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14 February 2017

postcards from berlin, germany

i had yuge expectations going to berlin. like, the biggest. they were the best expectations, trust me. i had so many people hyping the hell out of the german capital that my expectations were like the most expectations anyone has ever seen. so, the day that we arrived, missed a train, got lost, and ended up in our super-out-of-the-way hotel room bang on check-in was all ok because, we were in berlin! and it was snowing! hooray!

mike napped while i had a wander, and our neighbourhood seemed pretty chill. we were in the west; it was posh. the buildings were ornate and clean, and there wasn't a lot of colour. we were near the zoo though, so - in london terms, we were basically staying in mayfair. it was pretty touristy, like - there was a hard rock on our corner, and three different shopping centres. it was.. pretty impersonal. but, it wasn't as cold as we thought, it was really nice weather, and we were in berlin! so that first day was pretty nice.

we slept heavily, and ate our fair share of all the food at the breakfast buffet. it was glorious! our plan for the second day was to tick off all the important landmarks, and then get lost in mitte - berlin's "central" borough. on the map it all seemed pretty close, so we walked. from our hotel in charlottenburg, through a snow-capped tiergarten, to the reichstag building, under the brandenburg gate, and to the holocaust memorial. we event went in the museum, which was totally awful. awful as in heartbreaking, not awful as in it was rubbish. truly, the measure of inhumanity in this world is unfathomable, isn't it?

heavy-hearted, we walked on. by this time, my favourite boots had really met their match and were about to fall off my feet, but replacing them seemed a chore! couldn't find a replacement pair in my size aaaaanywhere, so instead i hobbled on. despite the amazing recommendations for food and drink, we couldn't find anything open. seriously - why do the germans have such a rep for day-time drinking, when it was actually impossible to find a bar open. it was friday too! it made no sense. instead, we grabbed berliner buns for the walk until fiiinally, we fell into a cafe that served beer, exhausted. an hour or so later and we were on the u-bahn home, heading for currywurst and bed.

and on our last day in berlin, we headed east. we walked from alexanderplatz to the east side gallery - which was.. incredible to see, and then headed into kreuzberg to fiiiinally get my fill of street art. but - despite the bright colour and random tags, it was still pretty hard to find. why so elusive, art?! we tried and failed to find the statues in treptower park, but did find a delicious coffee en route - australian barista to boot! (we know coffee), and basically, wandered around for hours. the fog was soooo thick that it was impossible to see much, and we were getting bored of walking aimlessly, so we headed back to the hotel with plans to come back later that night for dinner and drinks at a few places we had been recommended. it was our last night, so we wanted to do something more fun than drink beers in bed, like we had done the night before. don't tell me we don't know how to party!

so, it's fair to say that i was wholly whelmed by berlin. the city didn't live up to the epic expectations i had placed on it, and i don't know if that's my fault or not. i really wanted to like it, and i was so looking forward to seeing it, but.. it wasn't what i expected. which is a shame. but, i slept a lot, read a great book, and got to see another part of the world, so it's not all bad. plus, i got to follow berlin with three nights in latvia, which i can't waaaaait to tell you all about, because that was the trip my dreams are made of. watch this space.

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