Stay Rad, Berlin
Before embarking on this trip I had many people asking me which city I was most looking forward to. Unsure of the answer to that question I almost always replied with "I don't know..I'm pretty psyched for Berlin." I try not to have expectations about a place before I get there but we all know that isn't as easy as it sounds. So naturally after all of the stories I'd heard, my expectations for Berlin were pretty high. And as often happens, my expectations were exceeded. Berlin has been my favorite city thus far and I'm totally bummed to be leaving.
Where do I even start? For one, Berlin is the vegetarian capital of the WORLD. If you know me, you know how much I love food and how excited I get when there are veggie options everywhere. Add to that all of the yoga studios, insane street art, and a party scene like no other and you've got one kick ass city. On top of that, Berlin offers some stunning architecture such as the Berlin Catherdral which leaves you breathless when it first comes into your view. It is a huge city which consequently means a lot of people but because it is so spread out, you never encounter a massively crowded sidewalk or a stampede of people rushing into a subway train. In Berlin there is plenty of space to breathe and feel fresh air rather than feeling suffocated by the masses.
It wouldn't be proper if we went to Berlin and didn't experience the nightlife. Berlin boasts one of the top clubbing scenes in Europe, and quite possibly the world. There is something going on every night of the week. Or should I say morning... Clubs don't open until 11 or 12 at night and everyone knows you never go right when they open. Things don't really get started until about 1am and they don't end until a few hours after the sun has risen.
We lucked out getting a hostel in a prime location. Situated right between the trendiest neighborhoods, Frederichshain and Kreuzberg, we were only a short walk to the major clubs, the best food, yoga, and the Berlin Wall. We also lucked out that although we booked dorm rooms, we were the only 2 checked in and ended up having a huge room to ourselves. We borrowed yoga mats from reception and started every morning with a little music and movement. As with every other city we've been to so far, we met up with a local friend of mine. This beautiful doe eyed German from my yoga training in Bali was such a delight to see again.
I can't say enough good things about the city. It is so unique and pulsating with creativity. And the fact that I fell so in love with a city that was cold enough for me to need a hat and gloves one day is really saying something. I couldn't get over how cool all of the street art was. Almost every building has some sort of art or graffiti and instead of looking trashy, it is like stepping into an art gallery the size of a city.
Although I'm not typically a fan of imitation meat, the currywurst is a must try while in Berlin and since they offer a vegan version of it, I had to try it. Verdict: not the bomb. The falafel on the other hand...to die for.
Sadly our time in Berlin was way too short and we're off to the land of the genetically blessed...aka Scandinavia. After only 3 hours of sleep and sleeping through our alarm, I woke up in a panic realizing that our flight left in less than 2 hours. We threw our bags together and jumped in a taxi telling the driver to get us to the airport as fast as possible. We made it with time to spare.....a lot of time to spare. After boarding the plane and immediately falling asleep, we woke up to find that we were not in fact in the air en route to Norway. We were still on the runway. Luckily the flight wasn't very full and we each had our own row of 3 seats to curl up in the fetal position as the plane sat idle on the runway for another hour. What was, I'm sure, a very irritating morning for our fellow travelers turned into a pleasant 2 hour nap for Meghan and I. Then we de-boarded the plane and they cancelled the flight. We did our best to get on the next one but as I don't speak German, communication is difficult and we got booked onto a flight at 8pm instead. So nine hours after first arriving at the airport....we are still here. Trying desperately to stay awake for another 3 hours until we board and finally head to Oslo because we both know if we attempt to nap in the terminal we will most likely miss our flight. So on that note..time for more chocolate!