A badass Berlin guide
|A place I passed. I wish I had tried the food there, but I was on a burger-mission that day.|
This stay was actually a bit scattered, as I was in Germany to attend a conference in Storkow about hate-speech (hate-speech sucks!). And so, I got to spend time in Berlin before and after the conference, something I'm really happy about. Even though the conference was very important and I got to meet so many great people who care about a lot of the stuff I care about, it was quite intense. And Berlin let me unwind, especially after the conference was over.
I wrote earlier in my solo travelling-post about meeting Mickey in Berlin, the man who offered me a ride even though I didn't know him, and it was a rad moment indeed, but there were also other fantastic moments during my scattered stay in Berlin. Here are some of them. Five to be exact. Damn, do I love lists.
1. MUSEUM OF SILENCE
During the conference we actually had an outing to Berlin, I think we got about 8 hours there. We could choose between three different tour experiences, or we could go solo and do whatever we wanted. I realised, that after spending time with people 24/7, I needed alone time. I needed my own adventure. I needed peace.
And boy, am I lucky, 'cause as I was strolling down the street, just looking at all of the buildings surrounding me, I noticed a little sign that said "Museum Der Stille".
I went inside, was greeted by a calm woman and then I was left alone. There were no other guests, and I almost immediately found the peace I was looking for. I was surprised over how quiet it was there, which is kind of stupid considering the name of the museum. But the weirdest thing is that I didn't get nervous by the stillness, like I usually do. I felt in contact with the spiritual aspect of myself - which is also the goal of this kind of art I guess. Now I understand why I always feel so in peace and in touch with myself when I'm in a church or in other religious spaces - there's a certain stillness there.
"It took over a year to prepare the rooms and in 1994 the opening of the Museum of Stillness took place. At that time Berlin was going through radical changes, the city was one big construction site and the Museum served as an alternative to all this chaos".
- Nikolai Makarov, founder of Museum of Stillness
When it comes to vintage shopping, I think it's a great way to contribute to sustainability as well as it's fun to find something special for a good price. I don't think that old clothes should be expensive, but since vintage is so trendy, I mean, just the word "vintage" sounds so exclusive, often they do tend to be on the pricier side of the scale.
There were some pretty cool items at PICKNWEIGHT where they sell clothes by the kilo. I dig that idea, but I still think the adidas jacket I bought could have been cheaper. Then again, it did make me look bad ass, and it is one of my favorite pieces of clothing soooo... I guess I shouldn't be complaining.
3. FES BBQ
I've always had great food experiences in Berlin. My mouth is getting all watery just by the thought. My new fav spot is Fes BBQ, where I definitely will be going back. It's a Turkish grill restaurant in Kreuzberg that combines the concept of Asian tableside grill to Turkish dishes.
The idea is innovative, the decor modern and fresh and the waiters friendly and hipster looking. And the food? Like a party in your mouth. And not a trashy one. But a classy, sexy and comforting one.
I've never been to a turkish restaurant like this and was blown away by this experience. Go for a mezze and then go for a mixed platter of grill.
4. THE STREETS
There is so much street art around you in Berlin. I spent a lot of time just walking and letting my eyes wander too. When it comes to areas, do go to Kreuzberg and especially Neukölln.
5. STADTBAD NEUKÖLLN
I love swimming, and before going to the conference I met up with my friend Martin who happened to be in Berlin at the same time as me. He has lived in Berlin as well and suggested we go to Stadtbad Neukölln for a swim, and to the spa department where there would be a sauna etc.
After swimming and splashing around, we chilled out like sloths in the sauna. It was truly relaxing. However - after visiting a sauna in Berlin and another one outside of Amsterdam I've learned a few things. In some countries, people like to be naked in saunas, it's completely natural - it doesn't even matter what sex you are.
I like the idea of this, that people can be so free, but I don't feel comfortable being naked myself. None of us were, and at some point we got in trouble for it. One man starting yelling at us for not being naked.
The reception lady didn't inform us of this rule, there weren't any signs either, but I guess this is the norm. We had been there for hours, and were just about to leave when the man started to complain about our swimming suits, so it didn't effect our sauna experience that much. It just fest like one of thos culture crash situations. You learn, and then you move on.
So now you know, if you're in a German (our Dutch) sauna, you should probably be naked.
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