Friday, 21 January 2011

Germany - The first graffiti house

Hello everyone!

Sleep deprivation is becoming a slight issue for us. Even after a late night and lots of beer I didn't break the four-hour barrier, and afternoon naps are in reality afternoon lie-in-bed-cursing-the-fact-you-can't-sleep-even-though-you-really-want-and-need-to-sleep sessions. Still, better to be awake than asleep, and after some eggs were back walking around our local area through the brisk German air. The temperature is hovering just above zero, making my decision not to bring a jacket look increasingly naive. Actually, not naive. Just damn stupid.

We were waiting for a while to get a table in a cafĂ© that our landlord had recommended. Well, we waited until the waitress decided to kick some others out of the place to make room for us. Good service. Really good coffee as well, though the food was a bit on the minimalist side. Salad with...fruit. And a token piece of meat. Bye bye €8.

We had seen most of the attractions the previous day, with one glaring exception - the Berlin Wall. True, the vast majority was demolished in a wave of euphoric unity, but there is a very small section still standing. I guess it's still there mainly for tourists, as museums related to it are housed nearby. Still interesting though.

What was much more interesting was located across the road. Well, across and above, as they were in the air. They being cars. Two cars. Suspended. In the air. At least 10 metres off the ground. See for yourself below. One of the stranger adventure playgrounds you will see.

Sticking to the strange theme, Kristina and I then headed to a building called Kunsthaus Tacheles. This wouldn't be one of the top attractions in your standard guidebook. It's a building that is covered in graffiti. The government want to tear it down, and I understand that some people may see it as an eyesore in comparison to the other buildings on that street, but that is a big part of its appeal. The vibe is really cool, and it is an important pillar of Berlin's alternative cultural scene.

The sun began to dip, which further added to the eerie atmosphere of the place, but I had to head to Alexanderplatz. Side point, if you have seen the Bourne films, this square is part of one of my favourite scenes, where he is sprinting through the city and loses his trackers in the crowds and on the trams. I was there to meet a friend, Katie, from the TEFL I took in Prague in 2008. Two-and-a-half years ago, definitely time for a reunion. She took me to a bar in her area - where I got to sample some fine black beer - before we headed back to the apartment to join the others in pre-gaming for the night ahead.

Jon was particularly excited about our destination. It is a club called Tresor, and is one of the biggies in the Berlin club scene. It's a shame that no one else in our group is a fan of techno, but I was intrigued (and drunk) enough to also be excited. Games finished, U-bahns taken at beyond 1am, and entry into a very big power station which had lots of lights and heavy techno beats. Berlin's metro system continues through the night on weekends - take note every other major city, it's a GOOD thing.

I thought it was a good place. Unfortunately, the majority weren't big fans, so most of us left Jon to do his thing (which he enjoyed doing until 7.30am) and vacated sometime around 5am. I thought I danced enough to ensure I slept for more than four hours, but alas was once again proved wrong. My body now had one more day of sleepwalking around Berlin before heading to pastures new. Hang on, did you seriously think I was just going to Berlin? What's wrong with you!!

Love you all


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