Just like Amsterdam it was cold and wet when I packed up to leave the hostel I was in and head across to the same one as D. The problem was only compounded after I got lost yet again trying to find the place. I really think I should have invested in a local sim card for my phone so I can use the built in GPS on my iPhone as this happens far too often.
The hostel didn’t make it any easier to find, given its location on the 3rd floor of a building that had no signage. Still I found it and dumped my gear before meeting the largest portion of aussie’s I have come across yet on my trip. Why there was so many at one hostel I don’t know. I’m kinda of glad they were though, as its nice to talk about home.
Within an hour of being at the hostel I also had my first tour of Berlin to see. The Alternative Walking Tour of Berlin (alternativeberlin.com) that was to show us the graffiti of the place.
The tour covered various areas across Berlin which meant this would be my first walking tour that involved trains/trams as Berlin is rather large. Given the horrible weather of the day that actually turned out to be a great idea as the rainnever let up ALL day.
Starting our tour off with inside attractions like Tachelles was rather cool. An abandoned building that squatters had claimed as their own to save it from demolition, its now a haven for artists and creative folk. From here we wandered streets and alleyways, learning that some of this art was used to help bring an area away from its more dangerous drug links and create places you could be safe to visit.
Finishing the tour at the old railway station that now serves various purposes, one where we stopped was the skate park. Now back in the day I always wanted to learn to skate or roller blade but when all you have for a driveway is gravel its less than ideal. One kid who couldn’t have been more than 12 tried again and again to perfect his tricks. Again and again he went down the ramp all while the bigger guys skirted down and around him. You gotta admire that sort of determination.
With the tour over we got a tip from our guide in the food department. This then had D on the hunt for the best kebab in Berlin. A big claim indeed given the sheer size of the place but our guide assured us this was the real deal. A train and some walking later we arrived at Mustafas little kebab shop. Nothing more than a makeshift store on the side of the footpath we waited in the rain to see if our search had been worth it.
While some couldn’t wait to get back to the hostel to eat (Cough.. D Cough..) I was impressed with our food find when I finally sat to eat. I wouldn’t go as far as say its the best kebab I’ve eaten, but it was pretty damn good. So if your in Berlin and have a hankering for a Kebab get the directions to Mustafas and see what you think.
With food out of the way we divided the rest of the day by talking to others around the hostel, getting some all important blogging work done and drinking 1 euro beers from the hostel. Some nights it just more fun to party with other travellers and share stories of days gone bye. Oh and the fact it was still pouring rain outside kinda cemented the fact I wasn’t going anywhere else again that day.
We never went on a walking tour in Berlin, but it was cool looking at all the graffiti from the trains. Some 3- and 4-story buildings were entirely covered with giant colorful murals. Really cool stuff!
I know some of the buildings were amazing. Did you see the astronaut guy on the building near one of the train stations? Apparently at night the lights from the car yard next door shine up and make it look like he’s holding a flag.
Wow that artwork is amazing! I keep hearing about how great Berlin is from my friends – I’m definitely gonna have to go now – thanks for the great post 🙂
You so have to go there Ros. I only had 3 days and didn’t see anywhere near enough of the place.
I think more cities ought to give tours of the street art. Artwork like this really sheds light on the culture of a city in a way more traditional art often doesn’t.
I agree Gray. It is everywhere and so much of it is just awesome that you just have to see it.
C’mon. I was HUNGRY!!!
haha indeed you were D 🙂
I love beautiful graffiti like that! Did you see any Banksy?
I’m not sure to be honest, maybe.
This is so cool!!! I wished I had gone to Berlin when I was in Europe last time, I’ve heard so much about the whole alternative arty side of things. Love those pics!!! I’m totally gonna do this tour when I eventually get to Berlin!!! 😀