With an early AM arrival in Berlin we had a full 2 days to explore the city. This was a tourist weekend for Seb as well, since most of his time spent in Berlin had been for business. Luckily, one of his friends was out-of-town and left us his keys, so we saved $ on a hostel, but in so doing, caused a little bit of a trouble, which I’ll get to later in this post.
We hit up a lot of the major tourist spots while in Germany, taking advantage of a 2.5 hour Sandemann’s free walking tour. In our time in Berlin we saw the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled Blanket(obviously), Hitlers Bunker, The Luftwaffe HQ, The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Memorial for the murdered jews, just to a name a few…
For a city that was destroyed in WWII, and also dealt with it’s share of communist troubles up until the late 80’s, it’s incredible to see the shape that it is in to-date. There are still plenty of old buildings, but for sure Berlin has a modern and urbanized feel to it. It is also a very international city, plenty of diversity to be seen throughout Berlin, and getting around speaking English isn’t a problem.
The memorial for the murdered jews is an interesting memorial, as it’s meant to be part of the city, and part of every day life. There are a series of granite stones, that look like tombstones, but they are nameless, and create an optical illusion of sorts, due to the varying heights of the structures. It’s very apparent that German’s have not swept the holocaust under the rug, it’s a very real part of their past, but they have done everything possible to move on, and educate the youth in a very transparent way.
Hitler’s bunker for instance is now situated in the middle of a soviet style apartment complex from the 80’s. There are no signs, or plaques situated on the site, you’d only know about the location if you were on a tour. The German government made sure to destroy the bunker, and not to re-create the bunker, so that he wouldn’t be idolized by neo-nazi’s.
Berlin is also well-known for it’s nightlife as one of the best party spots in the world, and the apartment was situated in an up and coming neighborhood nearby to plenty of restaurants and a good deal of clubs and bars, so we were obliged to take advantage of a Saturday night in Berlin.
While doing a load of laundry Saturday AM, Seb forgot to run the hose into the bathroom sink, which is not a normal thing you’d think to do, but something that had to be done with this particular operation. We left for the day and came back to the bathroom being locked, and a note left by the landlord that there was a flood in the apt below, and that we wouldn’t be able to access the bathroom until Monday. An hour or so of playing Macguyver, and Seb was finally able to pick the lock with a coat hanger, but it definitely put a damper on our Saturday night. Undeterred we made our way out to a number of clubs in a deserted warehouse section near the train tracks, that definitely lived up the Berlin nightlife hype. We ended up spending the majority of our night at a club called Matrix, and made our way home as the sun was coming up. All in all it was a success for our Berlin nightlife experience.
Of course I have to give some love to Eurotrip, see below…