Several years ago, my friend from high-school and I made a pact that we will once meet somewhere in Europe without our husbands and kids. A few weeks ago, we finally completed the mission. We chose to go to Berlin for a long weekend in November, I was happy to discover that there was the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin.
The hotel belongs to the 25hours hotels chain. It is situated right at the footstep of the Berlin Zoo, and you have a view over the monkey pavilion. That’s also why the popular bar on the top of the hotel is called Monkey Bar. I like this chain of hotels. We have stayed in one 25hours hotel in Zurich with Alex and Chloe-Sofia so I knew I would love this hotel as well. If the weather was more beautiful, we would have borrowed bicycles because it’s a very cyclist-friendly city.
As it was raining and quite cold, we decided to check first some second-hand stores that had a great review online. There is a big second-hand culture in the Czech Republic, and so we were expecting to find some unique pieces in Berlin. And we were quite disappointed. Our expectations were too high. I found the clothes shabby, wrinkled, with a funny odor.
The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe are sights that everyone should visit when they come to Berlin. I think it is a moral imperative to never forget our past and make sure that the same thing won’t happen again.
As I am coming from a post-communist country, it made me sick in the stomach to see the reminders of how things were. I always think of how lucky and blessed I am that I experienced communism only for 12 years. But from my perspective, it symbolizes broken dreams, divided families, and several generations that were impacted by fear and insecurity.
When you ask some of my friends who live in the Czech Republic how they feel now, I am sure they would say that it’s the same as in any other free country in the world, but I dare to disagree. I can see that people don’t trust those in power, the corruption level is high, and when I talk to people, they say that that’s how things are. I wonder if things are different in the ex-Eastern part of Germany. But as far as it concerns the Czech Republic, even thirty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, things didn’t change much for regular people.
Berlin is one of the cities everyone should visit at least once in their life. As I mentioned, it is a young and vibrant city full of history, culture and impressive architecture. I would like to come back in the summer with my family. We can take a stroll through one of its many parks, visit some museums and the ZOO with Chloe-Sofia. And when we come back, we will stay at 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin again.