Thursday, February 21, 2008

And the walls came a-tumbling down

Hello again from Berlin. I was in luck and my host lent me his camera so you need not worry about that on my account. I am stopping to use up the rest of my internet ticket before heading to the Pergammon museum. My flight is at 10 tonight so I have a good day ahead of me. The place I am staying is really friendly and I've met a ton of awesome people, and if I can get by the rest of today on €7 then I'll have only spent €40, plus the 40 pounds to get here. Pretty good.

Yesterday I went on an 'alternative berlin' tour, which was pretty awesome. Our group consisted of me, two others who were staying in the same place, and another American who I managed to pick out to ask if he spoke English in order to ask if he knew where the tour met. He didn't, he was wondering the same himself, but sure he could speak English. Can't I spot 'em! The friendly guide took us round to a bunch of spots popular with the local nitty gritty. We saw an old building, former Nazi HQ that had been co-opted by a bunch of avant guarde artists, tons of graffitti murals including the biggest one in the world, a second-hand store that sold clothing by weight, a famous squat house, a bombed out railway station that had been converted into a recreation center, and of course the Berlin wall where we snuck behind some ineffective fencing and walked along the behind of the East Side Gallery. (I will come back and add links to these things and pictures when I get back so you will see what I am talking about.) He leaned a piece of the fencing against the wall so we could climb it and take pictures, an activity described as "borderline illegal" but what a great photo-op! It's not everyday you get to climb the Berlin wall. We also had some really awesome kebab. I'd reccomend the guided tour to anyone who is visiting Berlin and interested in that kind of thing. Technically it's free but since the guides are only paid in tips you really should give them something if you liked the tour at all. However they are understanding if you have spent the last seven years of your life in higher education and don't have much to give.

It's been really nice, the weather not too bad, it only rained a bit on the first day, touch wood. Berlin is such an interesting city, mix of gritty and nice in its modernity. It reminds me of Belgrade in a way, but I suppose that is hardly surprising.

Now off to the museum. I thought I might buy the pass and see the other ones, but I'm walking around sightseeing so there's not really that much time and also I think that would put me at not enough to take the U-Bahn to the airport, which is kinda essential so...

There is always next time.

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