Lamyerda Diaries

12 Hours in Berlin

 

Busy week, full schedule. I honestly thought of cancelling this trip but everything’s already paid for. Plus, the thought of a literally quick escapade with friends sounded like a good idea.

 

Flights:

Booking flights for Germany for the month of October could be a real pain. Although the main event for Octoberfest happens in Munich, buying tickets for the rest of Germany could also come with a hefty price so BOOK AHEAD. As for my case, it was just an overnight trip so we got lucky and secured a £75 (still a bit pricey for me if I’m honest) return flight with Ryanair.

 

There were 2 airports available and I opted to land in Schönefeld airport (a bit small and I would say basic) which was 40-50 minutes away from city centre.

 

Transport:

 

Transport is quite easy and accessible. From the airport, you can buy day tickets for €7 which I thought was really cheap. Other options would be taking a tram (mostly in the centre) and of course, buses (they also operate Night buses).

 

Essentials:

  • Berlin Subway App: this helped me navigate my way into Berlin. Although I know Google can easily tell me which, when and were, I pretty much like tracing my way into the lines.
  • Google: mainly for translation, direction, recommendations and literally every question you could think of.
  • Currency card: I literally just brought €1 (this wasn’t even mine, I just saw it lying on the floor) with me plus my card which worked perfectly well.

 

Impressions:

 

Certain areas have the signature Europe feel in it through its architecture. Other areas I would say would give you that typical city vibe. I was there on a Saturday but it’s not as crowded as I expected it to be so for the most part, I just sat on a bench and people watched and had my mini photoshoot!

 

Sites:

 

The morning I spent relaxing and sightseeing. I only had a few hours to spare to I just went for the main attractions.

Brandenburg Gate

I was here midday and there were a decent amount of tourists but not too much to make it impossible to have a photo. Take note, I was alone this time so I was just using my tripod + camera + wifi phone + everyone staring to capture this. Hashtag lakayongpake. Lol.

Reichstag Building (Parliament)

 

My personal favourite would be the memorial. I just thought it was so rich of history and imagined the plight of everyone during this difficult time.

I was exhausted so I just chose to relax and found this sweet spot! Couldn’t help but take pictures!

For the next few hours, I mostly bonded with this bunch and we’re lucky cause there was this Lights Festival by the square which we had the chance to see.

I regret not being able to see the wall art/graffiti but will probably come back with more hours next time. So there’s my 12 hours! I haven’t had time to edit videos yet but will post it here once done. Taaaa!

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Lamyerda Diaries

Lamyerda Diaries: Level up in Amstie

“Balang araw, magtatravel tayo. Yung tipong, uy magkita naman tayo sa Europe para magkape; or overnight naman tayo sa USA para mag grocery. One day, antay lang tayo.”

Dati, pangarap lang namen ito. Yung levels lang namin is pang A.S.E.A.N. Tours lang hahahaha ( Alcala, Solana, Enrile, Aparri, Namabballan). A really wild dream we never thought would come true. Kasi nga naman, paano? Parang impossible. Parang malabo. Paano maaachieve? Pero, kaya pala. Sipag, tyaga, tiwala – we made it happen! It may have taken a decade, we may be incomplete (for now) but ACHIEVE!!! Finally, di na po ito drawing, totoo na talaga mga veh! And the chosen becky destination: Amsterdam!

This was more or less just a weekend trip to celebrate our dear Janus’ big 30. Also our chance to bond na din since it’s been a while since lumarga ang mga tita.

Nag antayan nalang ang mga tita sa Schipol Airport. From there, you can buy day tickets which is for unlimited transportation within Amsterdam + return tickets to Schipol Airport (outside the city). This is perfect for when you are aiming to explore the whole city and if medyo tamadchi kang mag alay lakad. If masipag ka naman maglakad, no need to get the day tickets. They now do contactless payments or just get as needed tickets from the vending machine.

We wanted to stay in the heart of the city so we looked for hotels right in the middle of the red light disctrict. We did find an affordable b&b however if you’re a picky traveler, waley siya! It’s good enough to sleep in pag pagoda tragedy na but it’s not the best. Also, dinig mo din yung ingay and langhap mo din yung mga ganap sa labas so if you want to really relax, medyo layo ka ng beri light. The good thing though, paglabas mo, anjan na agad ang mga pasabog! Kulang nalang mapagkamalan ka ring babae sa bintana.

Super chill lang talaga ng weekend na itey. No plans. No itineraries. Super scrung lang wherever tapos sabay lafang on the side. Siyempre as part of the city adventure, I let them try everything. Lol. As in EVERYTHING! Pati yung pagnood ng mga pa-rated SPG ni Mayor pinatulan para avail!

For the birthday dinner, ang Lola Anut natin nagpa lafang ng bongga! Japanese buffet at Shabu-Shabu which is in the Rembrandtplein area. Guysh, super panalo siya especially if betchikolah nyo talaga maging haponesa. I tried to capture the moment kaso, food is life! Isa lang ang na document ko.

At nakaka shala din na sa ipad ka lang oorder tapos after ilang minutes, anjan na ang mga paandar! Umabot sa point na kinain na ng sistema si sis Khie at super pindot ng kung anek anek and ang ending, dalawang bandehadang sushi ang sinerve. Di namin kinaya mga besh. Buti may pinay na kinunchaba para makalusot.

Unfortunately, na-confirm din namin na wala talagang blue light district for the merlats and mamshies. Anyway, busog parin naman ang mga mata sa dami ng sightings. Also, busog din sa food!

For the windmills, you have to go outside of the city which also means di siya sakop ng day pass ticket. On my previous visit, we took the train which costs €6 return pero there’s a long walk from the station to the place. This time, we tried the bus which was €11 but it will stop right outside the Zaanse Schanse museum so no more haggardo na!

Lastly, di macocomplete ang aurahan without a random trip or lss! If before kantahan, this time sayawan naman! Dati nung college, we really love to dance- mapa sa bahay, kanto, club, kalye kahit saan wapakels lang. Siyempre before, malalambog pa ang mga shutawan pero this time, tita levels na so bear with us dahil nangalawang na! Anyway, ito na po ang gist ng aming weekend escapade with a mix of our level up lss. Enjoy!

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Blabbermouth, Lamyerda Diaries

Lamyerda Diaries: Hola Espanya! *update: video added!*

Time and time again, my friends and I always plan on going to New York but for some reason (second time now) it just doesn’t get a green light! We didn’t want to waste our week off so we just decided to head somewhere with a beach and just chill and we found just the perfect place – Barcelona, Spain

FLIGHTS

I had this spur of the moment thing and booked a flight just because it was cheap. Although it was a really good bargain (£55 for return flights per person), we ended up spending the money we saved from flights with the B&B (booked a 20:30 flight then got delayed, landed 1am but only got out 2am) so really, it just broke even.

From London, the usual budget airlines (Easyjet and Ryanair) offer flights to Barcelona el Prat which is near the city centre. There are also 2 other Airports which I found to offer cheaper flights but at a further proximity.

From the airport, they usually have the Metro which is their main transport system. We landed at around 2 AM and there were Night buses available which we took and fyi it was really packed at that hour (cost: €4 one way to city centre); They also have Aerobus which is mainly for airport transfers. I originally booked return tickets from them (cost: €10) but our flight got delayed and they only run till 1am; Uber or MyTaxi (download the app in advance) is also available if you want less hassle from the commute and much faster journey.

ACCOMODATION

Since it was peak season, rates were expected to go higher and after some thorough research, I ended up booking a room from AirBnb. Since we anticipated a summer weather, I mainly looked for 1) Has airconditioning 2) Good location 3) Value for money. Luckily, I found Valeria’s flat which was only 7 minute walk from Plaza Espanya and 2 minute walk to Metro station- Hostafrancs. It was also surrounded with cafes/restos and 24/7 convenience stores. For our 5 day stay, we paid a reasonable amount which ticked my last requirement. Our host was really nice and we mostly just had the place to ourselves. If you do plan to visit Barcelona, I highly recommend her place. You can message me for her contact number.

ITINERARY

I usually just have a list of places I want to see but nothing too detailed. My go to app’s usually through Pinterest and Sygic Travel but I recently discovered Google Trips (App store or Google playstore) and it has everything to make your trip more systematic and efficient. You can save your booking details (flights, hotels, tickets) and make day plans through their list of places to see and you just pick what you want and it can auto create a route for your conveniece! Ultimate travel hack! There’s also this app called Tiqets where I got our passes for Sagrada.

All in all, I would say it’s best to explore the city for a good 2-3 days and 1 extra day could be spent for day tours outside Barcelona.

GETTING AROUND

I would say London’s underground system trained me well so adjusting with Barcelona’s came off effortlessly. If ever in doubt, you can always rely on Google Maps or download the TMB app which is dedicated to their metro/ transport system.

We bought a 48-hour travel card – it’s like an unlimited pass for trains, buses, airport transfers and costs €15 which you can get on the actual station or online (order online to get 10% off then pick it up on any station).

Other than the metro, we like to do a bit of walking which we more or less did like 75% of the time and with Google Trips journey planner feature, this gets easier on those curious toes.

EXPLORE

We woke up really late and managed to go out just in time for lunch. What did we choose to eat you’d ask? Of course – Paella!!!! With the help of Yelp, we found this restaurant just a few minutes away from the BnB called Portonovo Silvestre. I loved their paella (€14.50) and adored their sangria (€15 for a large jug)!

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After a really really sumptuous lunch which left me buzzed at noon, we had to head to our first stop – Parc Guell. To be honest, we were taken aback with the heat and add to that being plastered with wine. To make things worst, we had to do a bit of hike to get to the view point so my heart was really pounding! I would suggest wearing really light clothing, comfortable shoes and not to get sloshed at noon and pre-hike! The view though made our ordeal bearable.

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I usually just choose which site I’m usually dying to explore and want to spend money on and Sagrada Familia was one not to miss and probably 1 of the highlights of this trip. Sans the heat and the massive number of people in, the architecture could almost speak for itself. I was in awe with the intricacy of details and all the time spent for it’s completion which by the way is due on 2026. Also, book your tickets online (got mine thru Tiqets app). If you’re also aiming to get good pictures without the overwhelming number of tourists in the background, I would suggest visiting at around 6-7 am. It just felt like we had the who church to ourselves thus, picture worthy!

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Walking around, I just noticed just how the vibe feels so alive and I love that there are trees everywhere! If you go to La Rambla- it’s a whole tree lined street stretch where tourists mostly flock. There are shopping stores, restaurants, souvenir vendors and benches where you can just sit, relax and people watch.

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Some of Gaudi’s famous designs: Casa Mila & Casa Batllo which is a walking distance from each end

Gothic quarter – this is basically their old town and has narrow streets and old school spanish balconaje.

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La Barceloneta – This was the other highlight of our trip and enjoyed the most. Rest and relaxation achieved!

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Fuente Magica – They normally have scheduled fountain shows on certain days and it’s just a lovely sight to see.

Day Trip: Montserrat

On our extra day, we decided to visit Montserrat, a gorgeous mountain range which offers spectacular views. Also within those range lies an actual monastery and a basilica where you will find the Black Madonna (The image of the Virgin Mary).

From Plaza Espanya, you can take the R5 train straight to Montserrat. We bought tickets from a tourist centre in Plaza Catalunya which costs 35 euros and that would include return tickets via the R5 + Metro train, Aeri (cable car), funiculars and lastly their audio visual room. They also have museum but we opted to just explore and hike.

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The hike going up would probably take around 2 hours for noobs like me. There were some trails you could follow although there were also rough areas but the view from top is amazing. I would suggest to bring some water and snacks to munch especially once you reach the top. Also, wear comfy clothes (I wasn’t prepared for the hike and was wearing a skirt and chucks)!

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Overall, going to Barcelona is a one stop holiday shop if you ask me. If you like the city and rich architecture, the beach to just relax, flavourful food/ drinks and if you’d like to go nature tripping or hiking, it’s all within arms reach! Adeu!

 

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