Berlin – 27 photos
bikes, music, film, art, relaxing, food, politics
That’s what Berlin has. Truthfully, that’s what most cities around the world have, but Berlin seems to be dominated by these things especially, and it seems to be populated solely by people who care about them more than they do other things.
I am going to litter 27 photos throughout this post, as there are too many great memories to neglect any of them!
1. Above is the tour we did to the Reichstag building. There is a glass dome on the top which allows any member of the public to peek inside and view the inner workings of the German government. There’s a lot of this talk after Word War II, the German government trying their best to go in the opposite direction the Nazi party ended up going in. The result is one of the coolest cities in the world.
2. This is a picture I took very early on in the trip. It features Abby reading in her underwear by a canal. The canal side was busy every day, at most hours of the day. The evenings were the most popular time to hang near there, with a cheap beer bought from the corner shop or ice cream from a popup shop (which were never too far).
3. Walking home from a beautiful park that was near our second accommodation in Berlin, I was inspired to take a picture of Abby in the sun. The cobbled streets and trees brushing the apartment building walls is something we don’t get in NZ, but which in Berlin is commonplace.
4. This is pretty. When the sun came out, this was the best place to be. Everybody just kinda lies there. Not many had books like us, some of them may have a guitar or beer, but the majority of people merely sit/lay and look at nothing.
5. There’s a large empty square courtyard with three beautiful buildings on it in the main city centre of Mitte. Two cathedrals face each other and either end, and this KoncertHaus rests in the middle. The Berlin Symphony orchestra play for free on the stairs during the summer evenings.
6. We stayed with the buff, handsome Niuean Conor Lui for a few nights when we arrived, then later when in between accommodations, with the intelligent, bubbling Anna Wright. Conor asked a passerby to take this photo and I’m glad he did. It’s a memory now, officially.
7. One of the most pleasing things about Berlin was the public’s attitude toward bicycles and the bicyclists on them. It’s understood that cyclists have the right of way when on the road, and there are bike lanes on the majority of streets. We signed up to CallABike, a rental service that hires bikes out very cheaply. 9 Euro a month!
8. This is Rose Burrowes (instagram extraordinaire) sitting in the shadows of a great secondhand bookshop in Kreuzberg called Another Country. In Another Country, you can buy a book for cheap and return it once you’ve finished reading it and receive your money back (minus a euro and a half)! So it’s basically a library you don’t have to sign up for.
9. Growing up in NZ, I’m used to big breakfasts. Bacon, eggs, toast, hash browns, sausages, mushrooms cooked in butter and maybe a fried tomato half or two. However, we struggled to find this in Berlin. There were some places, sure, like CabSlam in particular, but the prices were always higher due to being hot with tourists. The common thing in the neighbourhood we stayed in was Turkish Breakfast. This consisted of a plate full of different cuts of meat, bread, fruit and a boiled egg. With a coffee, this turned breakfast into a finger licking extravaganza.
10. The entire two months we spent in Berlin, we only swam once. Together with Anna and her friend Tom from England, we took a tram for half an hour and walked through the woods past families, drinking teenagers, smoking hipsters and picnicking couples to find a cosy square of dirt to lay our blanket down.
It’s not common to put your head under the water, but it was refreshing all the same.
11. We often biked to Mitte from Neukölln through Kreuzberg or through Görlitzer park, keeping out eyes on the path in front of us, away from the many enthusiastic but friendly drug dealers. However, the time we decided to go a different way brought us to the busy and exuberant Schlesische straße via this lovely canal with bridges and parks surrounding it.
12. The audiotour as you walk up the Reichstag dome’s spiral walkway is informative and objective about the city’s turbulent past. Highly recommended.
13. I took this photo on our last day in Berlin. We biked through Kreuzberg to drop off some books, have a last coffee and bow goodbyes at all the amazing cafes and restaurants on Oranienstraße.
14. We didn’t visit many art galleries or museums while in Berlin, as it’s not something that seemed worth spending the money to us (there is so much else to do!), but we did make visit the Neues museum to see Nefertiti’s bust and the skull of a Neanderthal. While there, I had to take a pic of Helios coz he looks so damn suave. Check him out! #fitspo
15. Cycling through Kreuzberg, I had to jump off and grab this photo. When there are this many beautiful spots and sunshine blaring down, it amazes me that this isn’t busier. What a great place to read a book (or thumb through a bible if you believe).
16. Between the business orientated area of Mitte and the Brandenburg gate is a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. It’s an expansive area filled with concrete podiums of differing heights, all leaning in different directions, lined in a massive grid. The architect, Peter Eisenman, claims there is no symbolism in it, but the first thought that strikes most minds is coffins. We did the walking tour and were told some great tidbits about this piece, especially the Degussa controversy. Go read about it.
17. Our arrival to Berlin coincided with the release of Mad Max and due to all my filmy friends back home texting about it, we had to check it out. Luckily, there’s a lot of fantastic cinemas in Berlin. The Yorke chain seem to be the coolest and most boutique, so we saw Mad Max there. Awesome spot near Hermannplatz.
18. Despite it being the summer months and temperatures reaching 37 degrees, we enjoyed a fair share of rain. We made the most of the stylish shops in Mitte, and found some funky cafes down colourful alleyways.
19. One of the greatest memories of all of Berlin is the Freiluftkino Hasenheide. The fact I can pronounce that now is a major source of happiness for me. It translates to openair cinema at Hasenheide park. We saw Magic in the Moonlight there (one of my top 20 films of last year). It was 7 euro and there was 1 euro coffee, chocolate and popcorn on offer. Tiered seating, a massive screen, loud sound and pinkish clouds in the never-quite-black sky made for a memorable evening. Not to mention Emma Stone and Colin Firth. Wonderful company.
20. We stayed for three weeks in a modern, well equipped apartment on Weserstraße in Neukölln with two great friends, Rose and Jono. We were on the top floor and had rooftop access for a day before we were told not to go up there. Luckily Jono snapped this photo while we were up there. You think this photo’s amazing? Jono makes a living from his photography, as well as keeping a strong ethical stance in his endorsements. Check out his work.
21. Rooftops abound. Such a wonderful place to visit on a nice evening, of which there were many during June and July in Berlin. On our way to Neukölln Arcaden on Karl Marx Straße, it’s perfectly legal and acceptable to have an open vessel on the streets.
22. I took this when Abby’s friend Becca was passing through town and we were walking through the alleys finding a nice spot to have a coffee. My back is pressed against the railing to the canal here and we are near the museum Island.
23. Okay get this, there’s an old airstrip called Templhof. It’s not used anymore, so it’s open for the public to walk around, picnic, exercise, race their bikes, teach their kids to ride their bikes, walk their dogs, or just stand in awe of the amazing sunsets.
24. This place is neat. We had a delicious naughty meal of Schiller Burger and watched the sun go down, ignoring the smell of dank weed smoke that I’ll forever associate with the free-spiriters of Berlin.
25. We had the pleasure of meeting Molly Pavlovich, an extremely passionate traveller who takes some incredible photos of the amazing places she visits on her website The Boheme Road.
Here we are having a picnic.
26. This is me on the walking tour, learning a lot about Berlin history. This is definitely worth doing.
27. Walking through Berlin became the favourite thing to do for us. We’d cycle our CallABike to a good parking spot then wander, using CityMaps2Go app to navigate ourselves (it doesn’t use data – GPS only). We’d stumble upon cafes, shops, art galleries and generally pleasurable views of architecture and parks.
Even though I’ve posted all these pictures and taken a mental amble through a lot of memories, I haven’t mentioned the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the wonderfully engineered window and door design, Sahara kebab shop, Falafel Jacob, the Sony Centre, the great vintage stores in Friedrichshain, Shakespeare and Sons book and bagelshop on Warshauerstraße, or the Berlin wall!
There’s so much to see and do in Berlin. I recommend it very highly.
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