Pins in a map: Berlin

Berlin is probably the city I had heard most about before I actually went there myself. Everyone I spoke to adored it, and arty neighbourhoods, a tendency to reject a surveillance culture, prices and excitement all seemed to add up to a sure bet.

13014_10155359428350621_465586585963691731_nI did love Berlin, but in a very different way than I had expected.

The subway (oh, how I love a good subway), the cycling (there wasn’t a stretch of road or street without bikes), and the kind of effortless cool you see in the people who live there. It’s not so much fashionable, as it is an active decision to stop caring about how you look or what you wear.11083845_10155359428400621_5980197296097408214_nEven though I’d heard that it would be difficult to speak any German with the level of English-speaking people living in Berlin, I used a lot of my high-school knowledge, and while (almost) everyone could speak English, they were speaking German.

988951_10155359428385621_2120164844699835582_nCulturally, there’s far too much to see for the four days I was there in October. I am dying to go back, and especially in the summer, when people collect by the city’s many outdoor swimming holes.

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Each neighbourhood in Berlin seems so distinct from every other; not just the architecture and buildings, but the atmosphere. Just on the other side of the Spree from the East Side Gallery, it suddenly felt perfectly natural, to walk and sit and drink in little cafés.

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