Monday, August 10, 2015

Berlin by Day and Night

Tired of uneventful and cold summer in Tallinn, Liisa and I decided to buy flight tickets, find a cheap airBnB apartment and just spend a week in Berlin without any specific plans in mind. Our apartment (well, a room actually) was a jackpot, located in East Berlin, in Friedrichshain district, with all the nice cafés, bars and clubs in walking distance. 

We started our Berlin tour from East Side Gallery, a 1.3 km strip of the original Berlin wall re-painted by international artists. To be honest, it sounds cooler than it actually is. I only saw a few noteworthy paintings. 
Then we walked another hour in the middle of nowhere, seeing no restaurants/cafes whatsoever. This the thing about Berlin, 70% of the city looks deserted in terms of cool things to see. You could walk for hours seeing only industrial buildings and and block of apartments, with a rare exception of a döner kebab stall on a street corner. Luckily we ended up in Kreuzberg, another creative up-and-coming hipster area, and found a decent Vietnamese restaurant. Next days we actually gave up looking for cool restaurants and enjoyed our 4€ falafel and kebab boxes which in fact were delicious. 

Mango lassis became our staple drinks in Berlin, they're found at almost every menu. 

Prinzessinnengärtenin Kreuzberg - urban garden that used be a wasteland for over half century. In 2009, group of volunteers cleaned up the space and started a communal garden growing organic vegetables.    
It's not just a garden though, in the evening they open a bar and a cafe serving vegetarian dishes. Such a nice atmosphere - people; young and old, dogs, children sitting under birch trees having a beer or pizza. 

Around a corner of our apartment we found a district that looked exactly like Telliskivi Creative City in Tallinn (old factory buildings, railroads) only that five times bigger. They had countless of different bars and clubs, outdoor pool and cinema, table tennis area, motoclub and even a climbing wall. Every free space was covered with street art. As they say, Friedrichshain is a art gallery turned inside out. 

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