First Post: Berlin 2013

First things first, let me welcome you to my new e-based home: TripAtTheBrain.com. I have so many ideas floating around in my head and I’ve been thinking for a while that I need one place to document everything- What I see, where I go, what I eat, everything except my bowel movements. Music, art, fashion, food, you name it, I got it. So here’s my first post about my trip to Berlin with three of my amazing friends…enjoy!

After an insane allergy attack and 40 minutes worth of sleep, I hit the road with my friend Kelly at 3.30am and headed for Stansted airport. There we met Martine and Hannah.

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We stayed at a hotel called the Michelberger. Let me take this opportunity to say this now – DON’T STAY HERE UNLESS YOU’RE TRYNA GET YOUR SHIT JACKED FROM YOUR ROOM WHILE YOU SLEEP BY A REAL LIFE BEDROOM INTRUDER. It’s a real shame that this happened and doesn’t appear to be the first (someone I know had their macbook stolen from their room and there are a couple other reports of theft from the rooms on tripadvisor.com).

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Nevertheless, the hotel was incredible, aesthetically. Situated in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district of Berlin, the Michelberger Hotel is housed in a converted warehouse. There was an overwhelming hipster vibe with Carhartt watch cap beanies and apple products everywhere as well as books and trinkets.

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The rooms had more of an “apartment” feel. We had a four bed suite with a mezzanine level where Kelly and I slept.

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There were flat screen televisions dotted around the hotel playing The Big Lebowski on loop, which was major plus points for the hotel. I love that movie (The bit with the Donnie’s ashes kills me every time).

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If you made it this far, you’re doing good.

Now for the touristy shit. We arrived in Berlin around 9am and chilled (read: napped) for a bit before venturing out for pizza and a night walk. I forget the name of the restaurant but it was full, which can only be a good sign, and people stared as we walked in, which was mad awkward.

pizza

We walked over some bridges and further into Kruezburg, in search for a bar where we could get our drank orrrrn. On the way we passed the infamous Core Tex Records.

gorilla biscuits

We found a spot that had a similar feel to our hotel and made friends with a bartender and his friend – a local Turkish punter named Serhan. He told us about his background, his time in Berlin and he told me that I would do well in life, which was sweet, I guess. Although, what he’s basing this on, I’m not quite so sure…

After far too many Caipirinhas and mojitos, we jumped in a cab back to our hotel as it was far too cold to walk (how have i neglected to mention that the temperature was between 3 and -5 degrees C the entire time we were there?). I’m sure that I tripped up the ladder while trying to get to my bed.

The next day we set off early and tried to cram in as much touristy things as possible. We saw:

berlin wall 2 berlin wall 3

The Berlin Wall

check point charlie

Check Point Charlie

topographie des terrors

Topographie Des Terrors

holocaust memorial

Holocaust Memorial

branden burg gate 531709_4444907756157_2074025483_n

Brandenburg Gate

Reichstag building Reichstag close up

Reichstag Building

By this point, we were frozen to the core. The coffee wasn’t working so we headed back to the hotel where we chilled before…KARAOKE.

If you’re not familiar with my friends, let me just say that we’re pretty “uninhibited”. We’re those obnoxious people that end up taking over the karaoke joint and yelling and people start leaving or trying to sing serious songs. We started off so civilized. By the end of the night or, the beginning of the next morning, rather, we had no voice and no dignity. We “sang” Aerosmith, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, DMX, 3 6 Mafia, Cassie, Kings of Leon, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Biggie Smalls, Warren G and Nate Dogg, Neptunes, Jay-Z, the list is endless. You can bet your ass that we “sang” most of it in Disturbed style vocals (remember that terrible band from the early 00’s??) and added the word “fucking” wherever possible. Let it also be known that we’d been joined by two German pals, Alex and Johannes, whom Hannah renamed JoJo. It stuck. He’ll forever be known as JoJo.

karaoke 2 karaoke

I have nothing more to say about Karaoke other than you can take the blurriness of the second picture as an indicator of how the evening went down.

After going to bed around 6am (I left my phone in the karaoke place and had to bang the door down in heels and sweatpants at 5.30am to get it back), we somehow only managed to sleep for 4 hours. By 10am we were up. Sans voices, still cackling about the night before. We got up after a couple hours and walked to the falafel place to get a snack.

Later on, a few of us visited the Museum of Jewish History. I went through a phase of being obsessed with The Holocaust after I left high school and was super siked to be able to see this museum. Weird, I know, but I can’t explain it. I’ve just always found in fascinating. Being in Berlin gave me chills. Throughout the trip, I kept wondering off and getting lost, taking pictures, writing things down. I studied everything in the museum through my fuzzy, hungover brain. I even lost my friends and had to go back to the cloak room to find my phone and call them.

museum of jewish history Menashe Kadishman's %22Shalecht%22

Left: Alex took this picture of me making notes

Right: Maneshe Kadishman’s “Fallen Leaves” installation

Then the Real Life Bedroom Intruder situation occurred. One of the girls had their phone stolen from the hotel room while, she was asleep with the door LOCKED. The police came and we were moved to a different room. Thank you Alex for being our translator and helping us out in a shitty situation. The hotel didn’t seem all that bothered, bar one member of staff who was really supportive and went above and beyond her call of duty. The other guy can eat a dick – as can Tom Michelberger, the hotel owner.

We still managed to have a rad dinner though. JoJo took us to this really cool Thai (i think?!?) place where they played 2 Chainz and Drake. We laughed and reflected and it was sweet. I came home, sick as a dog, facing a 6 day stint in the shop, happy to be back in London and grateful for having the most badass friends.

Berlin, you haven’t seen the last of me…

last night dinner

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