Thursday, 8 October 2009

Berlin Stories

talking advantage of a 2 pound return flight on Ryan air, (yes they do exist) found me in Berlin for 3 weeks, how to fill the time was the question flying in, now its nearly time to come home the question is how did 3 weeks pass so quickly.
Berlin is a large city with a small population ( 3.8m) and lots of space to breath plus a vibrant night life.
As I discovered on the Camino sleeping in hostels and bunk beds is a passport to a varied social life
my guides and companions have included Paco Nick David Evo Andy and Kleba from all corners of the globe,together we pub crawled sightsee'd and clubbed our way into oblivion. the highlights included various beach bars,falling down house squat parties and one memorable evening with a room full of heavy chained punk Janet and Johnnie rottens followed by a chill out in the Barbie Bar (vivid pink decor) always ending up in that 4am walk home,never once feeling in danger and always among smiling faces.
this tired old man keep ed up with the pace for 4 nights before crying uncle.
this city has so many faces all in in a constent flux, I have stood beneath the Michael Jackson baby dangling balcony while in sight of the Brandon burgh Tor and the Reichstag's burned down and now restored with its walkable domed glass roof.
only 20 years ago this was a walled in area cut off from the rest of Berlin and the world, now you can be photographed with flag flying moonlighting male strippers dressed as solders -living statues or costumed giant Berlin bears.
all under the gaze of gun carrying guards outside the nearby American embassy
A short walk down unter den linden where all the lime trees are tagged and numbered?? brings you to the book burning square opposite Humboldt university ( most noble prize winners).
nothing to mark the square out apart from a glass covered small room with empty book shelves set in the floor and the inscription :Those that start out burning books finish up burning people:
as if in a form of penance the area outside the university that Einstein Freud Karl Marx and Engels attended is a daily market just with book stalls.
so it goes on every area taking you through all the emotions
I have walked past panel painted restored sections of the Berlin Wall now the worlds largest open air art gallery,visited king Frederick's summer palace in Potsdam and sought out banksy graffiti.
all the while under the gaze of the Mother Ship the giant TV tower that dominates Alexanderplatz and Berlin.
I now rest and gird my loins for the arrival of Daughters number 1 and 3 who are joining me for the last weekend.

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