Berlin – September 16th, 2009.
We all know the Berlin it is today. The wall, brandenburg gate and all that jazz. Though a lot of people don’t know the different side to Berlin. The culture that exists where artists roam free and anything is possible. Its a city with limitless boundaries.
So I set off on a tour. Yup. Can’t believe it myself. But its an Alternative Free Tour (hence you pay at the end what you think its like). I check out and go to the TV to meet up with the tour. The guide calls in sick – hungover as our new guide puts it – so we set off and buy a transport pass and head off.
We head to Hackescher Markt where we venture down a side alley and get a glimpse of what is to come. Theres a cool bar and the guide goes through prominent local street artists.
Its then off to Tacheles – a bombed out building with 5 bars and home to a variety of artists. The place is free accom for artists and they pay for their stuff by selling off artwork. The also show movies on a big white screen outside. This place is pretty dirty but it shows Berlin.
We then head south of the river to a moving memorial called 30 Faces (or something similar – I forgot). But it was started as a neighbourhood unification after someone was brutally murdered. The exhibit itself is quite breathtaking and is definitely worth a visit.
Our guide takes us to get some cheap food. Pizza for 2.50 and pasta for 2.95. Fucking tops.
Remember when stickers where cool? Well I find myself in a sticket museum. The place has every sticker you could think of and probably had when you were a kid. Next we stop at this amazing mural by an artist called Blu. Who did this massive piece on a building wall. Incredible. Its next to an abandoned field where people have raves and bbqs.
We then head over the very medieval bridge and are met with one of the most incredible street art by Blu. Its a thousand or so men all mixed together to make one big giant man. Incredible.
Our last stop on tour is a place called Cassieopeia. Its an abandoned train station that a bunch of mates took over and create their own place for young Berliners. Originally you had to know the secret entrance to get in (through a toilet in a kebab store). These days its open to anyone and has a massive climbing wall on the outside of a water tower, the biggest indoor skatepark in europe, movies, bars, cafes, nightclubs, you name it – its a place for the youth to chill and party.
A few of us head on over to Yaam beach for some late arvo brews to celebrate a successful day. I love this Yaam beach – its a paradise in a beautiful yet ugly city. A few us plan to meet up and go on their pub crawl later that night.
I grab my bag and head to mikes as I’m crashing there. And he’s pretty keen on the pub crawl. And his german friend tags along. We end up meeting at this old retro bar with retro gaming machines. Wicked. We then pile off down the road to a metal bar owned by members or Rammstein – its decadent and weird (case one Massive Giant Penis’ on the stairs).
We get picked up in some bus and are taken all over town. Literally. Its a big party bus and has a bar. Which is rad. We get dropped off outside the Brandenburg gate for snaps. and then get in and continue drinking.
Next stop is deadly. I thought I got this one out of the way in Prague. Clearly not. We hit an Absinthe Bar. Nothing but absinthe. Served traditionally. That gives you an almighty kick up the ass. Before we move onto Cassiopeia. Whcih is not pumping but its a fun way to end the evening with all.
Getting back to Mikes is a mission as he already left. So I get there pretty easily in the end. Only to be confronted by Mike’s german friend and being labelled a jew. I try to just move on and go up to the apartment to crash. But this guy is a friggen maniac not to mention huge 7ft. Absolute dickhead.
I’m absolutely in awe of the friendliness of Berliners, yet this guy goes and blows it for them by being a absolute dick.