I wanted to write a travel post since I remember. And what a better opportunity, just before I turn 30! I am planning more trips from now on so hopefully more posts like this will follow.
I really fancied checking out Berlin for a while, after I met a lovely gal at a boring longitudinal research course my manager tricked me into going (I love longitudinal surveys, one of the most useful and demanding research methods but learning to solve long equations when I can do the same with 2 clicks in SPSS wasn’t that interesting.). She was originally from Berlin and she talked about what a vibrant, artistic, cultural, musical city it is, which sounded just like my cup of tea.
So, my partner in crime, my bestie Shebz and I booked a long weekend close to my birthday. And we couldn’t have chosen better time, we were so lucky! Where shall I start from?
I’ll start from thanking Sheba, I wouldn’t have had as much fun and done as much as we did if I went with anyone else. We make awesome travelling buddies! I can’t wait for our next adventure!
The weather was gorgeous. Sunny and warm. I got my first sunburn, one of many to come as summer holidays are fast approaching.
We rented an AirBnB and stayed with an amazing couple who recommended a lot of cool places to see. AND they lived in a very central location so we could get to places easily. We were so lucky again. Thank you Amelie and Matt for your hospitality and awesome recommendations.
I can’t possibly post all the photos we took and talk about everything we got to do but these are some of the highlights.
There was music everywhere. Musicians busking literally everywhere, music in shops, restaurants. Berlin definitely loves music!
The first day, after wandering around some of the main landmarks (the architecture in this city is breathtaking and there are glorious parks and greenery everywhere) during which we got to see vintage cars as there was an exhibition going on, bikes for 5 people which looked so much fun, horse carriages (we got to pet gorgeous horses) and many more…
we ended up at the riverside, sunbathing with the locals…
and spent the afternoon and evening wandering around a very posh area with expensive hotels and restaurants and tried the German cuisine (yes, a lot of the dishes included sausages).
On the second day whilst trying to find a cafe we discovered online and wanted to go to, we wandered in a Turkish community, so different and interesting and vibrant, we felt like locals again.
Whilst looking for this elusive cafe (which we never found) we ended up in an abandoned anarchists building, dark, cigarette butts and empty bottles everywhere, ashes of something burned outside… in the middle of a park… One of the scariest but most exciting things I’ve ever done and I don’t think I’d ever done that if I wasn’t with my bestie. Not sure anyone else would have been up for it.
We could not not visit the Berlin wall…
And the day got better and better…
After wandering around the Museum Island and discovering secret yards, enjoying the sunshine at the riverside opposite the glorious Cathedral, we spent our afternoon at Mauerpark. Every Sunday there is live music with amazing local musicians, from reggae to dub-step, an enormous flee and food market… If I lived in Berlin I’d be there every week.
Whilst having dinner we had a laugh with some Londoners and their Vietnamese friends we bumped into (who totally made us want to visit Vietnam and Myanmar. If you happen to visit Mauerpark, there is a Vietnamese restaurant just across the street (Sukho), I definitely recommend it. Delicious food and the friendliest waiters.
On our last day we had the most amazing breakfast in a different, gorgeous Berlin area (thank you Amelie for the suggestion) and made our way back to the UK.
What an amazing time we had. We got to do what we enjoy most, not just be tourists, but mingle with the locals, experience the culture. It’s definitely a place I want to return, as there is an amazing music scene I didn’t have time to enjoy and definitely want to go to an OpenAir (a 5-day secret party you find about the very last minute).
Berlin is definitely a place I recommend visiting. 3 days are not enough though if you want to have the full experience. Also be aware of bike lanes. Sorry lovely Berliners for our lack of attention.
This trip reminded me how much I love travelling and is something I definitely want to do more and more, maybe longer than a weekend or a week or a month… Sometimes what you really need is to get away, change scenery, live somewhere else for a while to help you reset your mindset, your perspective, your life and learn more about the world and yourself. The people who love and care about you will be with you wherever you go and you can find a job anywhere in the world, so I’d say if what you really want is to travel, then do it. Everything else will fall into place.
So…LESSON OF THE DAY: TRY EVERYTHING. Go for it, even if you are scared to death.
Love you all! x