From Paris to Berlin…

‘…and every disco I get in…’

In my experience there aren’t many discos in Paris or Berlin that you can get into. Thanks for the false hope Infernal.

With the motto “we decide with whom we want to party”, Berghain, the city’s main techno club, is notorious for rejecting crowds of party goers. Despite a reputation of rejection, there’s an endless line outside the famous Kreuzberg night spot every Thursday to Saturday night.

There is no sure fire way to gain entry, as famous Berghain door man, Sven Marquardt reveals to The Guardian’s Philip Olterman (2014) ‘that it’s all about the right mix, even if that means letting in the odd lawyer and his Gucci-Prada wife’.

We read many forums, dressed in all black errythin’ and tried our luck. After an hour we gave up.

Berlin is a techno paradise but as someone who is more ‘Gangster’s Paradise’, I found the nightlife a bit strange. We spent our nights at Belushi’s Bar in St. Christopher’s Inn or Matrix where they play a mixture of house, RnB and top 40 hits.

The city much is more than a techno mecca, it’s also a foodie’s haven. I don’t think I’ve seen more vegan and vegetarian restaurants in my life and after months of eating gyros, kebabs, dips and feta, I was relieved to be able to cleanse my system.

Every Thursday after 5pm, Market Hall IX comes alive with food stalls. Both locals and tourists arrive early to secure a table to avoid spilling onto the street and eating their meal on the curb. We shared a table with a young German couple who were interested in Australian cuisine, but it’s hard to sell the idea of a ‘snag on the barbie’ to natives of Frankfurt.

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Australians are, however, renowned for their breakfast culture and above all, coffee. Melbourne Canteen, in Neukolin, serves the best coffee you’ll find in Berlin, as well as perfect poached eggs, smashed avocado, sourdough and incase you didn’t pack enough, Vegemite.

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It wasn’t all ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’.

Berlin is hipster central and when finding “cool” things to do here I only had to ask Google for ‘the hipsters guide to Berlin‘, which is how I discovered Travels of  Adam. On the word of Adam we ventured out to Tempelhof park, which was formerly an airport.

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The Berlin Wall, constructed in 1961, was a response to the German Democratic Republic (GDR) believing that Western Germany were ideologically Nazi and therefore the wall would separate them from the fascist elements that apparently still existed. It remained in tact until 1989 and has since become the world’s largest open air gallery. Tourists the world over walk the 1.3km of the East Side Gallery, taking in the artwork of more than 109 artists.

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The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe opened in Berlin, 2005. More than 2,500 concrete pillars cover 19,000 square metres, to create an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, according to it’s architect Peter Eisenmann.

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Five minutes away from the memorial is The Topography of Terror, a museum that details the rise of Nazism in Germany. During the Third Reich (1933-1945), these grounds were the birthplace of Nazi persecution and terror. The museum uses first hand accounts, propaganda posters, film and newspapers to provide a picture of Germany during the rise of Nazism. It was simultaneously interesting and horrifying to follow the rise of Hitler and Nazism, particularly immediately after visiting the memorial.

Berlin is vast. Vast in history, culture, nightlife and cuisine. It’s the place to release your inner hipster, have a vegan feast and get rejected from a trance club by an infamous bouncer. Its a place I have loved to explore and learn more about and a city I would love to visit again.

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