A bit of a surreal stroll around Tiergarten

Tiergarten is a huge inner-city park in Berlin, named after the ‘tier’ (dier / animals) placed here for hunting in the 16th century by the electors of the Holy Roman Empire. As you do.

Today, it’s known as the green lung of the city and includes the Berlin Zoo in one of its corners, with over 19,000 animals that help contribute to global breeding programmes.

I took a stroll on a rainy day so it was pretty deserted, which made some of the hunting statues even creepier, and the pop-up shrine to Michael Jackson (wet teddy bear and all) a little too uncomfortable.

As you emerge from the park at the one end, the Berlin Victory Column shines in the sky in bright gold, celebrating the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War. I just wonder how they polish the statue of Victoria at the top!

The Monkey Bar

A bar in the sky in the middle of Berlin, right next to the Berlin zoo, filled with branches, leaves and brilliant food.

Das Stue!

What looks like a monument from the outside is actually one of Berlin’s best-loved boutique hotels, Das Stue. Right on the edge of a park, it’s comfy, convenient, a little luxurious and something quite unique in the middle of a bustling city. I won’t mention the Apple screen and keyboard intergrated into the TV and music system, the monogrammed slippers and gown, or the digital controls across the entire room. And the foyer. You could stand there for ages just taking it in. Old and new, no one else does them both quite like Europe.

Welcome to Germany

Last thing I expected to see at Berlin airport, but fascinating to catch a glimpse of other cultures.