It’s early evening in Berlin. The cafe tables fill with drinks and the streets come alive with the sounds of the after-work crowd. As I walk down Alte Schonhauser Strasse, I’m lured in by hip bookstores and boutiques and I already know I’m going to like this neighborhood. I have 24 hours in Berlin, and this is where I’m going to spend them.
Sunrise is an amazing time to see Berlin. The whole city is asleep and it’s so quiet I can hardly believe I’m in a place known for its perennial construction. When I arrive at the Brandenburg Gate, the huge square in front of it is empty. I’ve never had a major monument all to myself before, and I savor the moment and its solitude.