We arrived in Berlin after a not-so-nice overnight bus trip from Cologne. It was still dark (not that that’s saying much, it doesn’t get light until 8:30), and it was windy and damp. We got to our hostel without any fuss and settled into the free breakfast. We couldn’t check in to our dorm room until the afternoon, so we made our way to the free walking tour. The tour began from the gate and there was over 100 people participating. Almost as soon as it begun though, it began to rain. Of course we hadn’t taken our umbrellas with us, so after giving each other side-ways glances for the first 10 minutes (the rain wasn’t rain anymore, but sleet) we all came to an almost-unspoken unanimous decision to head off. We made our way over to Silo Coffee instead. We emerged from the train station to not rain, not sleet, but snow! I was pretty happy that we saw snow on our first day in Berlin. After coffee we wandered around the Friedrichshain district for a while before stumbling back to our dorm room in a haze of sleep-deprived..haziness.
The following day (after another coffee at Silo, so delicious) we began to walk down to the East Side Gallery. It was a great walk there, Berlin has so many wonderful and interesting things to look at and explore, so the walk there took a fair while. We also stumbled into the most delicious vietnamese restaurant. It was so yummy we actually went back a few times over the next few days. After spending some time at the East Side Gallery and visiting some of the amazing Berlin Christmas Markets, we had a yummy dinner and settled into bed.
We finally made it to the walking tour on Friday, and we were all so glad we did. Our guide was really helpful and we all learnt loads about Berlin’s history. After the tour, we went to the Holocaust museum and spent the rest of the afternoon there. It was informative, sobering, and thought provoking. We were all pretty quiet after that, but a discussion and gluwein warmed us all up.
We decided that evening to head check out Berlin’s famous clubs. We began the night at a punk bar and drinking a typical ‘Club Mate’. Topped up with booze, evidently. The night progressed into an attempt to get into Berghain (we didn’t get in, what a surprise), a foiled entry into the eBay Christmas Party, and finally ended in the early hours of the morning having a boogie to some Jamacian-trance-dub, or something similar.
We actually made it out of bed at a reasonable hour and we also managed to have a massive walk. We went over to the Kreuzberg district and had a look at the remaining squats there.
The following day we had to say a sad goodbye to AJ, who was flying back to Milan to visit Leyla and then back to Canada.
Odin and I didn’t really know what to do with ourselves, so we basically just walked in circles and felt sad. We made the decision to head to Dresden the following day. We had a lovely few days in Dresden, meeting some lovely people and exploring the beautiful city.
After a few days though, we felt the Berlin itch calling us back, so we decided to spend an extra four days back in Berlin before heading to Prague to Christmas. In that extra four days we got to see so much more of Berlin. The Sunday Flea Markets were fantastic, as was the walk there and back. There’s loads of little markets dotted around Berlin and it was so special to just have a walk and see lots of different crafts and wares. After recovering from the theft of Odin’s laptop we were still very much in love with Berlin, and like Amsterdam, we can’t wait to visit again in the summertime!