I’ve been to three of the four major Balearics islands now, Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca and love them all equally. The ‘white isle’ of Ibiza for its club and music scene, Menorca for its peaceful coves and UNESCO declared Biosphere Reserve, and Mallorca for its historic towns PLUS its beautiful beaches and nightclubs. The best of both worlds you might say. Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic islands but is still only the 7th largest in the Mediterranean after Greece’s Euboea! No – I hadn’t heard of it either.
Mallorca – Magaluf bay. Source
Whenever I’ve been to Mallorca I’ve had Magaluf as my base. Magaluf has been Mallorca’s most popular resorts for years, known back in the 80s and 90s for its bustling resorts and infamous party scene. I’ve been part of that ‘scene’ too, and no doubt referred to the island back then as ‘Majorca’. For those concerned whether it’s suitable nowadays for couples and families, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”. The resort has cleaned up its act since 2015 so is now an even nicer destination … but still with the localised nightspots for those who want them. Continue reading
Berlin is a city I’ve visited twice now. Once on a school A-level trip back in 1992 and once just last month as we watched the Berlin Marathon. It was on day 1 of our sightseeing that we introduced ourselves to the city with a 35 minutes walk from the Brandenburg Gate down to “Checkpoint Charlie” but I really wanted to see more of the infamous Berlin wall.
Berlin Wall – East Side Gallery
Stumbling across many billboards dotted across the city describing ‘Der Berliner Mauer’ made we want to see an original stretch of it even more, and where better to see it than the ‘East Side Gallery’, SE of the city centre on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (Google link here). It’s the longest art gallery in the world with a length of 1,316 meters.
There are many other isolated pockets of the wall with the ‘Berlin Wall Memorial‘ on Bernauer Str and the Topography of Terror on Niederkirchnerstraße 8 being two great locations. However on this occasion the 4 of us wanted to visit this graffitted section with its famous artworks of Honecker, a Trabi car and various other thought-provoking pieces of artwork. Continue reading
Of course I’m not advocating rushing around a city in 35 minutes and certainly not somewhere as deep and meaningful as Berlin. However while plotting a route on our 2nd full day in Berlin this blue-spotted route appeared in front of us on Google Maps, one which you could easily turn into a full half day with various add-ons.
So what is this 35 minute walk? Well simply put it goes from The Reichstag > Brandenburg Gate > Hotel Aldlon > The Jewish Memorial > Potsdamer Platz > Checkpoint Charlie.
We were in Berlin for the marathon the next day on the Sunday so we wanted to see some sights but without having to walk too far. We had the day after the marathon on the Monday for that. So my little route encompasses 2 historical structures, a “comedy” moment spot, a newer memorial installation for some contemplation, a famous square and finally a fairly ordinary location which suddenly became suddenly became infamous in 1961. Continue reading