Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Again a delayed post, but c'est la vie. Berlin was hard. My flight was delayed which meant getting there in the dark and trying to sort out trains, but thankfully a kind Spanish girl helped me, and we got through on a mix of languages. It was cold and drizzling when I got there. 

I found the hostel fairly easily, but it was Not Nice. I guess for the average backpacker it was ok, but not of the standard I am used to staying in. 

On my first day I had a big walking plan mapped out, but the rain, wind and cold curtailed that, plus I was starting to succumb to some germs. After walking around as much as I could, I ended up taking a bus tour so managed to see most of the main sights. Not a lot of pictures as it was all out a rainy steamed up window.

I missed getting a picture of the last standing bits of the wall, but below are pieces that have been transported to around checkpoint Charlie.

I found the blue and purple above ground pipes fascinating, they are in quite a few areas including Alexanderplatz.

There was masses and masses of construction everywhere, both above and below ground. Huge new metro lines and stations being put in.

 I was staying in East Berlin in Prenzlauer Berg so it was an interesting area history wise, and to see how much transformation has been done in the 23 years post unification, as in other parts of Berlin. It was my sort of suburb, a mixture of offbeat, arty, and gentrification. One little highlight was below.

Time got swallowed in Berlin. I went to the ballet, a modern version of Peer Gynt, and spent time chatting with the man next to me about how avant garde the production was. At one point the stage was covered in sand. 

On the second to last day after brunch I was taken on a wee road trip to Potsdam. It was nice to get out and see a another place, and to go on an autobahn. The driver however was annoyed as it had a 120km limit, which I noticed he ignored as did the others that passed us. I had dinner that night with a group of eight people, and had many fabulous discussions and conversations. It was nice talking with such an eclectic mix of people, which such different outlooks on life and the world due to their mixed upbringings, travels and education. 

The last day was very tiring as I had had very little sleep. I had booked a hotel near the airport and went there as soon as I could and just chilled. 

I woke too early, but that ended up being ok. My last memorable experience for Berlin was the Dr Seuss breakfast in the morning.

You know, if you are going to serve green eggs, then you should at least have quality ham to go with it! 

I do like Berlin, just wish I could have seen it under more favourable circumstances. It really is an intriguing city.


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