I have to admit I’ve never understood the hype about Berlin, until i visited it and FELL HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH IT.
Would I say it’s my favourite city? I couldn’t say.It’s a toss up between London and Berlin.
I went to Berlin with my friend Jamie, whom I met whilst studying in Mainz. Everything started well, we missed our 1st coach. It wasn’t our fault though… well… The bus stop where our bus was leaving from wasn’t that clear, and in frankfurt, they like to keep you on your toes and so hardly have any signs. So what did we do? After a confusing, half understood phone conversation with the staff of meinfernbus.de we had to book a new coach for later that day. luckily meinfernbus.com were lovely and gave us a discount for being clueless tourists.
So to pass the time as we were waiting for our next bus, we drank the time away and happily got very merry in a seedy, smoky internet café in the depths of frankfurt’s train station. We continued to get very merry on the bus to Berlin as it was going to be a long 7 hour journey.
By the time we arrived at our hotel, it was about 2am. Walking through dimly lit streets in Berlin trying to find our hostel definitely got the heart rate going! The night was a warm one and when we finally arrived at the hostel we came across some of the guests chilling out in the court yard. We met a Kiwi, Chris and half German, half Mancunian girl whose name escapes me, and proceeded to spend the night chatting with them. One regret of mine was that we didn’t get to meet up with them again, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be.
We spent the rest of our time with Jamie’s friend Falk who lives in Berlin and he showed us the student side of Berlin, which was sick.
Naturally, we did all the touristy bits.. well most of them. We couldn’t find Checkpoint Charlie. It turned out that on our attempt to find it we’d actually travelled the complete opposite direction and instead came across this memorial to those who tried and failed to make it over the wall. It was really touching, as we walked passed a statue which played a list of these peoples names on repeat.
WARNING: Those men who you can get a photo with at the Brandenburger Tor charge you money. This was a wonderful surprise to me as you can tell in this picture which was taken seconds after he demanded €2. Out of spite, i short changed him. HA!
We spent the rest of our time mostly in and around Kreuzberg and Görlitzer Park. It’s pretty much the student/ hipster central, but without the pretentiousness.
Görlitzer Park: Subtle
Falk took us to an abandoned Eis Fabrik (Ice-cream factory) which was adorned, top to bottom, with graffiti and appeared to be the place to be for the local homeless to hang out.
Along our way, we encountered lots of these camps. Some were gypsy camps, some hippy communes and one in particular was an anarchist camp, where those who were fed up of capitalist life decided to give it up.
Good Guy Germany: The German government were going to evict those living in these kinds of camps and demolish the area, but because it’s such a key part to the culture in Berlin they decided not to.
To eat these were my favourites (click the names to see the webpage)
You MUST try the Tamiya Halloumi. It will blow your taste buds away.
Who knew that falaffel, halloumi cheese and a peanut sauce went so well together?
2)Berlin Burger International
Best burgers in town. Are about half the size of your face.
1)( Not too sure how to spell this one) Spelunker/ Spielunke
Not really a place to eat, but rather to drink cheap beers.
You know the regulars at your local pub? The red nosed, slightly dirty, creepy looking ones? Well Germany has a pub specifically for them and it’s surprisingly amicable.
Well I have nothing to report here i’m afraid as the 1st night, I got rejected from a club for being underage… (It was +21)
And the second night ( at the same club) it was because I was with too many guys…
I felt like a 17 year old with a fake ID.
But that of course wouldn’t stop us from having our own fun.
Jamie and I had met up with his friend Katie and her boyfriend, as well as some of their french friends who, were also in Berlin at the time.
We spent one night chilling in, and the second night making a bonfire and having some drinks in Görlitzer Park with some strangers, whom we had met in the queue to a club. We ended up being a very international group that included, Brits, a German, an American (who said, I quote, “everyone carries a gun in America, like everyone carries a knife in the UK”… I think not), French, and a second Kiwi (who was also called Chris. It must be a popular name in New Zealand)
We stayed up until 6am and saw the sunrise, then made our way back to Falks, only stopping to get some freshly baked goods from a bakery near his. Bliss.
Our time in Berlin was only brief, but we got there at the best time.
Whilst in Germany, I didn’t have enough time to see all my friends in Germany, but I was lucky to meet up with a friend from college who moved there the previous year and got to have a lovely little catch up.
Summer had hit Berlin and it was It was boiiliiinng hot the whole time we were there. We hardly saw any of Berlin in retrospect, however the part that we did see was sick. I’ve decided that i will be moving there shortly after i finish my bachelor in leeds, maybe to do a masters, internship, or just get a job there. I don’t mind what i do, I just need an excuse to move there.
The Berlin i visited had such a chilled out, young, free-spirited atmosphere to it. I’d recommend everyone to go there because it is truly the most unique city. There is no other place like it!
…And that was Berlin, Baby!