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29 November 2011

One More Berlin Weekend

Days 84-86: Friday-Sunday, 12-14 August 2011
Having just had some currywurst, I rushed across the city again to meet up with a group of couchsurfers getting Thai food in the park. It was in the southwest of the city, Kleistpark. There, many women (I think they were all women) laid out picnic setups with lots of home made goodies - noodles, rice balls, sesame sugar balls, spicy cabbage salad, and so on. And anyone can just go there and buy some food from any of them.

I met several couchsurfers there, several from Italy, but I spent much of the time talking with Courtney, from New Zealand, and Joana from Brazil.

About half an our into our afternoon picnic in the park, some extremely dark and ominous rain clouds appeared, and soon it began to pour heavy rain. The entire group ran for cover underneath some of the tent shelters. We then went to Hermannplatz, where there was another meetup going on at a bar. There, I grabbed a beer and met more people, including a guy from Philadelphia named Zach or something. The rain had stopped, leaving an optimistically post-apocalyptic cityscape as I left the meetup.

18 November 2011

Berlin Life: U-Bahn, Music, a Burrito, and Currywurst

Days 81-83: Tuesday, 9 August 2011 - Thursday, 11 August 2011
Traveling around Berlin is pretty easy, once you know the U-Bahn and S-Bahn system. The trains will get you everywhere quite easily. They're also clean and spacious. As a result, there aren't that many buses (unlike London which has an extensive tube and bus system).

I was still tired and recovering from the weekend, so on Tuesday I stayed in most of the day. In the evening, there was a jazz night at a bar called Edelweiss in Görlitzer Park (in Kreuzberg). Stephanie and I went there, and so did a huge group of couchsurfers. It was crowded inside, and there was a €3 entrance fee. Needless to say I wasn't very impressed. The jazz was ok, but compared to what I've heard in New Orleans, it was very underwhelming and frankly overrated. There were a couple of French people there. I met a couple of Australians, but it was unfortunately their last night in Berlin, so I had little incentive to really connect with them. Steph and I skipped out of the bar pretty early.

Wednesday was another lazy day. That evening, I joined Felix after work to have a little planning session with his friends, in preparation for the Highfield Festival. I went to Charlottenburg, Kaiserdamm, and met Felix there. We went to the Apartment, which is shared by Andy, Basti, Tobi, and Daniel (Jack). There was also Mirko and Dana. We ordered pizza, and I had one to myself. The pizza was dry and in need of sauce or something. Luckily, the guys had extra dressing from their salad that they gave to me.

Finally, on Thursday, it wasn't raining! So I explored the city on foot. I walked to the Tiergarten, the big park in the middle of the city, Berlin's equivalent of Central Park or Hyde Park. In the middle of the park is the Siegesäule, a large column commemorating Prussian military victories.