When I think of Berlin, I think of the color grey. This is really odd, 'cause when I look at my 400 photos from the city they are all full of colors. Not just ordinary city colors from trees and shops, but really strong colors. All kinds of colors. Even the photos with big grey (East German?) building complexes have colors in them thanks to the yellow trams crossing Alexanderplatz every two minutes.
Berlin is amazing. Even before leaving for Berlin, I knew I was gonna like it. It is definitely not a beautiful city in the traditional meaning of the word, but it is so charming. It's so free, so bohemian, so relaxed, so open. It seems like Berlin has room for everybody. A bit ironic when you think of the past. But maybe it's a natural reaction to all the horrible things, that have taken place here. Maybe it's the Berliners' way to make sure that certain things will never be repeated.
Here are some general impressions from my five days in Berlin:
- Berliners are extremely friendly and helpful. I don't think I have ever met a people so helpful.
- Berliners don't speak as bad English as my travel guide had warned me about.
- Berlin is really cheap.
- Berlin has cool, like really cool, cafes all over the city. How do they manage to survive?
- I had great coffee in all of the cafes where I went. (and I went to a lot).
- I did not eat one bad meal while in Berlin. We had simple, yet delicious vegetarian food in all the places, where we went.
- The presence of history is overwhelming in Berlin. Since I had my daughter with me, I didn't manage to see as much as I would have liked, but I'm definitely going back some day to explore museums and places. Seeing the rests of the Berlin wall, old DDR buildings, the Holocaust monument, Unter den Linden etc. was an amazing experience.
- Even though Berlin is the capital and of course also a tourist magnet, the city seemed so quiet and not at all overcrowded.
- My favorite neighborhood in Berlin is the one, where we stayed: Prenzlauer Berg. (Separate post coming up).
More to come from Berlin...