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Travel | Berlin, What To See & Do

1/31/16

As promised, here is the first in three parts of my Berlin guide! I went for a week last November with a friend which was a bit of a spontaneous trip as we both have wanted to visit for a long time and just bit the bullet and booked. It's really easy to find somewhere to stay in Berlin with hotels, apartments and b&b's scattered all over the city - in the end, we settled on Jean Louis' Air B n B (check it out here) situated on Richard Platz in Neukölln, perfectly located in walking distance of shops and supermarkets and the metro station. Jean Louis and his family (and adorable cat!) were accommodating and friendly and his home was clean and stylishhh.

The kitchen/dining area in our b&b 
We wanted to cram in as much as possible during our stay and tried to see as much as we could, which wasn't hard as all of Berlin is brimming with colour and culture. Here are some things I recommend to see and do in and around one of Germany's best cities.


The Berlin Wall

Though it may seem like an obvious one, the Berlin Wall is a must if you want to visit a really interesting place and absorb yourself in Berlin's history. There are several parts to visit but we chose the Gedenkstätte section where you can also visit the small museum for free and go to the top for a panoramic view of the wall.


The East Side Gallery & a trip to an Photoautomat booth

The East Side Gallery is located along the river Spree in Friedichshain which is the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall still standing. This part of the wall is covered in different paintings from around 100 artists including the famous "My God, Help me to survive this deadly love" by Dmitri Vrubel and others. It's a must to explore to see one of the most colourful and creative parts of Berlin.

A Berlin Bucket List Must is getting your photo taken in the famous Photoautomat booth. They are all over Berlin and are only 2 € for a strip of four black & white photos - a cheap and cheerful memory to take home from your travels.



Neukölln & it's surroundings

Neukölln (which I still can't pronounce properly) is a great place for travellers wanting to explore a bustling area of Berlin with plenty of shops, cafes and bars. Walking around the area alone is enough to entertain you with street art a plenty and many things that will catch your eye and give you some creative inspiration.


The Ramones Museum

For all music lovers, this is a must visit. The museum is quite small and easy to get around. It's covered from head to toe in Ramones memorabilia and merch from their clothes, old concert posters to photographs and more. You can watch a documentary on the band as well as snippets from gigs and interviews. Afterwards you can enjoy a drink and cake whilst Ramones tunes are played throughout and, you also get a free badge with your entry fee - win!



Museum für Kommunication Berlin


We hadn't actually planned to visit this museum but failed on finding the place we wanted to go so spontaneously 
went here instead.

The entry was only about 3 € if I remember right and we both really enjoyed it. 
It was interesting us both being communications students
so we enjoyed learning about the evolution in telephones and post. 
I think the museum might actually be designed to entertain kids, but hey
we're big kids at heart and it was a lot of fun!


Checkpoint Charlie

Similarly to the wall, this is one of those must-visit parts of Berlin if you like a bit of history! There are several other Berlin Wall memorial areas surrounding, a Checkpoint Charlie museum and gift shops. 





The Christmas Markets & The Fernsehturm de Berlín 

Obviously you need to visit around the Christmas period to experience the Christmas markets so if you do plan to visit any other time of the year, I understand this may not be relevant. Nevertheless, if you do get the chance to go around then, the markets are a must! It was bitterly cold during our visit so there's nothing better than walking round a market where you can get mulled wine, beer, hot crepes and waffles and hot chocolates - is there? Nah. You can also take a spin on the ferris wheel or go ice skating and get some cute souvenirs to take home. Perfect to get you in the festive mood.


Fernsehturm de Berlín

Situated near Alexanderplatz, the tower is the tallest monument in Germany and can be seen from all over Berlin. You can also take a trip up the tower where you can be wined and dined with an epic view over Berlin, which sadly we didn't do - but seeing it is pretty amazing in itself!


Music @ West Germany Venue

On our last evening, we were lucky enough to catch Alex Calder and his band on his tour around Europe. It was held in a rather bizarre venue that looked a bit like a bathroom, as support Weyes Blood described it (it actually used to be a dentists, creepy...). The venue eventually filled out and made for an amazing evening accompanied by some amazing talent and jamming inc. Alex Calder, Aldhous RH & Sean Nicholas Savage followed by a dj playing all the good tunes. I was so thrilled to discover Weyes Blood, from California (who has the voice of an angel) and Sean Nicholas Savage from Canada as they are so different to anything i've ever heard before, and were true performers. Shout out to Weyes Blood who gave me a free CD, as I needed to keep my money for breakfast the next day - you are a babe.


That's a wrap for today's post - I hope you liked it. I'll be back tomorrow with where to shop in Berlin!

Pros & Cons Of University

1/27/16

Being at university for about two years now, I feel i've gathered what the good, the bad and the ugly sides of it are. For those applying or considering applying, I hope this will help you decide by taking advice from someone that's been through it themselves and can give a somewhat clear point of view! Here goessss.

Photo from Google
Pros:

  • University isn't just about going to do a degree, it's all the other shenanigans that come with it: the amazing people you meet, the parties, the socials, the societies, the opportunities! You will gain a lot by going to university that you wouldn't if you just stayed at home.
  • The obvious one: it looks good on your cv, duh. The fact you've dedicated 3 or more years of your time to studying a degree you're passionate about says that you're loyal and motivated, yaaa?
  • Student discounts. Maybe a less obvious one, but nevertheless an important one! Any bit of saved money, whether that's 20p or £10 makes me feel rich again.
  • Freedom! My parents have always let me be relatively independent but for those never having left home, this will be a big step! It allows you to do what you want whenever you want, to an extent though, your flatmates might not appreciate you walking around in your underwear either.
  • You may drink and may party a lot which is probably the best. Live it up, party till you pass out, no, i'm kidding- don't pass out, that's not a good idea. But have fun 'cause as a wise man once said, ahem, yolo.
  • You become an adult! Weeeey! 

Cons:
  • The obvious one: the debt. Living costs, drinking costs, shopping, everything costs a lot and you begin to realise just how fast money goes when you're a student. But I guess that teaches you a lot and you learn how to handle money better, right? Well I won't lie, i'm still learning. Money will be a big learning curve for sure.
  • Homesickness - some may get this, some may not. I guess it all depends on how close you are to home and your family. I've always been a home bird so for me it was and is difficult. I pretended and hoped it wouldn't be but I got homesickness a lot, especially being so far from home. What can I say, i'm just a big baby and I can't help it.
  • Uni lad culture. Some of it can be funny/banter and some of it you just get fed up with. 'Where are all the intelligent, decent boys?' you ask yourself. 'I am at bloody university after all!' Don't lose hope, they are somewhere but it's probably not that guy over there chugging his 100th beer and doing some dreadful 'dad dancing'.
  • Feeling 'lost', in every sense of the word. Lost on campus and not being able to find where your lecture is, lost in terms of 'am I on the right course? should I even be at uni?' and lost making your transition from teen to *shudders* adult. But you will be FINE! Take my word for it.

There you go, my pros and cons: experiences may vary. I hope they were in some way helpful...

Lots of love, Lucie Rose x

The Year Ahead

1/26/16

Get your own personalised bloggers planner here!
Yesterday I reflected back on what I achieved in 2015 but now it's time to think about what I hope to achieve over the next 11 months. With January exams and essays out the way, I can finally focus a little better on the year ahead!

I purchased this little planner above last year to get me motivated and organised with this blog once again and it seems to be working so far! The planner has everything blogger related from pages dedicated to wishlists, hauls, content ideas, notes and an inspiring quote before each month - I love it!

Anyway, on with my plans for 2016!

  • Work over the summer and see as many new places as possible.
  • I'd like to give more to others, help others and make others happier. I felt that in 2015 I was very lucky with my opportunities but on reflection i'd like to spend more time helping others out rather than helping myself.
  • Ideally, i'd like to pass 2nd year of university with a 2:1 (we'll seeeee). I also want to have a clearer idea of what i'll do after university by the end of the year...
  • Make my blog more successful and filled with good content than ever!
  • Have a great 2016, say yes and do new things!

And those are my 'resolutions', if you like. I didn't want to set myself anything too unrealistic that I know I won't keep to. Last year I made two very simple resolutions, to travel more and see more bands- and I did just that! It's important to write down your goals, look at them every so often to remind yourself what you're aiming towards then of course, look at them when the year is over and see what you managed to achieve...it can be really motivating!

So, what are your plans for 2016?

Lots of love, Lucie Rose x

The Anti-Bucket List 2015

1/25/16

Though we are almost a full month into 2016 (say whut), I thought I would do my own version of The "Anti-Bucket List" which I found over on WhatOliviaDid. I think it's the perfect way of kicking off this blog again for 2016 and onwards. Yep you heard me, i'm back for good and it feels a little bit weird if i'm honest. It's like I can't remember how to type anything other than an essay or references and this feels a little alien to me again. But I love my little space on the net and I don't want it to end so here I am! As they say it only takes about a month of doing something often to get into a habit of doing it, so hopefully by then it will feel as if I've never even left this blog!


The "Anti-Bucket List", in case you're wondering, is a way of reflecting back on the previous year and what you've already achieved, in short it's a little pat on one's back, if you like. How often do we focus on what we haven't done yet? Too often! We need to be praising ourselves for what we have done and how far we have come instead. So I hope that after this post, it encourages you to reflect back on what you have achieved, whether that was over the weekend, the day or the past year and you got your degree or decorated your room- whatever it is, write it down or just think back on it and I guarantee you'll realise you've came a lot further than you think!

And here we have it - my 2015 in a list!

  • So i'll start with the big 'un - I travelled to Asia (China to be precise) for the first time. The furthest i've ever been away from home and the longest flight i've ever been on. It was the scariest and most exciting experience i've had and I'm so glad I did it. 
  • While in China, of course I had to climb one of the many wonders of the world, the Great Wall. I also did this in 10000000% humidity, not easy folks.
  • I also learnt Tai Chi, tried delicious Chinese cuisine, attempted to learn the lingo, did Chinese calligraphy and made dumplings. 
  • I also visited Berlin (watch this space for a long awaited guide!), Bordeaux, Manchester, Aberystwyth, Leeds and visited London again for the first time in 8 years. I love going somewhere different so anywhere new is an achievement in my travels! (see all travel posts here)
  • I passed my first year at uni, ok not exactly with flying colours but I passed it despite spending a lot of my time eating and partying.
  • I saw some amazing new bands and discovered even better new music ie: Twin Peaks, TOPS, Foxygen, Lucy Rose, Alex Calder, The Parrotts, Tyler The Creator, Years & Years, The Orielles, Weyes Blood, Flaming Lips & several others at Liverpool Sound City.
  • I did my first ever face to face interviews for my blog! See here. Nerve wracking but a lot of fun.
  • I got myself a little part time volunteering job as a concert photographer thanks to a pal who encouraged me to do so.
  • I went to see a tv show be filmed for the first time ever, The University Challenge, and met the man behind the voice of the show (and yes he does pretty much speak the same way in real life).
  • I've started going to the gym regularly since September and have lost 10lbs so far...it's not been easy ain't gonna lie.
  • I started 2nd year at university and yes that is an achievement because at some points in first year I wasn't sure i'd even make it!
  • I fell more and more in love with Liverpool and did so many new things there! (see here)
  • I was in the same room as Shia Labeouf at the FACT. Is that an achievement? Idk
  • I visited the BBC studios for an open day in London and realised I want to work there more than anywhere else!
  • I got invited to two blogging events (read about them here and here) which made me as excited as a kid before Christmas.
  • And I loved 2015 more than any year ever.

Let me know if you do an anti-bucket list, i'd love to see it! And i'll see you again very soon with many more blog posts. I'm in it for the long run!

Lots of love, Lucie Rose x
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