A Mexican couple moved into my dorm last night and the hostel hadn’t changed the sheets on the beds of the people who’d moved out. So they gave us free breakfasts to make up – and I didn’t even have a problem with my sheets! Sweet.
Suitably stuffed I decided to just go for a wander and catch a few of the things I didn’t see the day before. First thing, through the Tiergarten towards the Victory Monument. On the way there I had a bit of a surprise. Crawling across the pathway was a huge insect… only on closer inspection it wasn’t an insect at all – it was a flipping crayfish! About 4″ long from head to tail and with a large pair of pincers, it ambled from one patch of trees to another.
I made sure it got across safely and a group on their bikes who stopped assured me that, no, this was definitely not normal for Berlin. We have no idea where it could have come from. Perhaps fallen out of a delivery truck on the nearby main road? Whatever, a very bizarre thing to see on a Tuesday morning!
The Victory Monument was, well, monumental, and I then headed south and east for an hour or so to get to the “alternative” area, Kreuzberg. Apparently this is where all the arty types ended up but, frankly, it just looked a bit run down in places. It was obviously hugely different to the areas around the Hauptbanhof where I was staying. The buildings were covered in graffiti, the shops had extra security and the streets were nowhere near as clean. However, there were many individual and interesting looking cafés and even a Ramones museum.
Crossing the river at the end of this neighbourhood takes you the a large section of the Berlin Wall that’s now being used as an art gallery with long sections covered in unique paintings. There were some really good ones, some weird ones and a couple you may have seen on postcards.
A long walk further up the road and I finally reached the old TV Tower at Alexanderplatz which I’d actually meant to walk to when I arrived. It’s pretty huge, and you can go up for a look around or to eat in the restaurant while ignoring your acrophobia.
I grabbed lunch at the KFC there (it’s a tradition, sue me) and walked back down towards the Reichstag stopping only for a mango ice cream on the way. Somehow I found myself walking past Curry-One where I’d eaten on Sunday night, so the city is definitely starting to come together in my head geography-wise.
Courtesy of a bit of a dodgy tummy, I just picked up a few silly things from the supermarket for dinner (cherries, crisps, raspberry Jaffa Cake knock-offs) and sorted my stuff out so I could leave quickly and quietly in the morning. Alarm set for 6am, next stop Wacken…