A little over a week ago, Liebling and I skipped town and headed to Berlin for the weekend, where he schooled me on the hotspots, culture, language, and eats of his hometown. But this was not my first trip to Berlin. Way back at the end of 2005, when I was working in Nice, France as an English teacher’s assistant, me and another teaching assistant friend found cheap (89 Euros return) tickets to Berlin and jetted off there for what would be our first taste of Deutschland. We were poor(paltry teaching assistant salary), we were cold (it was December in Berlin!) and got lost all the time while there (we went on a whim with no guidebook and spoke not even a word of German), but it was a spectacular time as evidenced as the pics below (since, you know, dancing in a cage at a nightclub always constitutes a good time):
Me in front of piece of the Berlin wall in late 2005.
Dancing with reckless abandon in Berlin’s Matrix nightclub in December 2005.
This time around, with Liebling in tow, we took it easy, and had a fairly relaxing weekend in the company of his family and friends. After landing in Berlin Schonefeld airport late Friday evening and getting picked up by his mom at the airport, we made a brief stop at Liebling’s mom’s’ flat, where we quickly dropped off our stuff and freshened up a little before heading over to Liebling’s friend’s place, where a birthday party was in full swing. After the requisite introductions and once-overs, we took the party to the streets, arriving at Warschauer Strasse via the Berlin’s efficient (but worn) metro system, Warschauer Strasse (Warsaw Street in English) is located in East Berlin, and leads into one of Berlin’s most popular entertainment districts.
Fun in the metro.
We hung out in front of the numerous food stands located outside of the metro station, where I learned that Berlin street food is just as unsavoury and unappetizing-looking as Hong Kong street food. I opted for a chocolate bar from a local convenience store to appease my hunger instead.
Me, Liebling, and his friends descended into the entertainment district, where the pulse of the music, din of beer glasses clinking,skads of people out speaking a thousand different languages and general hum of activity indicated that it was a Friday night on one of the hottest days of summer. We ended up going to and outdoor club called Badeschiff; which, by day, is a public swimming pool built on the shores of the river Spree. Unfortunately, the pool was closed to the public that evening, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves, dancing barefoot on the man-made beach, feeling the imported sand squish between our toes.
The next day, after a lovely breakfast with Liebling’s mom, Liebling and I headed out to do some sightseeing. He borrowed his mom’s cute Mini Cooper and we were soon on the autobahn and in the city, perusing Berlin’s best known sights.
To finish off our packed weekend in Berlin, we met Liebling’s dad for an early dinner at an Italian restaurant before he dropped us off at the airport. After dinner, Liebling got to have a real German beer! He was very pleased.
Another great weekend!