A short flight from Luton, my European adventure began in Berlin Germany. I wanted to go InterRailing whilst I was still under 26 and therefore qualified for a youth ticket. My ticket arrived in good time and came with some handy flyers. All seemed to be in place.
Berlin was brilliant, a city filled with history, and if you knew where to look for it, a great night out.
At my hostel, a wombats hostel (a common hostel chain throughout Europe), I was given a number of flyers regarding things to do, but the one that caught my eye was a free walking tour. I’m not tight or anything, but travelling is expensive, so it worth keeping an eye out for bargains!
My hostel was very nice, a godo sized room with lockers etc. My room mates were in town to watch a German footy match and seemingly like an ale or two of an evening, but they were as good as gold other than that. The hostel neighbourhood wasnt rough, but it was a bit quiet and not somewhere you’d chose to walk around late a night on your tod, but the train network was great and it minutes i was in the center of town taking in the sights.
On my second day I met the guides outside Starbucks, took a number and was then assigned an English speaking guide. The New Berlin walking tour took me and 29 (ish, don’t quote me on that figure) around the major historical site of Berlin, including the Brandenburg Gate, Hitler’s Bunker, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Checkpoint Charlie and Museum Island. It wasn’t totally free as you pay the guides a tip of however much you think the tour was worth. I think I spent 15 Euros very well. An evening at a vastly overpriced Irish bar followed, I got chatting to a few people, but was quite busy reading though all the flyers I had acquired.
As it was Easter, there were a few market stalls open in the big squares. I tried some of the local sausages and a big old beer. I was gearing up for the bar crawl in the evening. I wasn’t 100% about going on a bar crawl on my own, but in my previous experience bar crawls just end up with loads of random people chatting to other random people, this one was no different. At the first bar we had as much beer as we could drink in 2 hours. I didn’t go mad, but had enough so that felt comfortable chatting to American randoms I met. The bar was almost too cool for school. It was a run down building with a bar in the back and a few arty sculptures thrown in. I actually quite liked it. We were then whizzed to a number of different bars all around the city. I have no idea of the route, I wouldn’t even attempt it again now, but all I know is we had to jump the train home at 3am and that I woke up in someone else’s hostel. Naughty on both accounts I know, slap on the wrist for me!!
Feeling slightly worse for wear the next morning/afternoon, i took a train down to the east side gallery to have a lot at all the artwork along the east side of the berlin wall. I also wandered around all the easter markets that were in town, treating myself to another brautwurst sauage along the way. A hearty meal it was, and along with being oober tasty, made me feel a great deal better. If you are a meat eater, this is one to try! … the walkers crisps equivalent doesnt come close to capturing the taste.
Boarding my first train was a somewhat nervous experience. It was kind of hard to know I was on exactly the right train, but Berlin was a grand station and had lots of good translations and helpful staff, so I was soon on the right train. Prague was my next stop.
- The wall – especially the east side gallery
- The New Berlin free walking tour