Instagram feed

26 August 2011

The Permanent Rain (1st Weekend in Berlin)

Days 70-72: Friday, 29 July 2011 - Sunday, 31 July 2011

"Something is wrong with the sky," I commented. It had begun to rain on Thursday, and the weather did not relent through the entire weekend. Showers and moderate rain fell constantly. I looked at the radar map and saw a band of rain streaming over Berlin. The rest of Germany was dry. And it stayed like this for 4 days.

And Berlin is not the same as any of the destinations I had been to so far on this trip. Instead of finding myself in a new and unfamiliar place and meeting all new people, I was in a city I had visited 7 years ago, and I was surrounded by familiar friends. And because I'd be in Berlin for several weeks, I didn't have to try to see every sight all in a day or two.

The weekend was filled with birthday celebrations.
We picked up our friends from the airport on Friday morning and after a bit of settling in, we met up again, eating at the first restaurant we could find, a potato restaurant. Then, walking through the rain, we made our way to a second-hand shop and browsed for any cheap and cool clothes to wear to the club, but no one bought anything. Then, we recharged our energy at a nearby café/bar. We split up and reconvened in Kreuzberg, where I had a quick falafel for dinner before joining everyone else. It was great - there were about 10 of us at a table, mostly old friends from LA, which it sort of felt like. Several beers and several rounds of Jägermeister later, the specific memories of the evening faded away into a more general, happy impression.

Some of us tried to go to the Kit Kat Klub, but the girls weren't dressed crazily enough to enter. A few other split off, and those of us left went to join a friend-of-a-friend who promised a house party. After waiting in the rain for like 20 minutes, he arrived and the plan had changed to going to another club. Feeling indecisive, we instead grabbed some disappointing döner kebabs. Tired, that was it and we called it a night. The U-Bahn runs 24 hours on Friday and Saturday nights (during the week, there are replacement buses that go along each route). Convenient.

After such a long night, it was no surprise that it wasn't until the afternoon that we were up on Saturday. I did some sightseeing with one of the friends visiting, which took us through the main sights of central Berlin - Potsdamer Platz, the Reichstag, holocaust memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and most importantly, the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled his baby over the ledge of a balcony.

At Alexanderplatz, there was a vegan festival going on, and I had a Sudanese falafel with peanut sauce. The girls soon arrived, and we peeked inside the gourmet supermarket in the department store before deciding to shop at a cheaper place closer to our destination, a friend's apartment in Neukölln.

That evening was a birthday celebration for a friend (actually my flatmate's friend, I had met her in LA). It was held in a park, with many different venues to rent for parties. In true European fashion, we went all night - until nearly 7 am, with an amusing morning journey back to the apartment.

Sunday, Chris and I rolled out into the rain to explore some more. We got some currywurst at the famous Curry 36 in Kreuzberg. Well, actually my friend got the 2 currywursts mit pommes, while I opted for 2 boulettes mit pommes, which was much larger and not that great in quality. We then headed to the East Side Gallery. As we walked out of the U-Bahn station at Warschauer Straße, the rain really began to pour. After a couple minutes, we were drenched and feeling yucky.

We met up with the girls soon thereafter in Prenzlauer Berg, at an actually nice cafe where we sought shelter from the weather. We then all headed on the U-Bahn toward Kreuzberg where we had dinner at a pretty decent restaurant. There, Felix and Steffen joined us as well. We split up afterwards, but a couple of us went to a nearby bar called Molotow Cocktail for a drink. It didn't seem so late when I came back home, but I just missed the last train of the night, so I was forced to take the night bus, which I was unfamiliar with.

And unfortunately I didn't recognize where any of the stops were, so I ended up taking the bus way too far and having to take another bus to get back. Argh!

No comments:

Post a Comment