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Blackburn, England, United Kingdom
September 1, 2011
From journal A Weekend in Berlin in Winter
by Pete Robinson
Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
December 15, 2005
Arriving at Berlin Schonefeld airport late Friday afternoon, finding transport into the city was easy enough, as the rail and bus stations are well marked. Be aware that you need coins for the ticket machines. They take notes but only if your trip costs enough, and also make sure you validate your ticket; there should be a small red machine nearby that time stamps your ticket. If you buy your ticket on the bus, this is done for you. We did get asked for our tickets by an inspector once!
The main purpose of the trip was to visit the Christmas markets and have a bit of retail therapy. We managed to see the markets at Gendarmenmarkt (mostly fun fair-style stalls), Opernpalais, Spandau, Kaiser Wilhelm Kirche, and Potsdammerplatz. I must say that after a while, all the stalls seem to look alike, and no, this wasn't the result of too much gluhwein, but the range of articles available was amazing--not just tree ornaments but locally made china and glassware, some really nice wooden ornaments and carvings, local cheeses, clothing, chocolate, and wursts of all types!
Use the bus nos. 100 or 200 to get around, as these cover all the main tourist sites at normal bus fares, much cheaper than the guided tours. Take a walk down the Ku-damm at night, which is really pretty with all the lights and has a good range of restaurants for that peckish moment, especially around Savignyplatz. Be aware that most shops are closed on Sunday, although restaurants are open. Potsdammerplatz has a snow slope, which was great fun, although not very long. The shopping arcade here has enough to keep you occupied for a good while, as does the street market.
From journal Long Weekend in Berlin