OK.. so it's been a while since Berlin.. lots has happened between then and now, as I write this some 2 months or so after spending an awesome week there. That's OK, Berlin is an unforgettable place!!
Admittedly though, it'd damned well want to be after the trip I took to get there! Whilst Spokey Dokey Performance took advantage of a little story telling licence... it's not so far from the truth! My trip from Hameln to Berlin was a nightmare run on the Authobahn, in the rain... where I actually travelled 100kms in the wrong direction. This meant what was supposed to be a leisurely 350km trip, all of a sudden became a 550km, 10 hour marathon in the rain!! It was so exhausting that I actually pulled over at one point to rest, and fell asleep at picnic table, with all my gear - including my helmet! - still on.. for a whole hour, sitting upright! Funny in retrospect...
After a couple of cruisy but slightly lonely days in Hameln I was actually feeling a bit homesick. In fact, a lot homesick - so much so that I spent most of the trip to Berlin planning my trip back home. Sell the bike, change my flight, arrange some work, find somewhere to stay - I had it all worked out and would use my time in Berlin to make appropriate arrangements. This was all undone, and even forgotten, in quite literally a matter of moments when I pulled up and parked my bike at the hostel in Berlin. It was just a few friendly words from a guy I came to know as Billy..
"Hello mate, I thought that was a Triumph I could hear" in a thick, cheeky, Bristol accent. Those words, along with a friendly handshake was all it took. A shower, and many beers shared with Billy later, I was back on track, and my plans to escape Europe were barely a distant memory! Billy had been getting around on a Triumph as well, but his was a Sprint, which is a sports bike, and he had been travelling mostly in Eastern Europe for about 4 months - I certainly don't envy that ride on a sports bike!
Berlin as a city is absolutely awesome - and my favourite big city for a while, until just recently pipped at the post by Roma (where I am writing from now). So gritty and grungy and dirty and edgy (hell, people here even have Matte Black BMWs!!)... and absolutely full of culture and art, and a real up and coming generation of creative types. My favourite thing about it though, is that its recent history - I'm not sure if you've heard, but the Berlin wall came down in '89 - actually took place while I was alive! Everywhere I have been the significant history all took place well before I was around, so to see something so important in the flesh that I remember seeing on TV at the time was really quite amazing.
It was all made better by being able to spend it with awesome people. Billy being one, and I met Jamie - a girl from LA (County) - and had a ball out with her drinking and wandering through the streets til the early hours of the morning. Good times! Until of course I woke up with a hooker in my bed... haha.
Plenty of photos too.. here's some:
And click here for the rest.