Continuing the theme of walking tours and slightly comforted by the fact the rain seemed to have stemmed its tide, I left D at the hostel and headed off with another Aussie for the free walking tour run by the same company I’ve previously explored Paris and Amsterdam with.
Berlin however had the biggest turnout I have seen for these tours to date. Split into approx. 6 groups of 20 or so people I ended up with Dave an English/German guide that just seemed to ooze knowledge of everything (at times too much).
Over the 3 hour tour I learnt where Hitler’s bunker was, which just so happened to be the very same spot where he took his life. I got to see one of the remaining section’s of the Berlin wall along with the infamous Checkpoint Charlie bordering crossing that used to be the American controlled link between East and West Berlin.
Having never really known much about Berlin beforehand, leaving the tour I had found myself somewhat glad my guide was chock full of history knowledge. To see a city that was basically levelled during war times now standing on its own two feet again and building a new life all while acknowledging its crimes of the past is a sight to see.
It was at this point where I parted ways with my Aussie friend as I headed back to meet up with D at the hostel and she went shopping. We had planned to see a few more of the sights before calling it quits on Berlin as we both had trains out of town the next day, me to Copenhagen and D to Amsterdam.
First up I ensured there was a train seat available for me to Copenhagen as I could not stay any longer at the hostel, then we headed to what D thought was a market area. Unfortunately It was here that our exploring didn’t last long as It turned out to be very much not a market and just a street of restaurants.
After my usual paying out on D for dragging me out to nowhere we succumbed to defeat and headed for the hostel and a beer to relax. One beer turned into a few and after mixing together some pasta and having a good old laugh at a couple of guys from Finland, a small group of us set off to find a watering hole to put an end to our time in Berlin.
It was here that I have to admit I got a first hand look at what a Shisha (Hookah) was. It’s basically a big glass waterpipe used to smoke tobacco with. The water inside is used to cool and filter the smoke, as well as altering the taste depending on what type of flavoring is used in the water.
Given that I’m not a smoker I let D sample it on her own and I settled for a beer and a chat with our friends. it wasn’t too long before it was time to end the night and what better way to finish a drinking session than with a kebab.
I was left with a similar impression of Berlin – impressed that the city not only recovered in such a short time, but also managed to become an art and business mecca in Germany.
By the way, I’m not a smoker either, but hookah can be pretty fun. Give it a shot, it just tastes like you drank a flavored tea.
Hey mate, I prob should have tried hookah but there is always next time 🙂
Yes Berlin has come a long way in a short time, will be good to see how it continues to grow.
HEY!! I did NOT go shopping, did I? I don’t recall buying any goods from Berlin I took with me. Way to hit a girl when she’s down (AKA ridiculously shopped out in Morocco).
haha D no silly. It was Deb I think her name was that I went to the walking tour with not you.
Ah mate I really hoped to get to Berlin when I was in Germany, but I didn’t make it. Sounds great.
Berlin was lots of fun Matt. Helped I had D to explore with as well. Really hope you get there some day.
Im not a smoker but I kind of like the apple tobacco, but not so much the next day when I’m hacking my lungs out.
I’ll give them ago next time Ayngelina. Still not 100% I want to but hey you only live once right.
Ummm, I love hookahs! I had an awesome one while in Barce last week. You should definitely give it a try, it’s really gentle on the lungs and tastes wonderful.
I can’t wait to explore Berlin one day!!!
I’ll try it Andi but if I’m dieing the next day I’m going to blame you 🙂
How did I miss this post earlier? Love, LOVE Berlin! For its size, it’s pretty good to see on foot and you’ve reminded me of my visit…I want to go again!
Gee Heather aren’t you reading all of my blogs religiously yet 🙂 I had lots of fun there and would like to go back and spend a few more days there exploring.