Since the very beginning of existance of Polski Bus we were somehow planing to visit Berlin and finally in November, when we both felt the post-erasmus urge of going somewhere, we have decided to spend the Friday night in the bus, visit Berlin, wander trough the city, eat falafel (Marta) and bagels (me! God, I swear I have no idea why have I been so stubborn about eating bagels in Berlin) do some shopping in Primark (both) and come back home on Sunday night.
It was pretty chilly when we arrived to Berlin early in the morning (bullshit. It was f…reezing cold), so we started walking in a quite dynamic way.
We've done 2-3 more kilometers on foot, admiring the buildings and traffic lights (please, don't ask me to pronunce that) that I totally fall in love with, before we finally found 'the breakfast spot' that would have bagels and decent temperature inside. I was really trying to find the name or the exact address of the place, but I found nothing… Coffe was great, bagels were fabulous and there was a whole wall of a great coffe related sentences. We sat a bit in a warm place and then continue our walk.
I wasn't particulary impressed by any monuments (fault of the weather?), but bears totally stole my heart. If Berlin would be all about bears, traffic lights and bagels, then I would have already came back there!
To our surprise, sun finally came out of the clouds late in the afternoon allowing us to enjoy the Alexanderplatz. We arrived to the hostel just after the sunset, dropped our things and ran (ok, after whole day of walking and night on the bus it was closer to crawl) to Primark.
We've decided to stay at St. Christophers Inn for the night, as Marta has good experience with the hostel from Prague. We could have found slightly cheaper place, but we've decided to add that few euros for the good hostel experience. Aaaand it was worth it! Staff (receptionist/ bartenders, 2in1) were super friendly, breakfast was great and what was waiting for us in a bar downstairs was the live, acoustic concert. Couldn't have been better!
The next day, early in the morning it appeared that it's gonna be moderately warm and sunny day, so we used public, city bikes to get to the East Side gallery. Besides admiring the Berlin wall, I wanted to follow the 'Berlin Street art' paths, but that appeared not be really impressive for the girls from Łódź ;) Most of the murals we found were created by the same artists that left their pieces on the walls we come by everyday (like INTI on the photo beneath)
East side gallery, however was incredibly ritch and evolving during years. Every piece of art, every mark on the wall shows an important message - definetely worth seeing!
I had my critical moment of the weekend when we finally found Libeskinds Jewish Museum. To our surprise it seemed totally hidden between blocks of flats and when we finally saw it, Marta did one big "Oooh", while I almost burst into tears of disapointement. Due to the fact that I know Marta already for some years and she appears to truly like the guy, I expected to find something modern, shiny and ineresting in its shape. What we've found was definetely shiny, but I may have difficulties finding any more moderately positive adjectives.
We have finished our two-days walking tour at Potsdamer Platz (execly where we started), enjoying sunset and Christmas markets. For the first time in my life I actually regreted that I've never had any german language class, when we accidentaly ordered hot orange juice instead of hot wine (don't ask how. Menu was just confusing). As easy to expect - we slept like babies on our way back to Łódź!
Really good weekend idea!
Just a small remark: if you're willing to admire great, wall-sized murals, choose Łódź for gods sake!