Sarah and I headed to the Pinocchio Bar in the former East Berlin with Richard from New Zealand and Krista from Canada. Along with Paulo from Brazil and a Japanese guy, we had a representative from almost every continent in the world. We were all staying in a hostel close to the Brandenburg Gate. After we chatted, we went to a more lively reggae bar to continue our first night of partying in Berlin.
Unter den Linden, the main street of the former East Berlin, had street stalls where we tucked into the local speciality of hash browns with cinnamon sugar the following day. We saw Berliner Dom and the contrasting architecture of the TV tower.
We visited Marienkirche- the oldest church in Germany. We walked through Alexanderplatz which was the scene of many protests and was currently filled with lots of student protesters who were on a four week strike. They seem very passionate about their beliefs here.
At the hostel we met Simone and Kate from Adelaide and headed out to a bar with them, Monica, Paulo and Krista. Monica and Paulo spoke Italian to each other, then switched to French when Krista joined the conversation, but we all spoke English together.
We went to the Tacheles artist’s house which had a club in the garden house behind Pinocchio Bar. All the buildings were painted on and were falling apart. There were art displays and graphitised walls in the house and the garden had a wrecked bus, a rocket sculpture and one of a tower.
Inside the garden house it was like a warehouse with bashed through walls. It was very run down and very cool. We stayed until the early hours of the morning. There is a real party atmosphere in Berlin- it is feels like everyone is still celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall.
By day, we went to the cobblestoned Nikolaiviertel in the old area of town and saw the new modern synagogue which looked like a block of flats. The old synagogue was burnt by the Nazis on Kristallnacht and there is a plaque in memorial of this on the new synagogue. Some of the rooms were rebuilt in the old design, but there is a new dome.
Back at the hostel, we said ours goodbyes and boarded the night train to Amsterdam which was to be out last stop before heading back to England after completing a full circle of Europe.
Related posts: Berlin, 1997, Part 1: The West Side, Czech Republic, 1997, Austria, 1997, Hungary, 1997, Romania, 1997, Bulgaria, 1997, Turkey, 1997, Greece, 1997, Italy, 1997, Part 2: Bella Italia, Italy, 1997, Part 1: From Rome to Florence, Spain, 1997, Part 2: Beyond Barcelona, Spain, 1997, Part 1: Barcelona, France, 1997, Part 2: The South of France, France, 1997, Part 1: Paris, Belgium, 1997, Holland, 1997, England, 1997, I first started travelling, By special request, Home is where you make it, I first started writing