Berlin will forever be associated with plastic rolling wheels on pavements in my mind. The backpacker is gone, the suitcase on wheels packer has arrived. We rolled up the tent a week ago when we arrived here and walked into the world of hostels. Tonight we leave this transcient world of pub crawls, guided tours and the first flight out of town. Tonight we get back on the tandem and pedal out of the metropolis back into the green.
Berlin is still a cocktail of the old and the new, the mainstream and the undercurrent, the economist and the anarchist. But, the economist seems to winning the day and, maybe I’m wrong, but Berlin seems to be getting more ‘normal’. We based ourselves in Friedrichshain, where the grafitti artists are still inspired and the streets have colour and character. But take a wander into Mitte (the centre) and it’s business as usual for the usual names. It’s clean, swish and mundane.
We did the tourist trail and saw the Topography of Terror, the East Side Gallery and Tacheles. And it’s still interesting, but you’ve got to travel a good way through the grey and featureless to get to these places.
Don’t get me wrong, Berlin is still worth the journey for anyone looking for a bit of something different, a bit of attitude within the conformist world. And I still enjoyed the experience. But, I’m pleased to be getting back on the bike and rolling out the tent again.
See you in Poland….