As I have grown older, I have become more reliant on technology. When my phone did not work in Berlin, I was so damn happy. As most reading this know, I am originally from America, and the thought of finding a flight to another part of the US for under $100 is a very far fetched thought. What if I told you I flew from Bucharest, Romania to Berlin, Germany for 5 Euros in 2018? Would you believe me? For those completely unfamiliar with the Euro, let’s just call that 5 bucks. Sounds insane right? Well, it happened. I went to Berlin for 5 bucks in 2018 and had the time of my life. The city is so vibrant and filled with creativity. If inspiration doesn’t strike during your time in Berlin, then I can only assume your eyes, ears, and nose were all closed. The music is amazing. The sights are gorgeous. The food. Oh man the food is delicious.
When I first landed in Berlin, I knew the trains I was supposed to take to reach my hostel, but after that I was unsure of how to reach my destination. I figured my phone could guide me. I was wrong 🙂 While riding the train I realized my phone wasn’t going to work, and the folks I asked on the train didn’t really know where my hostel was, so I winged it. I got off the train and started wandering around. Luckily I had the address, but in the end I didn’t even use it to find the place. It was pure luck that I found my hostel. I took an assortment of turns that only a drunk man would make (I was sober…for now). I just kept following my heart by walking down streets that looked neat, and sure enough I eventually landed at my hostel. I was pleased with my navigation skills or lack thereof.
What does one do when he arrives to a new city in the morning on vacation in his late 20’s? Drink a beer of course. That is always step 1. First beer. I enjoyed my free hostel beer before mapping out a route for the day. There was so much to see in Berlin, and I only had a few days to do it.
Mauerpark – my favorite spot in Berlin. Mauerpark is a place of freedom, music, food, and dance. This was not always the case. I was talking with some German folks who told this park was stained with blood in World War II. There was a hill that divided the East and the West. Many of those fleeing the Nazi regime were shot down by snipers on a hill that was now covered with shirtless hippies smoking doobies. I joined them, and thought to myself “man, we sure have came a long way.” There will always be hate in this world, but there is definitely much less now than there was before, and that is progress.
I almost forgot to mention….during my time at Mauerpark, I met a band called the The Sun Pilots. These guys were rocking a full band setup in the sunshine. It was amazing. Mauerpark was like heaven on earth. After The Sun Pilots finished their set, we chatted, became friends, and I even helped them shoot some video. If you want to hear some of their awesome music, go check them out. Your ears will thank you. Rock on boys. Rock on.
Ok back to the adventures. I don’t want to make this post too long otherwise you won’t read and come back for more! I fulfilled my desires for beer, joints, music, and fod by visiting Mauerpark and partaking in the drum circles, dance sessions, and much more. It is a place of expression. Go visit it if you are in Berlin. When I visit new destinations, I also want to learn something new, so I decided to head to one of the many museums Berlin has to offer. I never truly appreciated museums until I moved to Europe. The museum I visited was the Jewish Memorial Museum. I ended up spending nearly 3 hours in one room reading about one man; Coco Schuman. Coco was a jazz guitarist who was sent to Auschwitz during the war. During his time in the concentration camps he was forced to play guitar for Jews that were being sent to the gas chambers. His life was spared because of his talents. There is so much more that could be said about Coco and his life, so I suggest you google him after this, and if you find yourself in Berlin, visit the area in the Jewish Memorial Museum dedicated to him. As a musician, I can not fathom staying alive only because I play guitar. This man had to do what he loved surrounded by hatred and death in order to stay alive. That was the one of many things I learned during my time in Berlin.
Now to leave you all on a funny note. On my last night in Berlin I partied until the wee morning hours. I stayed up all night and caught a 4:30am train to the airport for what I believe was a 7am flight. Either way, I will leave you with two things. The nightlife in Berlin is incredible. The people there are amazing, and you will never get bored. Secondly, upon arrival to the airport I visited the bathroom to find something very peculiar….There was a phone in the bathroom. No, someone did not leave their cell phone behind. No, there was not a phone on the wall next to the sink for staff. There was a phone mounted to the wall right next to the toilet! I thought to myself “what could possibly go so wrong that a phone is needed immediately next to the pooper!” Maybe it’s the emergency toilet paper hotline. Who knows?!
After reading back through my travel Journal I can only say that you must travel in your life. If you have the ability to experience new cultures, languages, ideals, and people, then you should do it. If you do not allow yourself this pleasure in life you are only cheating yourself. The world is massive……go experience it for what it’s worth.
Well friends I hope you enjoyed reading about my Berlin Shenanigan. It is a lovely place that I can not wait to visit and maybe live in again. Cheers!
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