So, back in Copenhagen, I met this other American, right? Elliot is his name. And he told me to let him know when I was coming to Berlin, right? So, I did! Elliot had just moved to Berlin and I got to stay in his (temporary) apartment and hang out with him for a few days. Elliot is a great cook by the way, and he taught me how to make an awesome pasta dish, and crepes, and a couple other things I can’t remember the names of… in any case, we ate really, really well. And the beer is cheap too 🙂
During my first full day in Berlin I visited the Berlin Wall. I wandered the city and checked out the big sights (Brandenburger Tor, a former city gate and hugh triumphal arch; Tiergarten, a huge, forested park in the middle of the city; Siegessäule, or Victory Column, a golden angel build to commemmorate 19th-century Prussian military victories; so many cool things in Berlin). I spent a lot of time at the Holocause Memorial. In the Information Center (more like an artefact and media museum) I was confronted with photos and accounts of so many victims. I even got to read letters, written from parents to children and sisters to brothers and lovers to each other, who knew they were leaving an not coming back; it brought tears to my eyes.
The next day Elliot and I visited a flea market (so much junk!) and walked over to Tiergarten for some live music. We returned to his apartment to cook up some curry for dinner, then we went back to the concert. On our way, I didn’t bother to bring my rail pass, since I had never been checked for a subway ticket. As bad luck would have it, this time they checked… and I got a hefty €40 fine. Such is the price of stupidity. But, we had an enjoyable evening of live music and beer… drunk from a boot.
Losing €40 hurts, so the next day I made myself feel better by completing a holy pilgrimage to the BMW motorcycle factory in Berlin. This time I brought my rail pass with me on the metro. The factory wasn’t offering tours that day, and there is no showroom floor, so I contented myself with gazing upon the plain brick building that is the factory. I knew that, inside, the legendary machines were being brough into being, and I was satisfied. I returned to Elliot’s flat and collected my things, ready to move on.