I took a night ride between Amsterdam and Berlin, making it to the German capital early morning on Tuesday 17th June. I took the subway and made my way downtown to the hostel. As soon as I dropped my bag, I saw a free walking tour was just about to start so I jumped in. The day was really sunny and warm, so it was a delight to discover Berlin that way. We firstly went to Branderburg gate, then made our way throughout the city, passing nearby historical place, getting a good refresh at our history classes from WWII. In the free walking tour, I met this cool Australian dude, Chris, who was touring Europe for few weeks before heading to the UK for a couple of years. We got along well and once the tour was over, a couple of hours later, we decided to visit the streets of Berlin to search for street art during the afternoon. On our way back to the hostel, we stopped at Thai place to get lunch. This indicates our worldwide this city is: having Thai food in Berlin/Germany, with a cook from Scotland with the strongest accent ever, gotta love it.
Stop over at Christophers (bar and hostel) to have a bit of a rest then we took off in our neighbourhoods to look for cool street art. Chris did his homework and already knew where to go, which made our life easier. We did not find the huge amount of spectacular graffitis we expected but still saw some cool ones. Basically we need to go further in south-east Berlin, towards Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, to see the more artistic part of the city. So we decided to do that the next day. For now it was time to head back to our place and watch some football, the main game being Brazil vs Mexico but it didn’t deliver as Mexican goalie was just a beast.
Wednesday 18th June, a day mostly spent inside, not because the weather was bad but because there was a lot of sport we liked on TV. Firstly it was State of Origin, game 2, and for all Australian, this is a big event. Especially since NSW won the first game and they were now planning at home. They did what a lot of people didn’t expect and won the series in the last minutes, stopping an eigh years victory draught. You thought I’d be happy because I live in Sydney? Well you have it wrong, I have been a Maroon fan from day one, as this is my origin state (I landed there ten years ago and spent the next two there, which made me decide to stay and live in OZ). Anyways… Once this was done, Chris and I, got our doner kebab (the best and cheapest food in Berlin) and went towards Kreuzberg, in search for street arts again. As we got off the train and walked towards Lausitzer Platz, we stopped nearby the bank of the Spree to check out the Berlin wall on Mühlenstraße. This part of the wall was still up on 1.3Ks I think, and the entire wall was painted, with some iconic street art seen in many pictures. We took our cameras and walked along the wall. As we walked, we noticed an old matelic gate within the wall, and I realised it was now possible to climb that 4 meters wall. I took my flip flop off and my first attempt was a failure, as I got scared to come down, realising going up is easy but going down could be painful. Thankfully, back in Paris few weeks ago, I went to Fontainebleau with my brother Johan and climbed some tough boulder there. So my confidence was higher and I succeeded to make it to the top on my second attempt. Never thought that I wold ever go to the top of this historical wall but, maybe because it was so unexpected, it is something I will forever remember, due to the whole history of it. Later, we kept going, saw some really big and nice street art next to Watergate, got approached by heaps of Africans selling us “everything” in Lausitzer park, made a good visit of the area and headed back home to make it on time for the game: Australia was hoping for the impossible as they were playing Holland. Proubly singing the National anthem in the street of Kreuzberg and made it back to our place to realise the score was already one zero for OZ! Then we saw the Dutch coming back, almost had a heart-attack when Australia managed to lead 2-1 (and was close to score another one) but then failed as the orange team pushed their way through the top of the ladder.
I stayed in Berlin another couple of days, time to figure out where will be my next stop and also discover a bit more this famous city. In the end, I didn’t get to experience the night scene of Berlin, which is supposed to be one of the best thing you can do there, so I missed out on a lot. But still, I had a great time and met some cool people. Chris and I decided to make next move to Prague in Czech. My initial plan being to do Berlin, Prague and then back to Germany via Munich. We took off on Friday 20th June, to discover this other famous European city, and on our way, stopped over at a major station to check-out a professional beach volley tournament, where we spent a couple of hours, enjoying the atmosphere and the DJ. Then off we went, looking forward to get there as I have a lot of friends from Czech who always told me to visit this beautiful city. Let’s see how it turns out.