The last days of the big trip
05.09.2008 - 06.09.2008
Our day began with a trip to the Turkish markets in Kreuzberg – a very short walk from Zach’s place. Tucking into spinach and feta parcels, we strolled through the stalls, searching for the ingredients to cook our hosts a classic brunch (minus the bacon since Jesse is vegetarian). Complete with bread, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and cabbage (for bubble and squeak…), we made our way back to the flat to start cooking.
Zach and Jesse had never seen bubble and squeak before, and Zach decided ‘squiddly po’ was a much better name. We devoured the delicious brunch, and were introduced to a friend of theirs, as well as another couchsurfer, Kate, who had turned up to take our place. We were staying at a hostel that night, as my sister Sarah and her boyfriend Mike were due to arrive for the night the following day. The day passed very quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to move our gear and check into the hostel quite a way across town. We decided to go back to Zach and Jesse’s that night for drinks, as Kreuzberg was the place to go, and Josh and Andrew were very excited at the prospect of 50c swap-a-crate beer that was actually decent to drink.
We had a quick dinner at the Chinese restaurant by our hostel, and ventured back across the city to Zach’s. Many drinks followed, and the boys enjoyed some apple-flavoured tobacco from Zach’s Turkish pipe. Kate, the new couchsurfer, was studying to be a vet and introduced us to the pure magic of slug sex through the power of you tube, which has to be seen to be believed…
After a boogie and a sip of the Polish vodka we were still carting around with us, we made our way to a bar called ‘ä’ down the road from the flat. Kate had a 7am train the next morning, but with some not so gentle persuasion, we managed to drag her out, although she did manage a nap at the table… It was a great night out, followed by a very, very long metro ride home (thankfully they run all night), and we eventually crawled into bed.
After sleeping in, and waking feeling a little worse for wear, we made our way to the train station to book our tickets for the next day. Leaving Berlin for Biberach in southern Germany for two nights with Josh’s family friends. We thought we would check out the line again to climb the glass dome, but a standing queue was still winding its way beyond the doors and down the steps, so again, we moved on.
We asked for directions to a flea market, which we found a few metro stops away in Tiergarten. Hundreds of stalls filled with gems awaited, but most of the gems were sadly too difficult to relocate to Amsterdam! Old retro and antique furniture, books, jewellery, clothes, hats, old camera equipment… We managed to find a perfect hat for each of us, so we did get to take something away with us.
Very hungry by this stage, we weren’t sure which area to venture into for food, but saw a beer sign lit up on a lamppost, a sign that food may be near, but not appearing to lead anywhere. It turned out to be a restaurant in a boat on the river, hidden far from sight, but filled with what looked like many happy customers – always a good sign! We sat up on the deck, all of us choosing amazing fish dishes; something we hadn’t had in a while.
From there, we walked through the park to the Victory Tower Memorial, which we decided to conquer the steps of to get a great view. Our late night was creeping up on me, and with the prospect of another one ahead, we headed back to the hostel afterwards so I could attempt a nap before Sarah arrived. I think I managed a few winks before a phone call came to say that they sadly wouldn’t be making it…
We decided to go out for one last German meal as a party of three on our last night of travels together on the journey. A place around the corner from the hostel was recommended to us, but we arrived to find a private 50th birthday party well underway. The back up plan was one the beer garden by the zoo, so we jumped on the metro to make our way there. After a traditional German meal and a lovely beer, we ended up heading back to Zach and Jesse’s for one last night with these two seriously awesome dudes.
After a drink a their flat, we decided to check out another spot in the Kreuzberg bar scene. In the pouring rain. We had been amazingly lucky with weather on the trip, until we hit Berlin… Passing by so many little ‘hole in the wall’ bars jammed full of people, we found a spare booth in a retro bar. Fantastic music kept us bopping along all night with a drink or two. All pretty exhausted, it was actually nice to have a very low-key night to send us off. We loved that people off the street come around the bars selling bretzels and nice hot food…
When things wound down, we made our way home in the rain, kindly escorted to the metro station by a friendly Australian who had just moved to Berlin, and we met while walking in the wrong direction to the station… After a million changes to get across town and over an hour on the metro, we crawled into bed for our last night’s sleep in Berlin.