Of a weekend in Berlin

The end of September was coming closer, and with it, my travel to Berlin. Here is a short report…

Friday
Alarm goes off at 5:00breakfast, last check-check and off to the bus station. Our bus to Berlin departed at 7:07, was still dark and the first lights of the sun were just appearing behind the buildings ahead. The journey took about 3 hours, circa 290km of fields and more fields.

Arriving in Berlin with a bright sun up but still quite chilly, we walked to the nearest S-bahn and learnt our way to the centre. For someone who is not very used to using subways and trains (a.k.a. myself), the S-bahn and U-bahn can be quite confusing at first, but with a little time and effort (and perhaps, a helpful iPhone app), things get less complicated.
Brandenburger Tor station was our starting point, from there we walked around most of the well known places but also the small weird looking streets.

Walking around Berlin and seeing all those things i have studied about at school, seen in books, watched on documentaries or films was quite an experience…

Brandenburger Tor

Unter den Linden

Berliner Mauer

Berliner Mauer

Checkpoint Charlie

Berliner Dom

After around 6 hours walking and seeing things, legs were asking for a little rest, so why not take a nap on that nice and green grass in front of Berliner Dom? We still had 2 hours of waiting until we could check in at the rented flat through Wimdu, so we took the Berlin Bus line 100 which is the Berlin sightseeing tour for €2.30 and hoped to see some more things we haven’t before, but for some reason this one bus had to go a different way due to some traffic problems or something, still was a a good tour.

Back to the S/U-bahn and iPhone app, finding our way to the flat wasn’t so difficult.
Arrive > Eat > Shower > Sleep…

Saturday
More interesting walks, posters for some amazing upcoming shows and nice street art…

Berlin Street Art

Berlin Street Art

Berlin Street Art

Berlin Street Art

Berlin Street Art

…And a stop for some nice Falafels…

And well… Time was coming… Time to head to Wuhlheide to see some band called Radiohead and Caribou as supporting…
Getting there in good time so we could get a good spot. All in all, we stood up for around 5 hours, there was rain, rainbows and full moon… And Radiohead… Bloody hell. Was i Hyper?

Kindl Bühne Wuhlheide

Radiohead

Radiohead

Radiohead

Woah! What an amazing concert… And setlist…

Radiohead Setlist @ Wuhlheide Berlin 29-09-12 from setlist.fm

Sunday
Waking up still in disbelief, got things ready and left the flat at the check out time. Back to Berlin’s centre, we dropped off at Potsdamer Platz station and walked around that area…

East/West Division

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Just as you leave Potsdamer Platz station you can’t help noticing some quite high buildings around, and one of them is the Kollhoff tower. Paying a fee of €5 you get to go inside, use the fastest elevator in Europa, which goes 90 metres or 24 floors in 20 seconds, visit the cafe and have a really amazing panorama view of Berlin…

Kollhoff Tower

View of Berlin from Panoramanpunkt KollHoff Tower

And as the sun was going down, we decided to spend the last few hours we had left at the cold shore of the river Spree.
Hopefully i will see you again Berlin.

Sunset by the river Spree

-Maha

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Of a first jet lagged week in German lands…

After 2h45 minutes flying, i arrived in Hamburg, at around 22:00. Found my backpack, put my jacket on and went out to meet my friend who was waiting at the arrival. We took the subway and decided to stop a few stops earlier to see if we could find something to drink and spend some time. We dropped off at Altona’s station and walked around, i could not help noticing how silent it was, i mean, very silent. Maybe it was strangely too silent for me because i spent the previous 24 hours or so, inside airplanes and airports… Oh well… So we continued walking at a dry and chilled night (14ºC), nice sights, different airs, many people on bicycles, bus stops showing a countdown for the next bus… stopped for a mandatory Kit Kat Chunky break and as we left the shop, i sighted a few posters on a wall across the street…

Rock Spektakel, Grave, Birdy, Pothead…

That is how i found out what i would be doing on the following Saturday, Rock Spektakel, Skindred together with Smoke Blow and a lot of other bands, many local bands, and many i haven’t heard about.

I also spotted this, which i believe to be owned by my good friend and bandmate Sapo Sabido. 😉

Um Sapo sabido. HA!

So, next morning, waking up at 11am, seeing sunshine (not really, quite cloudy) for the first time in Hamburg, i had a lovely cold shower, had brunch, put some layers on and went off to the city centre with my friend and city guide, Neele…

*hasfau*

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Binnenalster under grey skies

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Pointy ends of Chilehaus

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Rathaus

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Rock Spektakel poster

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La Confianza

We walked around the centre and visited a few interesting places, went into the Rathaus which has stunning and very detailed  architecture and massive old paintings inside, had a thunfisch sandwich at the Alster watching the angry looking swans going by and staring at your food, and then coming back and repeating the procedure until you either finish or walk away in fear. Also visited the Mönckebergstraße, one of the most busy streets in the centre of Hamburg, with many different sorts of shops, and street musicians…

Later in the evening, we headed to the Rathausmarkt where Rock Spektakel took place. Skindred was about to come up and the place was packed, got a good spot near the stage and enjoyed an awesome gig, with a remix of Star Wars’ Imperial March as intro. A couple of drunk german dudes pulled my dreads and asked if they were real and how long they take to grow, asked if they could feel them and it was quite funny to see their faces as i let them feel it and straight after i suddenly barked at their faces making them jump back frightened and laughing : )

Concert finished, subway back home… Tried to go to sleep but no luck, fell asleep at around 1:30 and there my cough and cold started. Yes, my first week was greeted with a cold running nose, and a dog-like cough : D turning the jet lag a little bit more challenging.

Next day, Sunday, and Woah! It was sunny, so we got on bikes and went out riding around 6km…

…down to the Elbe river and passing by this big and open park with ancient Ent-looking trees, the Jenischpark.

Jenischpark & Jenisch-Haus.

And finally getting to the Elbe, lots of people enjoying the, not so often, sunshine. Massive container ships coming in and out of countless harbours at the other side of the Elbe, tourists ferries doing tours… We got a spot near the Alte Schwede, drank some water enjoying the view and listening to some nice songs.

Elbe river and docks

Facts:
• Pedestrians/bike riders, do not cross the street when the pedestrian light is red, not even if it is 2 in the morning and it is cold and you can not wait to get home. You wait ;).
• Orange juice costs €3,20, and it tastes quite good, though, the amount served is very small. Kein Zucker, bitte.

Word of the day: Kaputt, meaning broken or ruined. KAPUTT! : D

Ate breve,

-Maha