So I have visited Berlin last week and due to all the excitement and lack of good internet didn’t post anything from there. So this is what I would have said last week:
It is my first substantial time in Berlin. Few years ago I visited a bus station here. I was getting my connection bus to be home for Christmas. This time is a bit more touristy.
Few things which Berlin made me think of:
– Clean… Considering how big this city is, I am surprised. Now I understand German tourists in London complaining about litter and dirt more.
– Multicultural… I don’t know what I was expecting, obviously not a Bavarian village on a capital scale, but this is just a thought which came to mind.
– Trains… There are no gates to pass through where you have to touch your oyster card or stick the rail ticket through as in London. You just purchase your monthly, weekly or whichever you want ticket and go. Much easier, although it does increase the risk of people taking advantage of it and not paying for their journey. However it seems to work, so I guess Germans trust each other much more than others do.
– Bratwurst/Currywurst/Veggiewurst… Fast food sort of place, which will forever remind me of Winter Wonderland in Hyde park and their Bavarian village food stalls. Obviously in Berlin it is more authentic and the selection of sauces is much bigger, also there are options for vegans and vegetarians!!! By the way in that retrospect Berlin is really welcoming, I saw numerous meat free places as well as various choices on a menu at regular restaurants.
– Emmy… That’s the name of the brand for electric scooters. It works through the app on iOS or Android and my oh my it is awesome. When you figure out how it works it is really easy, the customer support is very helpful and speaks good English. To be fair I am not sure if there is something similar in London, so please do let me know if there is, but Emmy is essentially a scooter sharing system which lets you get a scooter for a few minutes journey up to 24h at a time if you wish. There is another company in Berlin which also does that, but as far as I know their scooters are smaller and more suitable for single people. Emmy includes two helmets, there are no designated parking places as long as you are within central Berlin and you do not need to charge it, the company does it for you. Also what I thought was really cool, that you have a daily limit, which is 24Eur and you can keep switching scooters as much as you like and you won’t exceed that amount for the rental for the day. It was great exploring Berlin from the back of the electric scooter.
– Rules… I understand my German grandmother much more now, because they love their rules. On my last day in Berlin we went to have a picnic/ bbq in the park near by (State Park, Tempelhofer Fled) and the minute we rocked in on our electric scooter we were chased down by a guard and his dog, telling us to stop. Well we did not know that scooters were not aloud especially since they are electric, but ‘hey ho’, later on the same guard chased us down to show us where the BBQ field was and explained how to make it work since we had a one use portable BBQ thing and obviously you have to have it elevated from the ground. Anyway, maybe I am just ignorant, but this is a first time this has happened to me and I thought it was quite nice. They obviously care about the environment and encourage others to care for it too.
– Protests… So last Sunday we stumbled across a protest or sort of rally for peace and love and tolerance, which I must admit I have not seen may, but this was definitely something. Obviously there was a lot of police, guarding and keeping an eye on things, but there were also a ton of people just dancing and having fun. The protest took place around Brandenburg Gate all across the main road through the Tiergarten. It was crazy big and reminded more of a rave than a protest. It just looked like people were celebrating tolerance rather than fighting for it, which I agreed with, because in my opinion it is counterproductive to try and achieve tolerance and everything it stands for with aggressive means.
This is it for now. I loved my stay in Berlin and would definitely like to revisit. ❤️