As much as I shouldn’t be starting this post with a negative, my first day in Berlin was rubbish for a few reasons. Firstly, Schönefeld airport was a hole with zero organisation. I waited two hours to get through passport control and the one crappy cafe outside of customs was packed so I had to wait an hour on the train until I got into town to eat.
Secondly I had a massive headache which put me in a foul mood. And finally every time I tried to speak German I was laughed at and replied to in English. Sure my German sucks, but I know you can understand me because you answered my question!!! Give me credit for trying.
On a positive note, once I’d had a good pizza and a couple of drinks, my outlook on life was much better. I defy anyone to find a problem that can’t be solved with pizza and beer.
My faith in humanity was even restored when I was running late for a train the following day. The driver saw that I was coming from the other side of a long platform and waited for me! That’s unheard of anywhere else.
But getting to the good parts of my trip! The first night I walked around the corner from my hotel to the Story of Berlin museum, a very cool museum and bunker. Apart from the fact the chick made me check my bag (which has never happened before), it was a gorgeously put together museum. The nuclear bunker was cool and very creepy.
On the second day, after a decent night’s sleep and some coffee, I headed to the Brandenburg Gate to go on a free walking tour of the city. It was just a quick overview of the main sites like the Reichstag, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the site of Hitler’s bunker. The whole city itself is completely fascinating, and it’s so hard to believe the history of the place when you’re standing right in the middle of it.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around Tiergarten, climbing to the top of the Reichstag, and going to a performance of Chicago in Charlottenburg.
I was lucky enough to discover that one of the girls I’d met in Dublin, Meags, was also in Berlin so we caught up, had lunch, and explored the East Side Gallery and Kreuzberg. I also found an awesome old semi-abandoned carriage-works park in Friedrichshain covered in street art and full of night clubs, bars and skate parks.
The rest of the week was spent wandering around Alexanderplatz, my adopted home of Kurfürstendamm, checking out the DDR Museum and Mitte.
Compared to London, Berlin was deliciously uncrowded. It was cheaper, far less pretentious, and super easy to get around. I feel if I improved my rubbish German skills and got a better lay of the land I could easily live there.
So in the end it was a great trip and I can’t wait to go back because I still have a super long list of things I need to do there.
Til next time Berlin… x
Listening to: Serial Season 1 podcast
Watching: New Girl
Reading: Harry Potter
Current man-crush: Jake Johnson