The historically curious side of me has always been keen to visit Berlin. I am one for Germanic countries and that, coupled with the idea of seeing a city so newly reunified, was enough to make me snap up the opportunity which arose to visit in October. Besides, I was feeling mighty tired and thought I could do with two days away from the rigours of London.
Unfortunately, I did not anticipate the extensive delay at Heathrow due to the fog and subsequently arrived at the Radisson Blu a little more frazzled than I’d intended to be. Had I arrived in better spirits, I expect I’d have donned a classic windbreaker and really gone for it on the sightseeing front but, alas, I found the comforts of my room too alluring to go out for long periods of time. I was therefore delighted by the hotel’s close proximity to the prominent tourist sights so I could scuttle back to the sanctuary of my room as and when. During my interludes of activity, I managed to see The Brandenburg Gate, The Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. I also did a little shopping at KaDeWe and even found time to hug some Berlin-Baren (see below).
As I said earlier, vigour was a rarity on this trip and, for that reason, I was glad I close to stay at the Radisson Blu. Not only is the location stellar, but they have rather cleverly created a mock terrace in the entrance hall come cafe come reception come aquarium. Yes, aquarium, or rather AquaDom. So impressive is the huge tank at the centre of the atrium that it is in itself a tourist site and one can take a lift through the centre of the cylinder. I delighted in drinking mint tea in the bar overlooking it while hoards of tourists were shuttled off the bus to take it in.
The rest of the hotel fared well in my opinion. Spacious, comfortable and well-appointed, I wanted for nothing in my room and on the occasions I contacted room service, was genuinely impressed by the German efficiency – the phone was answered after one ring both times and a bellboy dispatched in record time to assist me with my various requests. I gave breakfast a miss in an attempt to eat like a local (always an aim whilst abroad), but I did help myself to a very healthy and delicious portion of pasta in my room on the first evening and, on the strength of that one dish, can recommend the hotel cuisine.
So there we have it – a successful mini break. Not only did I manage to see some sights, but I also had some much-needed bed rest and even managed the rarest feat of all – packing a teeny tiny suitcase filled with cosmetic goods I actually used. But that’s a whole other post.