A trip down memory lane: Berlin, Germany
Berlin was a whirlwind of emotions for me. A really surreal experience to say the least. It was the second week of my solo adventure around Europe, I had just left my beautiful French family in Paris, and therefore, was really experiencing solo travel for the first time.
I arrived in Berlin around 8pm, it was dark and cold. The airport was completely deserted. It was just me and my fellow passengers. We shuffled through customs and passport check without seeing a soul. Like a lost herd of cattle, we finally made our way to collect our baggage, which took longer than usual (go figure).
I didn't have many expectations arrive to Berlin. It's one of those cities with so much history, it's hard to know what to expect. However, I arrived a few days before New Years Eve. As you can imagine, the streets were alive, fireworks were igniting every moment, quietness was rare. It was shocking how many times I was close to being hit by fireworks.
When traveling, I usually like to get involved in the history and culture. But Berlin has been the only city I've just done my own thing. In fact, I didn't really see many tourist attractions. Most of the time, I was hanging out with old friends from my high school days. They had rented an apartment located around some pretty great bars, cafes and falafel houses. They had all been to Berlin before, and were really there to take it in and be amongst it. So I followed suit.
New Years Eve was one of the scariest nights of my life, well, what I can remember of it. I broke all my travel rules, and got myself into a pretty serious situation. After New Years I was feeling completely over the city, I wanted to move on. My friends convinced me to come with them to an abandoned theme park, so I did.
It was a drizzly and cold afternoon. The sky was grey, and dark. After walking the circumference of the theme park, we finally found a secure area to jump the fence. It was eery, hard to explain really. It looked as though, one day everyone just left and forgot about it. So here it stood, nature taking over, humans gathering from time-to-time for a moment of solitude. Or tourists like us who just like abandoned theme parks.
Although my experience of Berlin was bizarre and exhausting. I'd definitely return one day and see it in a different way, just not during New Years. I know there's much more this city can offer, and I haven't even scratched the surface yet.
Have you been to Berlin? What was your experience like?