even though i started my trip in greece, i have to write about berlin first because i just left and it was the hardest to say goodbye to! i was not expecting to fall in love. don’t get me wrong i was so freaking happy to visit kristen and see her life there, but i had no idea how much i’d enjoy the city. a lot of people i had met before told me it was somewhat grungy, not the usual obviously beautiful european city and that the germans aren’t the warmest. but after spending a few days there, these became all my favorite parts about it.
one week in berlin was not enough for me. i think the reason i loved it most was because i got to tour around the city with someone who’s been living there almost a year. kristen brought me to all the best places. the parks she hangs out in, where she rides her bike, where she gets a drink and the best slice of pizza, etc. i’m so grateful i got to see the city this way. being a tourist and doing tourist-y things is always so much fun, but this was such a refreshing way to explore a new place.
my favorite day was riding bikes around the city. from kristen’s house we rode through the trendy neighborhood of kreuzberg, past the berlin wall, through a beautiful park and first stopped at tempelhof airport. this was where i realized nothing goes to waste in berlin. tempelhof airport is now closed but it’s runways have been converted into a giant public park. there were people flying kites, running, taking naps, and working in community gardens. it’s massive! and so awesome to see. after riding around the airport we grabbed some beers and hiked to the top of viktoria park for lovely 360 views of the city. and finally we made our way to markt halle neun, which is the most bad a$$ food market that happens on thursday nights. we bought glasses of riesling (which by the way is so effing delicious in germany) and took a lap to explore all of our options. we ended up with pot stickers, empanadas, kimchi tacos, kaese spaetzle (german mac & cheese), and these yemen wrap things that were BOMB. if you go to berlin, you have to make time for this. kristen said there’s one near her house on the weekends that does only breakfast food…. the city truly holds the key to my heart.
the first day i got to berlin, kris did show me all the main attractions. we saw the the brandenburg gate, the german parliament building, this beautiful church that was bombed multiple times in world war two and is somehow still standing, and ended the day at the most picturesque biergarten while getting caught in a summer storm. thanks to kristen, i can now successfully order beers, bratwurst, and pretzels in german. most of the week was spent like this. walking around, seeing beautiful things, and stopping for food and drinks along the way. total relaxation.
my last night, however, kristen brought me to one of berlin’s notorious clubs. the nightlife in berlin is unlike any i’ve ever experienced. aside from going out around 2 or 3 am, which is normal for europe, a night out at a berlin club could turn into you leaving the next afternoon! and they’re really hard to get into. in movies, girls in short dresses and stilettos walk up to the front to flirt with the bouncer and to try to cut the line and get in. in berlin, if you’re wearing a dress and heels, makeup even, or your hair is too clean and pretty, you’re likely going to be turned away. you have to wear all black, your hair up, minimum makeup, and no smiling, laughing or being obnoxious while you wait in line. you have to “be cool.” so crazy! it was pretty awesome once we got inside, too. this one was in what felt like an abandoned apartment complex with millions of little rooms and nooks to hang out in. you could easily get lost trying to find the dance floor or the bar.
so i guess it’s pretty obvious judging by the novel i just wrote how much i really loved berlin! and thanks to kristen for being the best hostess with the mostest :). stay tuned for posts on the rest of my stops!