So Day Three and Four have kind of bled into each other a bit – because night three ended up actually being party night. So I’m writing this on day Four, but you won’t get to hear about today till later!
Anyway I’ll start at the beginning of day three. I thought I’d let the weather decided between two; bad weather I go to Museum Island and enjoy that, good weather I go to The East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie.
My plans were scuppered somewhat when a friend from home let me know what the forecast was, sunny in the morning, rain in the afternoon. ‘Whatever’ I thought, that’s still plenty of time to see the East Side Gallery and I can improvise in the afternoon.
Elephant came with me too, as he’d yet to see it either, and we decided to walk and take in the sights instead of going on the S-Bahn (Underground), it was lovely, I saw some new sculpture I ‘d yet to see, finding my absolute favourite in this fountain:
I actually stopped and did a study of this particular bronze for a while:
I just thought she was so beautiful.
We also walked past the first traditional German restaurant I’d seen. Now you may think from that I’d yet to go outside, but believe me, for Germany they have very few of their own restaurants – although they seem to love Italian. At any rate, we made that our plan for the evening.
We grabbed some food on the way there at this German sandwich chain. In all honesty I thought Germany would be like France – in the respect of having next to nothing for vegetarians. I’ve been proved very wrong though, there weren’t only plenty of veggie options there were vegan options too – ones I actually ate because they looked so tasty, and I’m a dirty meat eater.
The weather predictions turned out to be a dirty lie when it started raining before it was even ten, but we trussed ourselves up and pushed on. I’m not going to lie though – I’m not sure it was worth it. There’s scaffolding erected in front of most of The East Side Gallery so people can’t graffiti over everything. The worst part is this is shown to be necessary when you see the parts of the wall with no barriers are coated in layers of shoddy pen work like ‘UK Kaylee woz ea 2009’ (that is an actual example).
It’s not just that, I was expecting to see something new – but if you’ve ever looked up the Berlin wall, you’ve seen pretty much all the one’s worth looking at. I saw two works that I truly felt was worth the trek. There are a lot of political pieces that have powerful messages but are actually not so much a pleasure to look at, and I feel like I didn’t gain anything from seeing them in the flesh – or wall – or whatever. I don’t think being wet and cold dampened (pun intended) my opinion that much either, since being English that is my usual state of being and I’m not that poorly disposed most of the time.
Below are the pieces I felt really worth looking at, unfortunately I can’t do them justice in the pictures as I had to try and photo them sticking my hands through the railing around the wall:
By this time, it was raining so heavily Elephant and I have no choice but to retreat inside. So we find a Mexican cocktail bar and sit inside and I was subjected to his word games. Which are not good. Like in any way. Counting to 100 in a round is not fun no matter how you dress it up.
Finally, the rain let’s up and I’m free. We head back to the hostel to dry off before we go to dinner at the German place we found. We meet a Russian girl studying in England visiting Berlin who has such a quintessentially Russian name I will call her Princess Anastasia/Princess from here on, and she comes with us to diner.
We don’t get into the first place we saw, with the live music and things, and the waiter is incredibly rude into the bargain. We take our patronage next door instead and meet a lovely Italian couple, with a near obsessive interest in what goes into German sausage.
Then it’s back to the hostel where we intended to get an innocent drink in the bar. However, the lad from Holland I spent some time chatting to on Day One is there, and he’s going out with a student friend from Berlin – it seemed a waste not to see the night life with a local. So off we go, the little group we have amassed, two German, Dutch, Canadian, Brazilian, Russian and English (myself) – intending to have a good laugh.
Turns out night life in Berlin is awkward as anything. I’m no stranger to going out in cities but I’ve never been turned away from five venues in a row – note venues, not even clubs – true our group was a bit of a sausage fest (A phrase Elephant extracted endless amusement from), but even so, we weren’t even in a hot spot. We ended up going to a booze shop and sitting on the seats outside. I won’t complain though, every single person made great company so we had a good laugh (except when Elephant tried to force his games on everyone).
We start breaking off at that point, so Princess and I end up going to a student party with the local and the Dutch guy. By that I mean this two story building that makes you want to wear socks on your hands it’s so filthy, everyone smoking inside, with Hip Hop upstairs and Grunge dance downstairs. Still it was pretty fun, we’d had a few drinks by that point so we bopped around, showing off our 80’s moves and didn’t emerge till it was light outside.