We arrived in Berlin late on Friday the 4th of July, staying in the coolest hostel either us had ever been in. We had swimming pools you name it, but the location was the real highlight as we were just a couple minutes walk from the East Berlin Wall gallery. So that’s where we started our travels off, with a stroll down the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall that’s still standing. It’s gorgeous, covered in hundreds of paintings, each telling a story of this reborn city’s history.
In Berlin it’s (apparently) legal to drink on the streets, I don’t know if it was because it’s summer or because of Germany’s success in the World Cup but every second person I passed was drinking beer, no matter what time of day it was – all in all there was a constant energy about this place.
We stayed in PLUS hostel Berlin. With an indoor swimming pool, games room and huge garden it was filled with fellow interraillers and a really fun atmosphere. Also the staff were typically efficient!!
We started our first full day with a walking tour. Difficult in the heat, and while hungover, but it was really worth it. First stop was the Brandernburg Gate which I had been so excited to see for a long time. But between walking over Hitler’s bunker and trying to discover the mysterious meaning of the Holocaust memorial we got a feeling off the old Berlin, but also of the intentions to move on and build a new trendy and diverse one. Hitler’s bunker for example is now just a car park!!
Berlin really has two different sides, the east and the west, but also the poor and the well off, which is obvious by the buildings, and how well kept it is. Berlin is one of Germany’s poorest cities, which is strange as it’s the captial. But while one side mightn’t be as rich it’s equally full of life and very popular among backpackers – we were a bit torn on which side we preferred in the end!
We ended our second night in Berlin by watching the quarter final World Cup game in an outdoor screening.