We obviously stayed in Berlin for the Marathon but it was such a busy weekend we didn’t really get to experience what Berlin has to offer… which was fine because we knew we were returning the following weekend for a wedding.
We stayed in Kreuzberg again, this time borrowing a flat from the sister of an amazing (!) friend. We got lucky. The top floor flat was minimalistic but beautiful and on the best street in Kreuzberg, 95 Wranglestrasse, opposite the most perfect little barista.
We travelled to Wannsee via the cheap and convenient U- bahn and S-bahn trains for the wedding reception. After chasing Max round the Marathon, I felt like a transport boffin when using the trains again, they work in a similar way to the London Underground, but they are less ‘underground’ and more spacious.
The wedding reception was hosted at a villa by Lake Wannsee, a beautiful setting especially as the sun went down.
Snacks at midnight; the best kind of snacks.
It was a lovely evening although the long journey back to Kreuzberg at 3am in a skimpy dress and sub 10 degree temperatures probably wasn’t the best idea ** sniff sniff, cough **.
Feeling rather exhausted the next morning, I stayed in bed and Max went out to fetch goodies from the aforementioned rustic barista. Big news. I lost my coffee virginity to a fluffy cappuccino. I didn’t even need to add sugar! It was magical. Obviously, after this I was buzzing and ready for action.
We visited the Check-point Charlie museum, which is located where East and West Germany were divided. Some of stories of how people tried to cross the wall were just incredible. If you ever need to, you can use 2 small suitcases to smuggle a lady in or out of somewhere, just cut leg holes! Who knew!
Sausage eating is part of sight-seeing when in Berlin… right?
The Berlin Wall is now covered in graffiti, most of which is pretty artistic.
We wrapped up the day with a BBQ watching the sun set at Tempelhof feld. The people of Berlin voted to save the airfield from being built on and it’s now a vibrant and happy place full of people flying kites, cycling, BBQ-ing, skateboarding, listening to music or just chilling with family and friends. Kind of like Hyde Park but flat, with less trees and less rules.
Who is the man with the fork? Odd fella.
On Sunday we visited the Mauerpark Flea Market, which was extremely busy but so worth the hustle and bustle. Most of what is there is tat, but if I lived in Berlin I would have definitely have bought home some decorative antiques and a tea set or two. What’s amazing though, is outside the flea market, in the actual park. It’s a hub of activity with different artists performing all over the field. From rappers to dancers, singers and magicians, its such a relaxed place.
Max joined the locals for some basketball.
In the same area, there are lots of different foodie stands serving pretty much anything you could think of. We plumped for these pizza type flat breads which were prepared in front of us. They were so incredible, especially with the beetroot relish.
The whole city is very chilled, you can walk down cobbled street after cobbled street and not meet a car. To begin with I didn’t particularly like the quantity of graffiti in Berlin but over the days I spent there, it grew on me and I realised it is just part of what this hippy, free-spirited city has to offer.
This was my favourite piece from the whole trip. Even though its slightly damaged, the splatter technique really caught my eye!
We didn’t make it out to a club, but apparently the parties there are amazing and I can certainly vouch for how alive the streets and stations seemed in the early hours; everyone chatting to everyone, pizza in one hand and beer in the other. It seemed some of them had maybe only just started for the evening as we made our way to bed! Refreshingly this city is very cheap. Having spoken to a number of ex-londoners who have moved to Berlin, they explained the relief of only have a small percentage of your pay-check leaving your account on rent, not 50% upwards as is often the case in London. The food is cheap too with 2 croissants, 2 coffees and 2 fresh juices coming in at around £8. I don’t hesitate when paying £4.95 for one juice in London!
We had a blast in Berlin and will certainly be back to visit!