To escape the stressful organisations of finding the best party for New Year’s Eve that suits all your friends, preparing some great food and buying remarkably chic clothes, Katharina and I thought it would be great to book a trip to Berlin and spend some relaxing days away from home.

Together with our boyfriends we spent 3 very lovely days in Berlin exploring Germany’s largest city with all its interesting sights and history. Since my boyfriend and I had already spend some time in Berlin before, we knew all the well-known sights of Berlin like the Brandenburg Gate, the Victory Column, Reichstag, Unter den Linden with the Berliner Dom, Hackesche Höfe, etc., so we used this visit to Berlin to take a closer look at Berlin’s history.

We visited, for example, the Frankfurter Tor and the Karl-Marx-Allee, which is a broad street lined with glorious apartment buildings in the style of socialist classicism. Those buildings were created as palaces for the working class and supposedly represent the strength and engeneering prowess of the GDR.
We also visited Check Point Charly and the “Mauermuseum am Checkpoint Charly”, where the “best border security system in the world” is documented. It tells the visitors more about the history of the Berlin Wall, why it was build, how it was constructed and how it was protected. Also presented are the history of international non-violent protest as well as photos, documentations, and instruments ( hot-air balloon, escape cars, chair lift and a mini submarine) of succeeded attempts to escape.

The following link also provides basic information about the Berlin Wall: image t.gif

As the final highlight of our trip we planned to go to the New Year’s Eve open-air party between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, where one million visitors from all over the world welcomed in the new year 2008. On the Internet the party was advertised as “A two-kilometre-long party with show stages, international stars and stage acts, special highlights, laser and light shows, international food as well as the world-famous Berlin New Year’s Eve fireworks. The party goes on long after midnight with an open-air open-end discotheque“.
As the weather was quite cold, we decided to have dinner in a restaurant first and go to the party a bit later. When we travelled from the restaurant to the Brandenburg Gate, at each tram-station congestion of the party at the Brandenburg Gate was announced. When we arrived at the “Straße des 17. Juni” we tried to make our way nearer to the Brandenburg Gate, but we gave up somewhere approximately 600 metres away, out of sight of the Brandenburg Gate. Without anything to drink we waited for the countdown to begin. All the people around us started looking at their watches nervously and suddenly the fireworks began somewhere behind the trees. At quarter past twelve everyone around us left the big party.
We walked around a bit and watched how the people left the city in the dirt and smoke.

All in all I can say that it was a very nice visit to Berlin at New Year’s Eve, we had a relaxing stay with a lot of fun, but the party at the Brandenburg Gate did not live up to its promise!