However with just under a week to go, we had a smooth flight into Berlin and were very happy to be greeted by our host, Freeda.
She's super relaxed, lives in a hip area and gives us a massive room, perfect last stop for our airbnb experience
We waste no time in getting settled and quickly head off to Mauer Park for one of the best vintage markets in Berlin.
Before we even start we set our sights on food and get classic German cuisine, bratwurst!
Mmm 2€ German sausage
The market is full of amazing goodies. Vintage cameras, furniture, military goods and knick knacks, handmade jewlllery and recycled accessories, heaps of food and a tonne of beer. In fact, all we seem to see is people holding beers.
Next door is another huge park and what can only be described as a hippy fest. Unicycle riders, jugglers, people drinking and smoking shisha on the grass, people with crazy hair colors, tattoos and piercings - for the first time on our trip we don't feel like we stand out! Amazing!
We stumble across the "bear pit" karaoke where anyone can hop up and belt out a tune
most people are really great and the crowd is super receptive. Until one chick from the US gets up, sings out of tune and out of time with the song (which was skater boy by Avril Lavigne by the way)
Not doing so well she does the only thing she can to redeem herself - flash the audience.
Totally entertained and pretty tired, we decide to head home and grab food from Schiller burger, an amazing burger place near our apartment. They. Are. Incredible!!
So good I didn't even have time to take a picture! Such a fabulous start to our stay in Berlin ya!
Day 2 -
This morning we had an über late start. I think the week in Rome is starting to catch up on us.
We head down to Engel cafe, another awesome eaterie
And get a very satisfying and healthy breakfast
We only saw one, but apparently they're super loved and Berliners bring the bears honey and fruits for their birthdays - how sweet!
After spending some time with the cute bears, we headed to the Hofbräu Hause, there's only two, one here and one in Munich!
We get our hands on half a litre of beer each
We return home and went to the park down the street which used to be an airport. It's now a repurposed park land with awesome recycled furniture with plots of land that you can chill out and read a book, so that's what we did
Or have a nap, which I did.
Were totally out of energy today so we get Schiller burgers again, and would you believe it, they remembered our names, German boyfriends maybe? (Just kidding, we've both left our men at home to pine over us :P miss you!)
Day 3 -
Feeling a little more re energised we book a tour for tomorrow and decide to get a little history into us. We hopped on the U bahn (train system) and get dropped at the Berlin Wall.
It's recently been repainted with murals from loads of different artists. There's only 1.3km left still standing, but it's incredible to see
One was get photos taken in one of these things
Seemed a bit dodge but for 4€ we got these cute pictures
The next thing we do is get a kebab
We hop back onto th U bahn and catch the train to Checkpoint Charlie, which was the best known crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.
After a quick stop home we re primped ourselves to head to a very unique restaurant called the "Unsicht Bar".
In a nutshell it's a restaraunt where you are served a three course meal in pitch black darkness. Your personal waiter is either visually impaired or blind and tells you where the knives and forks are, the bread, where your plate is and then let's you attempt to decipher what you're eating.
You have the choice of beef, poultry, seafood or vegetarian but the menu is in an indecipherable poem so you don't know what you're actually eating. Or you had the option to get a surprise menu with absolutely no clue of what you were getting, and I thought hey! When in Rome.
The experience was incredible, I've never seen darkness so dark, and trying to figure out what you were eating was a fun challenge. Here's a photo
In the end I got a salmon entree, lamb for mains and a Jaegermeister liquer dessert - amazing!
Such a unique experience and one I won't forget anytime soon!
Day 3 -
This morning we are back on the U bahn headed to Orianenburg to do a guided tour of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
It was an incredibly disturbing day but one we both believe is important to learn about and to keep the memory strong, as to never let the atrocities happen again.
We were taken through the registration tower,
A reconstructed barrack,
an isolation chamber for political or high profile prisoners, the kitchen, and the worst part, station "Z"
It is a horrible part of our history and just awful hearing some of the stories about what human beings are actually capable of, but as mentioned before, it's incredibly important to acknowledge the memory of all the lives lost.
For dinner we decided to go back to the Hofbräu Hause as the vibe is always different at night!
More beers were consumed
And I decided to try a German specialty, pork knuckle! Which adds to my awkwardly large meal situations which I always seem to put myself in! I always order food expecting it to be small, then things like this come out
But I ate as much as I could, consumed more beers
And Helena and I decided to jig to the German band playing pop culture songs, all sung in German!
I left my phone at home this evening so we had to use Helenas phone for photos, but when it came to dancing no pictures were taken, not because we weren't fabulous dancers (we're amazing) but because sometimes it's nice to have a memory just for yourself!
Day 4 -
This morning was a late start after our German escapades last night. But we're told it's a public holiday for the first of
May, or otherwise known as "mayday".
Someone told us to be careful as riots break out and protestors get a bit crazy, and we apprehensively decide to check it out.
When we first arrive in Kreuzberg were greeted by this
Literally hundreds of police are out, which we can't decide if it's reassuring or ominous?
But much to our surprise the streets are filled with stalls selling international food, street performers and musicians, atleast 6 different stages with music ranging from German death metal to indie music to rap - it's amazing!
And what's even better? 4€ double shot cocktails
It's safe to say that 4 each had us looking a little like this...
And when we tried to leave, we saw hundreds of people lining up who had been barricaded out
Berlin has been an absolute pleasure and I'm a little in love with her, but sadly the next step of the journey is upon us!
Auf wiedersehen Germany!