This time, we were prepared. We had reserved spots in the government building the day before and wore enough thermals to keep us warm throughout the day. We passed security, and followed a guide up to the glass dome structure that lays on top of the government building. It’s a notable example of classical architecture blending in with modernity but apparently not modern enough for there is no heating. Instead, the dome has an open ceiling. The structure has solar panels, but no heating…really Berlin?
Despite the cold, we huddled together and migrated our way up the dome like a couple of penguins. I have to admit, the 360 panoramic view was worth the wait and cold. We also had an audio guide that talked us through all of the buildings throughout our way up and back down.
We then walked towards the Holocaust memorial and crisscrossed through the maze of concrete slabs. There is a grim atmosphere in the air but it isn’t as heavy as one would think. Also, there were tourists with Colgate smiles taking snapshots on top of the graves which keeps things light (no idea why people were smiling though).
It was then time for…tea. My fingers were a bit numb from having my phone out and we were both a bit hungry at this point. Out of the numerous cafe/restaurants that are found along the memorial’s border, we choose the one that looked least like a tourist trap. Also, the man who was trying to talk us into going inside made us laugh which was far better than the one who said, “you ladies look delicious today”. I wonder how that pick up line works out for him.
We warmed ourselves up a bit inside and then as we were on our way out, the man at the door started asking us questions. He was Polish and had come to Berlin to finish his studies and “listen to the techno music”. He offered us jäger (three times) and made us laugh. Shots of jäger at four in the afternoon were welcome in this weather. Plus, he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Eventually we left him and walked towards what is known as the “museum island”.
Five museums are found on the island and mark one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sights. We snapped a few pictures and then walked along the river to Hackescher market for the local sausage in a roll (there is a German name for this but I have no idea how it’s spelled). I tried a bit as it felt obligatory but sausage or meat in general isn’t my cup of tea.
We then had a cup of tea as we now ‘English’ people do, and walked back to the hostel. We were going to the Berghain tonight and had to rest a bit before our night out. After a bit of Japanese food and a couple snapshots in a photomat that we found on our way, we took a cab to Europe’s most exclusive club and of course failed in getting in. Instead, we went to the reject club next door.
This time the music was a bit closer to techno/electronic. The club or klub was on three floors with rooms containing oriental rugs and leather sofas. We headed home quite early as I had a flight in the morning.
Berlin is known for its nights out and 24h klubs but I have now passed the time for not sleeping. Also, although I am keen for a glass of red with dinner, I don’t drink alcohol when out anymore. I’m a bit boring now, I guess, but I am also no longer in debt.
We met the most hilarious cab driver on our way back to hostel (the only one we met that spoke a bit of English), and said our farewells to each other as we had flights at different times the next day. I already knew at this point I would wake up to a zombie and wouldn’t be able to get her out of bed before I left.
I was correct.
I am now at the airport waiting for my flight back to London. I haven’t showered in days as the hot water was not on at the hostel and apart from the shower I would love a bit of warmer weather.
I now have a plane ride to think about the next destination. Amsterdam, perhaps? Edinburg…Bath…Wales? With flights going at twenty pounds return for these destinations if not less I wonder how I do not constantly jet set. Also, I will most likely move to another part of the world soon which means I have to cross these cities off of the bucket list before then.
Auf wiedersehen Berlin, I will be back, just not in the winter.