Berlin at Christmas – by Maher Hatem


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages ago we ran a version of a photo competition in which we offered you the chance to win a EUR 500 travel voucher.  Remember?  Well, you can view the pics here, which might jog your memory a bit.
Anyway, the point is that a winner was determined through ‘likes’ on facebook, and that winner was Maher Hatem.  Maher chose to spend his EUR 500 on a trip to Berlin – an exciting and fascinating destination.  After having thoroughly enjoyed his time in Berlin, Maher wrote a short round-up of his trip for us.  There are some tasty tips in here, so it’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to read.  As they say in Berlin, ‘Bonne lecture’!

Maher's German reception was better than he could have hoped for

I have always heard about Germany and the culture of the German people, but couldn’t realize what it really means before my last trip to Berlin.

Berlin is a very clean city, where you can find anything you want very easily even if you don’t speak the language.  I have visited many cities in Europe, and Berlin is one of only a handful of this type of city.  Public transportation makes your life very easy; trams and the metro take you wherever you want.

German people are very friendly and helpful.

I found Berlin amazing during Christmas; the city is full of lights and decoration, and sometimes you feel that you are far away from the headaches of everyday life and you forget yourself in the environment of Berlin.

Berlin at Christmas time

What also seized our attention is the famous street, Friedenstrasse, which was very close to our Eurostars hotel.  On this street you can find plenty of things to do, such as shopping, and you can also find fancy restaurants where you can drink age-old wine and eat delicious steak.  We also saw some very fancy cars on this street, like Bugatti and Lamborghini.


It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t leave the city without visiting the Madame Tussauds wax museum, where the famous people of the world are reconstructed in wax.  The representation is so lifelike and so professionally achieved that you cannot believe it.

John Paul asks Maher to find George and Ringo

I also advise everyone to visit Berlin Zoo, which is one of the biggest in the world.  It includes a very large number of wild animals in addition to an Aqua Zoo where you can see beautiful fish painted with fantastic colours.  It was a wonderful experience for us to see all these animals.

Berlin Zoo

Another recommendation for travellers is to visit the Gardens of the World, which includes many types of gardens from around the world.  Here you can see many types of garden, from the east of the world to the west, including some Chinese architecture; it’s also a very nice natural place to visit and for photography enthusiasts to take photos.

Gardens of the World

Having had our fill of Berlin, we took the train from the famous Hauptbahnhof to Prague, where we spent New Year’s Eve.

I’d like to wish a happy new year to everyone and I hope that 2012 will bring an end to suffering all round the world and that peace will be restored everywhere.

Lastly, my best wishes for the team; I wish you all prosperity in 2012.

Duck of Peace wishes you a happy new year

We’d like to thank Maher for providing this roundup of what sounds like a greatly successful trip to Berlin.  Thank you also for providing these intriguing photos.  We’re so glad you both had a wonderful time, and we wish you and everyone else all the best for the coming year.

Maher and Nicholas agree to meet in Paris next year

You can win your own city trip – this time to Amsterdam – by following the guide here.  This competition will close in about two weeks time, so get involved while you still can.  You have to be in it to win it!

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About Michael

Arrogance, hostility, parsimony, rapacity, impatience; the five humours of the Englishman abroad are my most positive features and also my guide and solace through tribulations. I delight in coffee, cheese, and the music of Ray Charles, and you can catch me trying to form a queue anywhere from Centraal Station to Hoofddorpplein.

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