Berlin... a must do city.

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
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164
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Trip End Jan 25, 2009


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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, July 27, 2006

Berlin has become one of my favourite cities in the world... if I didn't have a time schedule, I would be staying here for at least 2 weeks. It is the people I've met that have made the experience, both locals and travellers. All of my criteria for an outstanding holiday destination are here... value for money, friendly locals, excellent tourism infrastructure, outstanding food, great nightlife, lots to see and do, and beautiful parks to relax in. I can't speak high enough for this city... and I can't wait to return and to it to do it further justice.

I've really scored with the Jetpak Hostel (Paristrasse, 2 stops from Zoo station) in the heart of the city. The people I'm sharing with are fantastic... we ended up going on yet another pub crawl last night which gave me the opportunity to meet more people from around the world. My love of Canadians continues... I met a few from Toronto last night, including Tom who I ended up hanging around with until he basically passed out at his hostel, The Generator. The Germans are clever with their pub crawls in that they bring tourists together... there is no better group to hang out with given our common love of experiencing the world.

The pub crawl took us to several East Berlin pubs. The pub crawl was good in that it took us to real German pubs, devoid of tourists. I met several guys from Sinigon, Africa who were very interesting and talked about their love of Reggae music. I also met a Dutch guy from Amsterdam who was adamant I was George Michael. Adam from Ippswitch, England was also good to talk to but I lost him amongst the crowd which was a shame... great guy.

Tom and I decided to ditch the last club, rather deciding to hit it on our own in getting back to his hostel... I was quite sobre so took over the role of navigator around this huge city (god knows what would of happened to him if I wasn't there...). Tom and I got a little lost but caught up with a tram line that took us close to the Generator... after spending a couple of hours there with a few other backpackers, stoned on weed, I was left to my own devices to get back to the JetPak... on the other side of the city. And I made it in good time... 1 hour 20. The public transport infrastructure is excellent here... after speaking to a few locals who spoke no English, I got a tram and bus to the Zoo station, and walked about 20 minutes to the hostel. A great night all round... got back to the hostel in good time at 4am.

Museums are free tonight so plan to go to at least one between 6 and 10 before meeting up with Franklyn at one of the pubs he recommended. I love the nightlife here and can't wait to experience more. It's really great having the opportunity to spend at least 5 nights here. I am loving being free from a routine at the moment... I'm loving being away from the day to day routine of work and really loving the flexibility of travelling once again. What I'm finding is that I'm going through phases at the moment, but the city and people I meet are critical in giving me the upswing. I wish I could stay here longer.

PS I spent the better part of the day sunbathing in one of the nudist parks... so much fun. I didn't totally strip but love this city's tolerance and free approach. The park was so much more busier than that of Munich, and there were ladies selling drinks which was good. Initially, I was a little embarrassed walking through hoards of naked bodies, but you get use to it after a while. There were literally hundreds of people bathing in the nude...people of all ages this time, and of both genders but mostly male. If you enjoy sunbathing in the nude, Germany is the place to come to.
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