Thursday, February 18, 2010

Berlin, Germany: Part II (February 1st-7th)

Well, you saw the places I visited, now for what I actually did! I wasn’t even supposed to go to Berlin, but instead, to Stuttgart to visit Amy at her flat. Last minute change in plans and I ended up there for a week! I checked into the Raise a Little Smile hostel in Friedrichshain for the first 4 nights. With less than 18 beds at the time, it was sort of like hanging out at a friend’s house, which ended up being awesome. For too much of the time, I admit, I sat in the kitchen eating instant tomato soup (my new favorite variety of travel food) and sat on the internet. It was okay though, because I had a lot of planning to do for the section of my trip in Spain, hostels to book, trains to figure out, etc.

I came to Berlin alone, so my first night was a bit lonely and I was afraid the rest of my week would me more of the same. I was definitely wrong. By the end of my week, all of my 10 euros of credit on my phone was gone! My first night I got very lost trying to find a vegan fast food restaurant called Yoyo’s food world in Friedrichshain, but ended up getting lost for at least 30 minutes and taking the tram illegally. Tuesday morning I meant to catch the Alternative Berlin tour, but ended up missing it, so I wandered around by myself for awhile instead and hit up this massive second-hand shop called Humana where I got a pair of jeans for 8 euro. Then it got too cold and started snowing (the theme of my life lately). At night I went out for delicious Mexican food with Gray, Esther and Linus. Gray, from England and Esther from Germany own the hostel and Linus works there. I think that night we played a rousing game of Dutch Blitz, which I pretty much can never get enough of.

Wednesday I finally made it to the Alternative Berlin tour, which was amazing (you can read my last post for more on it). At night I met up with a guy from Berlin from couchsurfing named Patryk, his friend and another girl named Sarah from Malaysia whose currently living in Moscow. He took us to a Volksküchen, translated “People’s Kitchen”, where I got a three course vegan meal for 2.50 euro. Basically, the night before, they go to the grocery store and boy whatever’s cheapest and then whip up a meal. Everyone eats the same thing, but you get appetizer, meal and dessert for super cheap. There’s a website at, where you can search for Volksküchen based on what day it is in Berlin. The night we went I had some type of broccoli cream soup, potatoes with beans and veggies and apple-almond something delicious. It was awesome.

Patryk's friend, Patryk and Sarah at the Volksküche

Afterwards the guy who took us to dinner wanted to go home, so Sarah and I wandered over to a pace called Winerei, where a couchsurfing meet-up was taking place. This was also a really cool concept. You go pay 2 euro and get a glass. After that you drink as much wine as you want from all the bottles on the table. At the end you pay as much as you think it was worth, or as much as you have, and give back the glass. Thus, I had about 5 glasses of wine for 4 euro. Win.

Sarah and I

Couchsurfers at Winerei meetup

Thursday I went on a mission to buy jeans since my others that I wore all the time developed a giant hole in the crotch. This mission I succeeded, 49 euro light and a couple hours later, although the blue dye in them is still turning me blue now. That morning I had talked to Linus about this Anti-Pub crawl that goes to some weird bars in Berlin so after a delicious dinner with everyone from the hostel me and two American girls from the hostel met up with Linus and another Australian guy from the hostel named Gavin at the first pub, Yesterday Bar, around 9:30pm.

There was a good variety of places. The first was 60s, 70s and 80s themed. The next was a goth club that used to be owned by Rammstein where Marilyn Manson apparently frequents in Berlin, an place called the King Kong Club, which was cool, an absinth bar (yes, I got to light it on fire and everything!) a place called Dr. Pong’s where the entire room plays ping-pong with each other while walking around the table and last, an indie-electro club called Magnet, that was super fun. By the end of the night, around 3-4am or so, Linus, Gavin and I were the only ones left we could find, so we went home together, trying not to die on the ice and passed the fuck out.

Linus , Geraldine and Gavin

There were the stamps for the pub crawl, obnoxiously large, but sort of hilarious.

Thursday Amy arrived in Berlin to move into her new flat, so I checked out of the hostel and headed over. I was a jerk and missed most of the moving, however. We went out with two of her friends from Stuttgart for delicious Vietnamese food and then to a really cool super queer bar called Silver Future in Neukölln, the area of Berlin where Amy lives.

My last full day I met up with Sarah again to go to the medical museum and see weird shit. Then we tried to go to an Irish bar to see a rugby game with some other people from couchsurfing, but it was too full so we ended up just wandering around Tacheles again and going to a bar/café called Zapata. We met up with the other couchsurfers after the game and all went for dinner together in Friedrichshain—to a place that had like 800 types of burgers, fries and sauces (and vegan ones!). It was sort of like Local Burger, for all of my readers from Northampton. After dinner I went up to their flat with Sarah for some tea and biscuits, then caught the U-Bahn back to Amy’s to go with them to sushi and head out for the night.

At the burger place for dinner

First Amy, her friends and I went out to a bar for a couple beers and then headed to this party at a club. It was a big lesbian night at this club, in a warehouse, called Female Attacken and it was amazing. It’s also where I met Marlen, which is the reason I ended up in Berlin again a week later, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We danced until 7:30am, tried to go to another club that was just closing and then got some drunk munchies as the sun came up. By the time Amy and I got back to hers it was completely bright out and I had to get up in an hour and a half to catch a 5+ hour train back to Prague. I was definitely tired the next day, but it was worth it.

Amy and Susii

Me and Marlen

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