Sunday, 9 September 2012

Ich Bin Ein Berlinner

Brief highlights of our first week of backpacking excitement back in April/May 2012.  We started in Berlin, as you may have worked out from the title of the post.

Day 1 – A man called Harry shouts at me to take a picture of the Reichstag, so I do.  Apparently I am more suggestible than I thought.

It looks different in Call of Duty.

Day 2 – See a lot of gammy sculptures in the Bode Museum, and try not to cry at the Holocaust Memorial.  Later on we eat doughnuts and watch Lewis in German.  It turns out neither of us speaks German.

St Vitus in a teapot. Why is he in a teapot? That's not important right now.

Day 3 – successfully relocate from hotel in Lichtenberg to a hostel on the outskirts of Berlin.  It is decorated in lime green and populated by 15 year olds who are all very excited about the prospect of karaoke later on.  We get the hell out of there, and end up spending most of the day at the zoo. I liked the baby ocelot.

NB - this is not the baby ocelot.

Day 4 – get a phone call from the Edinburgh International Film Festival asking if I can come in for a job interview. I can’t, obviously.  I eat an enormous cake and fall into a butter coma instead.  This is the best way to experience the many museums and galleries of Berlin.

In the interests of scale, Knitted Fifth Doctor is about 5cm tall.

Day 5 – spend several hours at the Topographyof Terror, which is an amazingly thorough account of everything that happened in the Second World War – it sheds light on the actions of members of the Nazi party you haven’t necessarily heard of and is fascinatingly horrible.  We also visit Checkpoint Charlie and the Stasi Museum, because we are interested in history even if the many hipster schoolchildren cluttering up the place aren't.

Day 6 – visit the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, before heading off to Warsaw.  The non-gallery side is covered in crudely drawn cocks and declarations of love for Justin Bieber (the wall, not Warsaw).  That’s modern society for you.

Captain Tact's contribution to the Bieber Fever

Obviously we did a lot more than this during our time in Berlin, but if I told you everything I'd have to kill you - or at the very least take a fortnight off work to put it all together.  But one final thing I would like to share is this photograph from a book shop.  Yes, we visited lots of book shops even though we couldn't read any of the contents.  You wish you were as cool as us.  Anyway, we were rewarded with this, presumably invented in much the same way as Peter Andre's definition of the word 'Insania'.  Fear not, for this year's NaNoWriMo I'll be all over it like a flannel.

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