Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We Want to Go with Oh to Berlin!




Berlin is, to us, one of the most intriguing cities in Europe that we have yet to visit. Trendy, experimental, and constantly evolving, it's on the lips of every many a well-travelled European as one of the continent's hot-spots. Besides hitting up the city's quintessential tourist attractions - among them the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall - we want to learn about Berlin's history through some unconventional means, eat like locals, and marvel at the city's rich architectural legacy. And we want you to follow along for the ride.







When we Go with Oh to BERLIN we will:


1. VISIT MUSEUM ISLAND. An island of museums? More like a traveller's dream. Berlin's Museuminsel was built on the Spree river between 1824 and 1930. It is composed of a unique ensemble of five museums: The Altes/Old Museum (Greek antiquities), The Neues/New Museum (Egyptian antiquities), the Alte Nationalgalerie (art history), the Bode Museum (antiquities & Byzantine art), and the Pergamon museum (home to the famed Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate of Babylon).


It would be crazy to attempt to visit all five in one day (we've sped through the Louvre in a day and learned our lesson) so we'll pay a visit to the Museuminsel each day we are in Berlin to discover its treasures, not the least of which are the buildings themselves, considered to exemplify the evolution of modern museum design over the 20th century.


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2. ESSEN CURRYWURST. We are curious about currywurst, Berlin's infamous street snack. In a nutshell, currywurst is a pork sausage served in curry ketchup with a bun or fries. It is said to have been invented by Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949 after she obtained ketchup, Worchestershire sauce, and curry powder from British troops. She patented this sauce, called Chillup, in 1951. And the rest, as they say, is history.

When we Go with Oh to Berlin, we'll do as the locals do and eat, or essen, our fill of currywurst from the imbisstands (food stalls) and debate which vendor sells the best Chillup blend. An estimated 800 million servings of currywurst are consumed in Germany (70 million alone in Berlin) each year, so it's not surprising that this savoury snack even has a song dedicated to it. For the full currywurst experience, we'll head over to the Currywurst museum and learn about its ingredients and history, while attempting to understand its unique place in popular culture. According to the museum's web site: "No German national dish inspires as many stories, preferences and celebrity connoisseurs as this one does." Indeed!

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3. VISIT THE ABANDONED OLYMPIC VILLAGE. We want to learn about the history of Berlin at war in a completely unique way. The Olympic Village outside of Berlin provides us with the perfect opportunity to do so, as we explore where the Olympic Games and war converged in one unique location.

Some 10 km outside of Berlin, the 1936 Olympic Village was built to house 4,000 athletes for the Summer Games, today referred to as the Nazi Olympics. The village was laid out in the shape of Germany and contained 140 houses for athletes - each named after a German city. Following the Olympics these buildings served as infantry barracks and a hospital. After WWII the Soviet and East German military occupied the site until 1992. It was then frequented by history buffs and abandoned-spaces enthusiasts, and was officially opened to the public in 2004. We can't wait to poke around its abandoned buildings, camera in hand, and learn more about this ominous time in German history, including the Olympics' important role in Nazi propaganda.

BONUS: While we're on our way outside of the city we'll stop at the Brandenburg Gate for a photo shoot with our Oh car!

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4. GO BASEFLYING IN BERLIN. Who wouldn't want to jump off a building and fall 125 meters, only to be stopped just short of making a splash on the sidewalk? Jess. Which is why she has volunteered to be the photographer while Mike goes baseflying in Berlin. It's a daring plunge, but the views just might be worth it.

After this adrenaline rush we'll take a moment to gather ourselves (and have a strong beer) in our Oh Berlin apartment. We love the terrace and kitchen in this one!


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5. TAKE OURSELVES ON AN ARCHITECTURE TOURPost-war reconstruction, division, and reunification gave Berlin an entirely unique architectural flavour. From medieval buildings to Prussian neoclassicism to Bauhaus innovations to contemporary experiments, we will take you on a phototour of Berlin's best architectural sites. We're interested in the Neo Baroque Berlin State Library, the contemporary architecture of the Postdamer Platz (think glass and steel), the stunning Jewish Musuem, Berlin's fascinating embassies, Hans Scharoun's Philharmonic, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and the Bauhaus archive.

Berlin's DK Building by Frank Gehry, image via

The competition ends this Friday and we need your help to Go with Oh to Berlin! Send a tweet or email (they're pre-loaded with messages - easy!) or create a Facebook post to let Go with Oh know we're the best bloggers for the job. Not only do we have a great story to share, but Go with Oh wants to help you get the most out of what Europe has to offer. And we live that motto everyday.

We also want you to get in on the fun. Tweet your best Berlin travel tips to @GowithOh for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. You can also enter to win one of four fantastic travel prizes - Samsonite luggage, an iPad, a Panasonic camera, or  €500 worth of holiday accomodation - on their Facebook page. What are you waiting for?

- Mike & Jess

We've also created the #GowithOh tag on Pinterest! Head on over to check out our #GowithOh board for great European travel ideas, and tweet us if we've missed your favourite. We've had some great suggestions so far, thank you!

4 comments :

  1. Joe & I were just looking at a trip to Berlin! Great itinerary!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, it seems like a fascinating city! What's on your itinerary?

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  2. Ah berlin! one of my favorite cities ever!!

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