A Trip To Berlin: Day 2

Our second day in Berlin started bright and early as we set out to spend the day at the Berlin Tropical Islands! The Tropical Islands is a tropical theme park located about 50km outside of Berlin. The Islands are housed in a former airship hangar and boasts its own tropical rainforest, artificial beach and the biggest waterslide in Germany! This was somewhere we definitely did not want to pass up an opportunity to visit!

After around about an hour’s train journey from Berlin City Centre to Brand, we were greeted with a free shuttle bus to the ‘Island’. From the outside, the former airship hangar looked big, but we both questioned how it would house everything on the inside – and boy were we surprised! The place was like a Tardis! The moment you walk in you are hit with a sweltering heat, very similar to the sensation you feel when you get off a plane in a very hot place. It’s hard to take everything in when you first enter; there are giant tropical trees everywhere, hot air balloons floating round and the roof of the hangar is up in the gods.

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After we had changed into our swimwear and got our bearings, we decided to head over to the ‘Amazonia’ section of the Tropical Islands. Amazonia was actually outside the hangar and it comprised over a number of small to medium sized swimming pools, each with their own lazy river. But the crème de la crème had to be the outdoor rapids! You go down in your pair/group and get thrown all over the place, only before plummeting down the 6 foot drop into a pool at the end.

After we had worked up an appetite from all the excitement, we headed for lunch. The Tropical Islands offered a range of different cuisines and anything you bought whilst inside was chargeable to your bracelet you were given, which you paid off at the end of the day. The system was efficient and worked like a treat as we grabbed our pizza and beer with no fuss at all. After lunch we decided to play some mini golf and it must say something about how good the Islands were because even the mini golf course was amazing!

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There was no time to waste after mini golf, we then took a dip in the lagoon, before having a relax on the beach. It was great to see how everything felt like an actual real Tropical Island, despite the fact that we were in a disused aircraft hangar in the middle of Germany! After a quick trip to the beach bar, we then set about exploring the rainforest, home to flamingos, tortoises and a vast number of fauna.

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We finally left the Berlin Tropical Islands at around 7PM having spent the whole day there! I would definitely recommend a trip to the Tropical Islands if you are in Berlin with a day to spare and nothing to do! We then headed back to central Berlin for dinner and drinks. One thing I did notice about the nightlife in Berlin was how upbeat the atmosphere was, it felt like everyone there was having the time of the their life!

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A Trip To Berlin: Day 1

At the start of the month, my girlfriend and I decided to take an impromptu trip to the German capital of Berlin. Having only ever driven through Germany in passing, I was looking forward to soak up some local culture and cuisine. 

Our adventure began with an early flight from Manchester which arrived in Berlin at around 10:30am on Tuesday 2nd of May. After 10 minutes of trying to figure out which train to take to the centre, we managed to get on the right train. Well, technically it was the right train, however unfortunately for us, it was going the wrong way! After attempting our best German with the train conductor, we finally figured out what train we needed to get and eventually we arrived in central Berlin at 12:00pm!

Our first stop in Berlin was a visit to the infamous Berlin Zoo – keeping up with our tradition of visiting a zoo in every country we visit. Berlin Zoo is home to over 18,000 animals, the largest amount in any of Europe’s zoo’s. Entry to the zoo and aquarium was only €35 between us which was very reasonable considering how good it is…

Before we could even think about looking at the animals, we needed some food, so we headed over to the zoo’s restaurant. Here I tried my first German cuisine of the holiday, a schnitzel! I didn’t know what to expect but I loved it! It was basically just like a huge chicken nugget, heavenly or what?!

After we had gotten a taste for Germany, we began exploring the huge zoo. The variety of animals is absolutely amazing, they have beavers, jaguars and armadillo’s to name but a few. Oh and did I mention, they had a polar bear?! Yup a real life polar bear, not a brown bear wrapped in a duvet, a real life polar bear! We were amazed at how good the zoo was and we both agreed that it was possibly one of the best we had ever visited!

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After the zoo we headed to our hotel to check in, via the tram. Similarly to Barcelona and Amsterdam, I noticed how heavily reliant a lot of the ‘natives’ are on public transport and Berlin opitimised this! All of the tram systems were easy enough to navigate and we managed to find our hotel with ease. The hotel was perfectly located and had everything we required!

Once we had unpacked and got changed, we headed out for some dinner! Readers of our Iceland trip can probably guess where we went for dinner on the first night… the Hard Rock Cafe! As ever, the atmosphere and food was exquisite as always and Hard Rock Cafe Berlin is another one we can tick off our list!

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Following dinner, we headed out for a few drinks before we then went back to the hotel. Usually I rate how expensive somewhere is judging on the price of a pint of beer, and to be honest I didn’t think Berlin was that expensive (compared to Iceland anything is cheap)!

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Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tale: Review

After 6 years away from the big screen, Jack Sparrow is back in what is, in my opinion, one of the best Disney films in a long while! Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tale is the fifth instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The story follows Jack Sparrow as he forges an uneasy alliance with astronomer Carina and Will Turner’s son, Henry Turner, as they voyage across the sea seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon. 

What I love most about this film is the villain, Salazar. Originally a Spanish Navy officer, Salazar sailed the seas hunting pirates until he was tricked by Jack and sailed into the Devil’s Triangle where Salazar and his crew became undead. Salazar is one of the best villains I think I have seen in recent years, he reminded me a lot of Darth Vader – how they both have such a huge onscreen presence and take absolutely no shit from anyone, killing anyone that gets in his way. He is definitely the scariest villain from the Pirates series and conveys his ferocity from the off. His crew is awesome as well, just as scary as Salazar and making for one very intimidating army.

I’m in two minds about the plot, I enjoy the whole concept of Will’s son searching for the Trident of Poseidon to get rid of Will’s curse makes sense and flows with the the rest of the series. However, what bugs me is how there has been no mention whatsoever of the Trident of Poseidon in any of the previous films, and whilst I understand about there being different ideas for different films etc, in all of the previous films everyone has acted as if the treasure which was in focus for that particular film is the greatest treasure of them all whereas in reality it appears that the Trident is. Hopefully in future films there will be less of a focus on the treasure and a differing storyline, perhaps more of exploration?

This is definitely a film for the fans of the Pirates series as there are a number of easter eggs dotted throughout, obviously with such a focus on attempting to clear the sea of all curses so that Will Turner can be free, shows that this film has more to do with 1, 2 and 3 of the pirates series rather than the fourth movie. I love how members of the original cast are retained in each film for example Gibbs and Scrum, which makes the film feel a lot more familiar, which helps after the considerable amount of time there has been between Worlds End and Dead Men Tell No Tale. The post credits scene was awesome as well – be sure to check back soon as I will be posting my thoughts on where the Pirates series is going following this!

The only disappointment I have with Dead Men Tell No Tale is the lack of ship battles! Ship battles are something we see in an abundance in the first three films however there was a disappointing lack of them for my liking in the latest two instalments. Sure there are plenty of battles in various locations in the film, however I loved seeing the firepower of the Black Pearl as it sails up to enemy ships and engages them in a battle to the death!

Go and watch, wait for the DVD or avoid altogether? – Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tale is arguably one of the best in the series so make sure you go and give it a watch!

Rating: 8.5/10

13 Reasons Why: Review

13 Reasons Why is an American drama-mystery television series based on the 2007 novel. The series focuses on high school student Clay Jenson and his friend Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide after suffering a series of demoralising circumstances brought on by individuals at her school. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah before her suicide details the thirteen reasons why she ended her life.

So I’m somewhat late to all of this 13 Reasons Why hype but better late than never hey?! I absolutely loved the first series and the way that they ended things in the last episode got me extremely disappointed when I found out series 2 isn’t scheduled for release until 2018.

I must warn you before you watch it, this is quite a graphic programme which does cover a lot of taboo subjects, however I do think it is a must watch for teenagers and young adults to make sure they take away some of the very important messages the series covers. I think the messages the series conveys is probably why it has been so popular, I myself have known people who have been in a similar situation to Hannah and I feel that if I had watched 13 Reasons Why a few years ago then I would have been able to deal with situations a lot better and offer much more valuable support.

Away from the messages that this show so brilliantly conveys, the build-up and story is fantastically pieced together – granted the opening few episodes are quite slow however it all builds up to the final couple of episodes and is well worth the initial grind. As well as a fantastic story, there is a great cast as well, Katherine Langford who plays Hannah Baker was particularly impressive and stood out to me, as I think she managed to perfectly capture all the motions a teenage girl goes through.

What makes the show so relatable to people and one of the reasons why I believe it has received such a great reception is the concept of the show. Having one episode or ‘tape’ per person gives us a real insight to each characters life and their actions and reasons for their actions. This allows you to fully understand the character and I think this what makes the series so compelling and hit home so hard.

To watch or not to watch? – For me, shows like 13 Reasons Why make my Netflix subscription completely worthwhile! I absolutely love 13 Reasons Why and urge to you to watch it!

Rating: 9.2/10

 

POPINABOX #2 May 2017

After a great first months subscription to Popinabox in April, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Mays delivery! The trio of Pop Vinyls arrived midway through the month and I have to be honest, it was a disappointing selection!

The first Pop which I had been sent in May’s delivery was Uncle Rico from the film Napoleon Dynamite, a Pop which I had marked as one I wanted on the Popinabox website. The design is great and mirrors that of Uncle Rico in the film, and to make things even better it goes perfectly with my Napoleon Dynamite figure.

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The second Pop from May’s delivery was Holden from the American Horror Story Hotel series. Having never watched American Horror Story or ever had the inkling to watch it, I feel as if this Pop was wasted on me. That said, the figure does look great and the blood around the mouth really sets it apart.IMG_1768

The third and final Pop for May was Sarah Manning from the Orphan Black TV series. Again, similarly with AHS, Orphan Black is a show I have never watched so I didn’t really have any idea who she is! The Pop itself is fairly standard, it has good detailing but there is nothing which really sets it apart from other figures!

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Pop Ratings:

Uncle Rico – 3.5/5

Holden – 4/5

Sarah Manning – 2.5/10

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So not the best of months for May’s delivery but hopefully we will have a much better delivery for June! If you want expand your own collection with POPINABOX, use code SUPERNOOD-R1 at the checkout for a discount!

A Dog’s Purpose: Review

A Dog’s Purpose is a 2017 American comedy-drama film based on the 2010 novel by the same name. It follows the multiple lives a dog leads and a dogs purpose in each of these lives, as the title suggests.

Marley and Me really did set the bar for emotional dog films. No film has really even come close to reaching its level, never mind bettering it. Unfortunately, A Dog’s Purpose isn’t quite up to that standard, however it is a highly enjoyable film!

Plot wise there isn’t a whole lot to say which isn’t in the trailer, we see a number of different lives one dog leads ranging from a German Shepherd Police dog to a an ice cream loving Corgi. The story is compelling mind, and it will definitely keep you engrossed throughout.

Lets be honest, A Dog’s Purpose isn’t going to break any box office records anytime soon, however it is a very watchable film which will take you through the motions. And if you are a dog owner yourself, this will definitely make you want to give your dog a huge cuddle when you get home as this film really does show how important dogs are in our lives.

Go and watch, wait for the DVD or avoid altogether? – A Dog’s Purpose definitely isn’t going to be up there as a contender for film of the year but it is a very enjoyable feel good film. If I was you then I would wait for the DVD.

Rating: 6.2/10