Tour of the Reichstag Building

If you are planning to visit the german capital, I strongly recommend including the parliament visit Berlin into your list. 

There are a couple of reasons for this: the first one – it is absolutely free, the second – it is unique and gives you access to the most beautiful views of Berlin. 

The German Reichstag with its glass cupola is the symbol of transparency of german democracy. In my opinion, the visit to Reichstag is the most important tour you can go on while in Berlin. 

Some facts about this visit: 

  • It is free of charge
  • Opening hours are from 8 in the morning until 9:45 in the evening. Entry to the building is every 15 minutes.
  • At the moment of booking, you have to know the names and nationalities of all the participants.
  • Booking must be made 1-2 weeks prior to the visit during winter time, and 3-4 weeks during the peak season. 
  • On the day of the visit, you must arrive 10-15 minutes before the beginning of the tour, as a very serious security check awaits you.

There are three options of the tour:  1.Just the tour of the Reichstag’s cupola 2. Visit of the plenary chamber and the tour in the Reichstag Dome 3. Lecture in the visitors’ gallery overlooking the plenary chamber and the tour in the Reichstag Dome

  • You have to have minimum things (entry with a suitcase is not possible)
  • Please have an ID or passport with you 
  • Be ready for a serious security check
  • For visits with children in trollers there is a separate entry in the building, where you will be directed by the tour workers
  • An audio guide is available in a big range of languages 
  • Website for tour registration is this one: https://www.bundestag.de/en/visittheBundestag/dome/registration-245686⠀⠀

Something important to know:

In case you did not manage to secure a booking on the website, please cross the road and go to the Visitors’ centre. They can give you a spot for the tour. In case there are no spots for visit during your days in Berlin, you can book a table in the restaurant on the roof of Reichstag. Not only will you have the best views of Berlin, but also access to the tour. 

I have visited the Dome three times now, and will gladly visit it many times more.  

Visiting Prague for a few hours

After we spent two and a half days in Germany, we bought tickets to… Prague. It was a long time on my wish list and being so close to the city of my dreams, we decided to go. Another reason – only 34€ for a return ticket and 3-hour journey. This is exactly what I was missing while living on the island. Freedom of movement, be it train, bus, car or plane and variety of destinations. Prague was on my wish list for over 5 years. Therefore I did not mind waking up at 4 in the morning, to catch up the bus at 4:45.

Sunrise caught us somewhere on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic. Admiring the scenery, one phrase from Vanilla Sky got stuck in my head: “Open your eyes. Open your eyes, David!” Little did I know then, who I will meet that day in Prague.

We arrived early morning when the city was still asleep. Quick wander in the Old Town square, while it was tourists free, was a great idea for beautiful pictures. We realized we had no local money, and when ordering our breakfast, tried to figure out why the pancakes were that expensive – 35€. They were 3,5 €, in fact.

When we returned to the city center half an hour later, it was already crowded and full of tourists and local artists. It was then, that we met the hero of our day and the source of our love towards Prague – Dave.

John Lennon wall in Prague

Meet Dave. Czech Dave. He was our tour guide in Prague. He also is the most passionate tour guide I have ever met in my life. A true lover of his home city, Prague. A great speaker and a superb psychologist. For 2.5 hours of our tour, he kept the group, (about 25 of us) entertained, motivated and curious.

I would like to tell you more about Dave’s life. When he was 18, he moved to the US to improve his English and accidentally stayed there 14 years. He is a fan of running. He participated in countless marathons and runs. The last one was on 10th of Sept of this year, in Prague. It all started years ago, once he was chosen to run for a cause, spreading awareness of potable water around the world. He ran 16 countries, on all continents with that NGO, and it was how he started traveling the world. Since then, many years later, he runs his own cause called Water is Life.

Before we started our tour of Prague, Dave managed to remember each one’ of us country of origin. I was amazed to meet people from so many countries. As the group was getting bigger by the minute, I felt truly blessed to be there. I was a citizen of the world, in Prague, together with other citizens of the world. We were all united by our love towards travel. It was amazing! We had people from 3 states in Canada and 5 in the US, Brazil, Colombia, UK, France, Germany, India, Turkey, Israel, Malaysia, Australia, Ukraine, and Moldova, of course.

Astronomical clock in Prague

Let me tell you a little about Free Tours. It is a worldwide movement, where volunteers, students, guides or anyone passionate about travel can become a guide in any city of the world. The tour is free of charge, it covers the main city attractions and it is tip based. You tip the guide, at the end of the tour, and this amount is completely voluntary. Lately, many tour companies started providing free tours, however letting the tourists know that they also provide paid tours of different attractions. Usually, it is not the company that the tourist is choosing to go on the tour with. It is always the guide. During the free tour, you bond so much with the tour guide, you like the way he or she tells the story of the city, and later you realize that you want more. And you go for a paid tour. This free tour we had in Prague was the first one we agreed to go to. Before we hesitated, and I am not sure why. Now I am eager to try this service in every city I will visit.

After lunch, we met with a couple of friends, who became locals 8 months ago and went to a magical place.

To be continued…

Cyprus Secret Beach

secret beach in cyprus

There have been two and a half years, since we moved to Cyprus. This island is, first of all, famous for its beautiful sea. By this time, I was sure we have made it to every single beach marked on the map and recommended by friends. Three summers, six months each. In 18 months of weekend exploring the island from East to West and North to South, we never had a chance to be alone on the beach. Never.

I was dreaming of finding a place like this, since the times when I had the most difficult job in the world. By the end of the day, I was so exhausted, all I wanted was to have my man by my side and be in a deserted place. Shame we never found one. Today, we finally did. We discovered the one and only. Beautiful. Empty. Secret. Our Beach.

I must admit, we have burnt our feet on the fire hot sand, before we made it to the beach. However, the time spent there, just the two of us, was unforgettable. Just imagine: no one running around, no screaming and shouting, no voices and laughs. Only the sound of the waves.

I felt like I was finally on a deserted island, and my inner introvert was super happy. What else can you dream of, when spending the day with the loved one? Beauty for your eyes and love for your heart. Perfect combination of pretty Mediterranean sea and the man you love.

Main Tower Frankfurt – a view over the city

When watching Frankfurt Skyline or walking around the city, you will definitely see this skyscraper. In the shape of a tube with a white and red spire.

We have not planned this visit. We were on our way to Bethmann Park (Chinese Garden) when I saw people on top of the building. To both of us, this attraction sounded like a great plan.

The ticket to the top of the Tower is 7.5€ for adults or 5€ for students (be ready to present your justificative document, regardless of your country of origin). There is a full check up of your belongings right after the ticket purchase, very similar to the one at the airport.

A super speedy elevator takes you in a matter of seconds to the 56th floor. Two more floors need to be walked on foot, then you have arrived. The city is underneath you. You feel like a bird flying very high, observing the city below you. We were really lucky with the weather. It was a beautiful, sunny day with temperatures around 30 degrees. We could see the whole Frankfurt and far beyond it.

You can visit Main Tower Frankfurt on a Sunday, inclusive. Be ready to meet many people on the top, thus queuing for a great spot with an amazing view.

The Chinese Garden was closed for maintenance, however on the street right next to it there was the annual BergerstraßeFest. It is the festival happening on one street, and it is very popular with the locals and tourists. International food and drinks, typical German beverages and delicatessen, clothes, toys, books – anything you can think of associated with a fest, was there. Two stages with live music were creating a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Hiking Samaria Gorge, Crete Greece

Early morning at Chania central station, a crowd in hiking boots and backpacks was waiting for the bus. I was surprised to see so many people, driven by the same goal. All were about to conquer the longest in Europe Gorge – Samaria, 17 km.

Our journey started from the top of Samaria National park, Xyloskalo going all the way down to the sea. We paid our entrance fee of 5€ at the main gates, and joyfully started our hike. At 10 in the morning the temperature was +36. The path was quite steep with huge, slippery stones lying underneath our feet. I caught myself thinking that the first kilometer I never lifted my head up, to admire the nature. First stop by a water point. Quick refreshment of hands and face and the journey continues. When planning your trip to Samaria Gorge, make sure to bring along your food, as there are no places to buy anything. Water is not a problem. You can refill your bottle at many potable water points along the way.

A few kilometers down there is a picnic area and shade! Suddenly you become aware of how many people walk along with you. They do not seem to be exhausted. When you are tired and hungry and your feet won’t walk, having such companions is a great motivation to keep going.

When you reach the midpoint of the Gorge, which is approximately 7 km, you meet more people, you hear stories of how beautiful the other half is, you kill all the procrastinating feelings inside you, top up your water bottles and continue going.

The road is breathtaking. Nature has shaped its landscapes incredibly beautifully, and each step awes you. When you start hearing the noise of a river, you begin anticipating the views that await around the corner. Indeed, it is a beautiful scene and the temperatures drop significantly by the water. The atmosphere is incredibly charged, your whole body is filled with power. You take your feet out of the most cold water, put on your shoes and continue walking.

At some point, you start realizing that there is not much left of your grand journey. The scenes become more and more beautiful and despite the tiredness, you try to remember the surroundings.

When finding yourself at the Exit gates, be ready to show your ticket. Feelings of great satisfaction and happiness are overwhelming your body. You have done it! You just walked 17 km of beautiful Greek nature.

  • I can recommend this trip ONLY to people who are physically fit. It is not an easy journey, regardless if you hike from the top down, or from the bottom up.
  • Your feet and legs will hurt in the next couple of days or so.
  • Only hiking boots or sport shoes must be worn.
  • Sunscreen and hats are strongly recommended.
  • Snacks and water bottles to be brought in advance, as there are no shops in the area
  • You can hike Samaria Gorge from 1st of May until 15th of October.
  • There are only 2 possible ways to get here. Arriving to Agia Roumeli village by ferry boat and hiking all the way up, or arriving by car or bus to Xyloskalo and descent your way down.
  • Both options restrain you by time. The ferry leaves at 17:30 from Agia Roumeli and the bus leaves after 19H from Xyloskalo.