5 Days Later...

Berlin Travel Blog

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charlotte and me in the wee hours of a Berlin morning
Five days later and I'm still at Márton's. Charlotte is as well, so I don't feel so bad. He just makes it so easy and comfortable to be here, it's hard to find a valid reason to leave. To make it even cozier, a polish/german couple (Kasia and Gian) joined our surfing party as well. They came a day early which negated our intention of giving them (and Márton) some space. In the end, four really wasn't much different than two, and the international discussion was opened up even further.

I felt like I was really able to escape all the tourists while I stayed in Kreuzberg. I'm fully aware that I am a tourist as well, but it's nice not to constantly be reminded of that fact. I spent the last couple days exploring different neighborhoods, watching soccer (and listening to our turkish neighborhood explode in hours of horn-honking enthusiasm after their win) and late night discussions at the kitchen table with Márton and Charlotte.
new roommies: Gian and Kasia
I met up again with Yonatan for his last day in the city. We rented bikes (again with the bikes! seriously!) and continued on to the soccer match with Charlotte and her french friend.

On Wednesday, I had the invitation to play volleyball with Nicola (the very hilarious Italian from the party). You can imagine my excitement for the opportunity to exercise. Especially considering walking all over the city still doesn't seem to counteract the damage caused by the daily beers and döners one must consume while in Germany. For this reason, I was equally scared and grateful when, to my surprise, we had a trainer who made us run laps and do drills I hadn't done since high school. Five gallons of sweat later, we did some scrimmaging as well. It was most excellent. But along with daily conversation, I realize I don't have the vocabulary for german volleyball either.
Nicola and our vball beach oasis
Luckily sports don't really require much conversation and I could get by with what I did know in german: "Very good! Sorry! Beautiful! Sorry! Shit! Shit! Very good!" They got the point.

Wednesday was also Charlotte's last day in Berlin. She had to leave for the airport at 5 in the morning on Thursday, so she decided to just pull an all-nighter. I didn't want her to leave without saying a proper good-bye, so after volleyball and making dinner with Márton and his friends, I went to meet her.

By this point, it was already 1am and the public transportation was shut down. So Márton, being the generous host that he is, let me borrow his bike. I've become quite confident with my Berlin biking skills and riding one to the bars is actually really common.
a proud anne charlotte
(But beware of DUIs!) Márton gave me the directions...just one easy turn and then straight on til Friedrichshain.

Somewhere in the easiness of it all, I missed that turn. This was about the same time I concluded that Márton's bike was about six inches too high for me as well. So about 20 blocks and one sore crotch later, I figured it was time to turn north. By this point, I'm pretty sure I was on the very outskirts of town. At least that's what the lack of buildings to the east indicated. Turning back towards civilization carried me through a large wooded area, with nothing and no one around. So, let's summarize. The situation was this: It's 1:30 am in Berlin. I'm riding a bike that's too tall for me and is not what you would call "comfortable" through a dark wooded area (where I'm pretty sure I heard some rustling in the trees).
found a little red, white and blue pride on the streets of berlin
I don't know exactly where Charlotte is since I was just supposed to call when I got close. And my phone is about to die. This is one of those moments where, for my parents' sake, I'm glad I can tell you about afterwards with a smile.

But to be honest (and make you feel better) I really never felt in danger. Even in the "bad" parts that I've experienced, Berlin is far from threatening.

Luckily I was soon able to orient myself and made my way to Friedrichshain. After several confusing phone conversations, I finally found Charlotte and new friends sitting on a park bench. Finding a bar or club to kill the hours wasn't much of an option in that area, so Charlotte and just I roamed the streets of a peopleless Berlin until the wee hours of the morning. I sent her off in a cab at 5:30am and headed home on my too-tall bike for some much needed sleep. I'm going to miss my French friend. I guess I'll just have to add Lyon to the plans.
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charlotte and me in the wee hours …
charlotte and me in the wee hours…
new roommies: Gian and Kasia
new roommies: Gian and Kasia
Nicola and our vball beach oasis
Nicola and our vball beach oasis
a proud anne charlotte
a proud anne charlotte
found a little red, white and blue…
found a little red, white and blu…
yonatan and colors
yonatan and colors
Berlin
photo by: CFD