerners assume “One Room” means one bedroom and a living room. As explained earlier, such is not the case.

The second thing you have to remember is that majority of the flats Berlin landlords offer come unfurnished. This could pose a big problem for people who decide to stay in the city at the spur of the moment, or are staying for a short time only. If either of the two is true of you, then the best recourse open to you is to go through an agency. You’ll have to shell out more bucks, naturally, but you will be able to enjoy fully furnished flats. Another alternative is to look for a place to room-sit. There are many flats Berlin students leave empty because they have to go home or travel somewhere. You can find many flats like these. All you have to do is look for magazine and newspaper sections marked “Auf Zeit.” Or, you could visit Holiday4You and check out their listing.

The prices of flats Berlin landlords put on the market vary. A room within a WG located in central Berlin can fetch somewhere between 150 and 250 Euros a month. A flat, on the other hand, will cost you between 300 and 400 Euros a month. Often, it’s possible to get your landlord to lower the rent. However, you should carefully note what you are haggling over. Check what the price includes. Sometimes, a student may have extras, such as a washing machine or a refrigerator. Check if your rent already includes use of these appliances. As with all business transactions, one can never be too careful.

Experience The World’s Best Animation In Berlin

If you plan a trip to stay in a Berlin city hotel to spend time visiting iconic historical sites and sipping on quality coffee, why not take out some time to experience something a little different? Lovers of art and modern culture can check out the fun, animated screenings and works at the annual Pictoplasma Conference and Festival. Discover the genius animations created by some of the best graphic designers and artists around the world, screening in the heart of Berlin. Be inspired and let your imagination run wild.

Calling All Quirky Animation Geeks

Anyone staying in a convenient and central Berlin city hotel will be within easy access of this colourful contemporary art festival. There’s a range of vibrant exhibitions on display, with character pieces in all shapes and sizes and a quirky mix of textures, frames and wall mounts. The Character Walk and art pieces are open to the public and attract visitors from all over the world. As well as being a renowned event for spectators, it is also becoming a prestigious event for artists to exhibit – with some receiving accommodation and grants to help them realise their vision.

A Colourful World

For those in search of an optimistic, slightly sarcastic, and colourful take on the art world look no further than this festival held close to some of the most iconic sights of Berlin city. Hotel accommodation nearby handy if you plan on spending a lot of time exploring the event. The screenings shown throughout the festival depict some of the best-animated works, experimental films, short films and motion graphics in the world – although some are certainly a little left of centre. For example, the shorts include such famous-cute animations as the scarily titled ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ – a video about, basically, dumb ways to die. “Set fire to your hair; poke a stick at a grizzly bear; eat medicine that’s out of date; use your private parts as piranha bait. Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die”.

The quirky animations and bubble-gum coloured building (with bright pink-lit windows) is a great space to be entertained, and possibly inspired. This innovative festival is full of creative craft and works of imagination sure to awaken your senses.

The festival usually takes place every year around early April. If you’re looking to attend, get in early and book your Berlin city hotel well in advance as, through word of mouth and clever marketing, the festival is fast becoming one of the must-see events on the global artistic calendar. Once you’ve exhausted the 20-plus art spaces that make up the festival, there are plenty of historical sights and attractions to enjoy in this wonderful city.

Passing Strange – A Musical Expedition

Passing Strange is a story of a zealous, young, black musician who is suffocated in his church-going, middle class family living in South Central of LA. He wants to rebel and he does.

Somebody had truly said that grass looks always looks greener on the other side. Our musician learns this the hard way. He becomes a part of the sleazy society of Amsterdam where drugs are the order of the day. He has a series of love affairs there. Berlin is not better. It’s marked with politics and chaos. Immorality is a way of life there. Again, our musician faces a hard time keeping up his integrity and moral values. He has no choice but to present himself coming from a poor background in order to get ahead.

Lastly, our musician returns home. It’s not everything bad that our musician brings back home; he also brings some terrific musical styles in jazz, blues, and rock. So, can we say that our musician has a successful journey? At least, he got what every musician desires – different musical styles, depicting different cultures! Well, it’s for you to decide. Watch Passing Strange and experience the musical voyage!

The show has been created by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. This is the same duo that had formed the band named Stew. It won two Album of the Year Awards for its mind blowing numbers “Guest host” and “The Naked Dutch Painter.” The duo, in 2000, patented the unique Afro-baroque sound used in the show.

Passing Strange was first shown at Berkeley Repetory Theater of California in the year 2006. Later, the show ran at the Public Theater through May and June, 2007. In 2008, the premier of the show was held at the Belasco Theater of Broadway on February 28.

The creative team of “Passing Strange” includes:
Stew – author of book, lyricist, and music composer
Heidi Rodewald – music composer
Annie Dorsen – director
Elizabeth Ireland McCann – producer
Karole Armitage – choreographer
David Korins – scene designer
Devin Adams – light designer
Elizabeth Hope Clancy – costume designer

Besides the above, there is the entire star cast which, with their realistic portrayal of each character, has made the entire story come to life on stage!

The story of Passing Strange is witty and makes you think about things that you have in life and things that you crave for, and whether those cravings are really worth it. The lyrics of each song carry a meaning that unveils with its melodious tune.

It’s not just our musician who learns something from his journey; the audience learns too. It’s a refreshing and entertaining experience watching this Broadway show.

Pick your phone and call the ticketing services now! They have resources and are skilled in booking tickets. They never disappoint theatre fans! Perhaps that’s why an increasing number of people are turning towards these services.

So, are you ready to join our rebellious musician in his extraordinary expedition?

Discover Germany’s Renowned Architecture With Berlin Hotels

With a rich history, told through the wonder of architecture, and its finger firmly on the creative pulse, Berlin is a city that will surprise and astound you in equal measure. Whether it’s one of the many intricately designed Berlin hotels or a piece of historical importance, this is a city packed where architecture is king. Forget what you think you might know about Germany’s capital city and make sure these addresses are top of your to-see list!

Contemporary designs are what make The Jewish Museum profound; it’s a fantastic example of Berlin’s harmony between the old and the new, the east and the west. It’s sharp corners and sleek, zinc structure reflects many other buildings and hotels in the city but its interior belies the modernity of its exterior. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, its irregular and sometimes bizarre angles are said to symbolise the Holocaust. Be sure to go inside to understand more what life was like for the Jewish community in Germany both in the past, present and future.

A great example of the city’s historical charm, Berlin’s Museumsinsel – or Museum Island – should be next on your list. This is a unique ensemble of five museums, including the Pergamon Museum, built in the city’s Spree River between 1824 and 1930. Described as Berlin’s ‘Acropolis of the Arts’ is considered one of great cultural and architectural note and was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999.

Showcasing just how varied and avant garde Berlin’s architecture can be, The Chapel of Reconciliation is, once again, a fresh and different structure to any other. A modest and simple building, it is located on the site of a former church in the shadows of the Berlin wall. From a distance, a curved wooden object is apparent but as you get closer, a second building is seen within this wooden shell. A relatively new building, this shows another side to Germany’s architecture where less really is more.

Many Berlin hotels reflect the ornate and exotic architecture of the New Synagogue. When originally built in 1866, it was the largest synagogue in Europe; despite being destroyed in the mid-2oth-century, this impressive building has been fully restored to its former glory. Its fantastic capped domes are very much part of Berlin’s skyline and a wonderful reminder of how diverse this city’s architecture can be.

Whilst it may not be the most impressive architecture in Berlin, the Olympiastadion is architecturally important to the city as it illustrates what Nazi architecture was like and played an important part in Berlin’s history; this is the spot where American athlete Jesse Owens incurred Hitler’s wrath after winning four Gold medals in the 1936 Olympics.

Whether modern, avante garde or survived through the years, Berlin is a city that embraces its architecture and isn’t afraid to try something different yet never forgets its past.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5797218

How To Do Berlin In 48 Hours

For two cities within a city Berlin has so much culture, history and nightlife to experience 48 hours hardly seems adequate. This guide will help to give you the most out of it in a short space of time.

For close to 300 years Berlin has been the centre point in almost every modern historical European conflict. Unless you are familiar with the orchestrations of the Franco-Prussian War, the establishment of the first German Empire, World War I, World War II, the Cold War and the reunification, not to mention the figures behind the events, the weight of the history alone can seem totally overwhelming.

Then there is the intensive artistic side. Make your way through museums and galleries that display ancient Persian works through to the avant garde collections of modern artists. Travelling from one side of the city to the other takes you on a journey through 20th Century politics, from fascism to communism to democracy.

It is recommended that to be able to gain a full picture in an interesting and in depth way to take a guided walking tour. There are several well respected and reputable companies offering comprehensive walking tours that cover all aspects of the history of Berlin. Some specialise in particular periods but a more generalised overview is preferable. The knowledge of the guides helps to make the history come alive in a way no guide book ever could.

To familiarise yourself with the central layout you can cover the main interest sites by foot either as part of a tour or on you own armed with a comprehensive guidebook, that probably weighs as much as you do.

10:00

Few people realise that the Cold War west Berlin was actually more of an island, east Berlin merely surrounding it as the city itself lies in the eastern half of Germany. ‘West’ Berlin was connected by a transport corridor to the western half of the country.

Start yourself off in the centre of the ‘capitalist west’ with the sights and sounds of Zoo Station (Bahnhof Zoo), made famous by the U2 song. This is the stop next to the Zoologischer Garten, home of the city’s zoo. The unique layout has the animals hemmed in with moats rather than fences and some are even left to roam free.

The area is also around the corner from the Ku’Damm, the rather more expensive shopping district with huge mall type department stores.

Next door is the Tiergarten, the central green space of Berlin, where many of the city office workers like to spend their lunchbreak on sunny days letting it all hang out, and more often than not completely naked. You don’t need to run for the nearest cop shop as they are merely partaking in the ‘frei korpo kultur’ or free body culture.

On the way through the Tiergarten you may spy between the trees the rather impressive Seigessaule, a 70m high golden statute. Some may recognise it as the statue that features in the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, and also as the heady focal point of the Love Parade. The column is decorated at the base by bronze reliefs depicting the Prussian victories over Denmark, Austria and France, made from melted down captured cannons.

Continuing eastwards down Strasse des 17 Juni you will arrive in front of the Brandenburg Gate. This has undergone extensive restoration recently returning it to its former glory as a triumphal arch. This was the symbol of Berlin during the cold war, sitting forlornly in no-mans land between the divisive walls. The goddess Victory stands in her chariot drawn by four horses that look rather like the ones seen in Paris atop the Arc du Triomphe du Carousel and in Venice above the door of St Mark’s Basilica.

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The newly revamped Reichstag is close by, the transparent dome arching above the debating chamber of the German parliament. Entry is free and you can climb the spiral walkway to the top of the dome for a view out over the city.

Further to the right of the Brandenburg gate lies the completed Holocaust memorial. This outdoor site covers 19,000 square metres and consists of 2,711 granite blocks of varying height conceived by American architect Peter Eisenman. It has provoked some controversy throughout its construction, not the least being how it sits over part of the former Nazi HQ bunker complex.

Heading further into Berlin-Mitte you will reach Checkpoint Charlie. Little remains of the original checkpoint, the hut standing in the road is a replica. There were three checkpoints between east and west, this was the only one with vehicle access.

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The Checkpoint Charlie museum is small and houses a collection of wall memorabilia as well as harrowing recounts of survivors and non survivors attempts at crossing over. Across the road is Café Adler, the old American CIA offices were upstairs where agents would keep an eye on their Russian counterparts across the way.

Berlin-Mitte is the cultural centre where many of the city’s important landmark buildings are located. Opposite the Humboldt University on Unter den Linden is Bebelplatz where the first Nazi book burning took place. The Staatsoper holds world class recitals and performances lead by conductor Daniel Barenboim. With the audience seats laid out in a circular shape around the orchestra pit every seat is a good one.

Gendarmenmarkt is a square surrounded by the cathedral Franzosischer Dom and its twin the Deutscher Dom along with the rotund looking Konzerthaus.

Following the Unter den Linden eastwards you will reach the island of museums or Museuminsel.
The most striking feature here is the Palace of the Republic, looking rather more like a dairy factory it sits incongruously opposite the neo-Renaissance Berliner Dom. For more aesthetically pleasing objects on the eye the world class Pergamonmuseum is a far more attractive option.

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It is worth it to spend a few hours looking over the ancient artefacts from Persia, including Roman, Greek, Islamic and Oriental classical works. Some of the more notable items to see are the Ishtar Gate from Babylon, the Pergamon altar from Asia Minor and the Market Gate from Greek Miletus.

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Walking towards the west you may have noticed a striking tall tower with a ball shape stuck on a spike. This is the Ferhnsehturm TV tower, built by the communist east as a signal to the west of their technological prowess during the Cold War. As an example of tasteless communist era architecture is doesn’t compare but the view at the top is sensational. At least from inside you don’t have to look at it.

Down below on the other side of the train station is Alexanderplatz, the centre of Berlin Mitte and another shopping centre with Galeria Kauthof.

Evening

Berlin has a multitude of international styles of food to choose from. From Indian, vegan, Asian, Turkish through to the more traditional Bavarian styles loaded with bread sausage and potatoes.

For later on it’s a choice of either the hard core or the soft option. Berlin’s legendary nightlife moves from the mainstream to the off the planet. Dance clubs cover house, hip-hop, RnB, trance and techno. Old haunts include Tresor and WMF but up and coming hot spots include Watergate, Icon and Delicous Doughnuts.

For the more laid back approach there’s the Red Rooster, the Oscar Wilde or the Haifisch bar. Plenty of beers, cocktails and some less ear drum bursting sounds. You could always try an evening with the Philharmonie at the Staatsoper, cheap performance tickets for a great night out.

Or if you are feeling particularly adventurous there is the Kit Kat club. The dress code is ‘the lesser the better’ and as for the dance floor, well anything and everything goes and usually does.

Anywhere around Oranienburgstrasse in Mitte has loads of bars, clubs and local hangouts. One popular place is Tacheles. A former department store it was bombed out during the war and virtually left to disintegrate. Squatters moved in and over the years it has transformed into an art forum as well as café and bar. For a real sense of urban graffiti lifestyle and boho culture this is a great place to begin an evening.

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The morning offers a couple of choices depending on preference. For the historical and art buffs the museums have informative displays, either choosing the Museuminsel and viewing the remaining museums or there is the German Russian Museum, where the second World War met its end on the 8th May 1945. If the Cold War piques your interest there is the Stasi Museum, which documents the intense scrutiny of the general population by the Stasi, probably the most feared police force of modern times.

For a combination of art, history and archictecture there is the Berlinische Gallery, a real one stop shop that displays Berlin’s creative side from the past 120 years with photos, models and paintings.

For those wishing to build on their understanding of the Holocaust an S Bahn ride and a moderate walk will get you to Sachsenhausen concentration camp at Oranienburg. This was a ‘model’ camp built by the Nazis and opened in 1936. Over the next nine years 220,000 men passed through the gates and around 100, 000 died there.

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Time for a spot of shopping. Potsdamerplatz has a special place in the Berlin skyline as the tidal wave of building that began after the fall of the wall meant that most of this are was filled with cranes. The architects went wild with excitement at the opportunity to build some cutting edge sky scrapers filled with shopping malls and of course the Sony Centre.

If you can stomach one more museum there is the Filmmuseum located here that takes you behind the scenes of many big name German films and their special effects.

Late afternoon

Head for Kreuzberg and alongside Carl Herz Ufer you will find the Van Loon Barge where you can enjoy a hard earned beer on the deck in the sun and watching it reflect off the water. They also serve food here or you can check out some of the other tasty eateries such as ‘Hasir’ for the best Turkish in town or ‘Austria’ for the best Wiener schnitzel.

Evening

Staying in the Kreuzberg area there are plenty of jazz bars chill out in for the remainder of the night, including Yorkschlosschen and the Junction Bar. If your energy levels haven’t been entirely sapped there is the opportunity to take on a pub crawl, mixing and mingling with fellow travellers as well as shots and the various German beers.

So, after walking your feet off, absorbing an incredible amount of history and sinking more than a few ‘wheat’ beers you should find yourself with a greater understanding of this amazing city. It should be an unforgettable 48 hours.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/343275

Cultural Extravaganza of Berlin

Beauty lies in every corner of this capital city of Germany- Berlin. Renowned for its long associated history, shopping varieties, gastronomy and vibrant nightlife, this city is one of the favorite holiday destinations for travel freaks.
Germany has always interested people from across the world with its high end lifestyle, open environment, strict yet absolve law rules, antediluvian past and its glimpse via monuments. Whatever are your preferences this leisure trip, Berlin, the capital of Germany is a great place to visit. Its motleyed architecture can be seen in museums, palaces and historical sites. Home to more than 150 museums and 50 theaters, this metropolis tells so much more about its German history. Due to varied style in the architecture of local buildings and edifices, Berlin was awarded the title of ‘the city of Design’ by UNESCO in the year 2005.

As per travelling experts Berlin is a fantasy for people who like travelling and exploring places. Today it is the most loved destination for holidays among the travelers. Said as the world city and an epicenter for culture, politics, media and science in the country, Berlin makes a perfect place to loosen up yourself and flight to Berlin is the best way to reach here. Presence of many parklands, lakes and rivers is the reason of the scenic beauty that this city possesses and one of the main reasons for descenders to plan their leisure trip to this European metropolis.

Places like Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, the Reichstag and the wall victims Memorial are the few spots hither which are world famous and are always on the must visit list of the descenders. Apart from this you can also utilize your time while enjoying the electrifying nightlife culture of Berlin. Vibrant clubs, pubs, restaurants and bars are always open at night and serve the best that one can expect. While Gastronomy here is as diverse as the local culture. You will find the cuisine of every country or state, from Indian to Chinese and Italian to European. Berlin has lot alternatives for shopping sprees. Spend little bit extra and shop at expensive shops, take home some famous designer labels, European antiques or just shop according to your wallet size at the local marketsBusiness Management Articles, but don’t forget to bargain as much as you can. Berlin is always happy to treat its visitors with the best of choices available.