Herein lies a compilation of travel stories with plenty of attitude. Images and bad temper by Sergio :)
Das Ist Berlin ♪ ♫ Das Ist Berlin ♫ ♬ – Part 1
This post was on my previous blog a couple of years ago before I stopped writing on it:
After some pondering, short bouts and arguing with myself regarding this blog, I’ve decided I won’t be blogging about a location in any particular, chronological order. Or any order whatsoever, for that matter. Whenever I feel like blogging about a place, I’ll just look at my pics and rant about it.
Tonight (Saturday night, because I lack social life in the winter months), I picked Berlin, Germany.
A few months ago, I took my mom to Europe and showed her some of the places I’ve already been to. Berlin was our first stop. For someone who never traveled when she lived in South America, my mom was very open and curious about the new culture and life before her eyes. Not just because of how complicated their language sounded, but also, the cleanliness, diversity and beauty of this gorgeous city.
A friend of mine, whom I had befriended online a few years ago during my first visit (nothing shady to speak of.. will explain more later), was kind enough to take us on a little tour of the city and show us the most interesting and colorful places (obviously). First on the list, the gigantic Central Station.
Our rendezvous point was McDonald’s. After the long overnight trip and few hours of sleep, I was in no particular mood to find for a place that I could not pronounce, and I was starving. Therefore, McDonald’s seemed like an obvious choice. Mom was happy as a little kid. Hungry? Tired? Sleepy? Screw that! She was in Europe and was sure to enjoy every bit of it.
From the main train station we walked a few hours, passing by low rise buildings and plenty of open space areas, such as where the German Parliament is located. The architecture, in my opinion, is a great mix of the cold, gray government buildings from the end of the 19th century and an open and modern touch, such as the dome built atop the Reichstag building. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for us to go and climb up and check out the panoramic view from this location. I wanted to get it over with and catch some sleep.
The Reichstag dome – (Left pic credit http://www.galinsky.com)
The good thing about having a local show you around his/her city is obvious. They know what the hell they are talking about, and my friend in particular, knows the history of his country incredibly well. He also disclosed to me that he was part of the crew, pushing down the wall blocks at the Pink Floyd concert in 1990 (Roger Waters, actually, with music from PF), where, if anyone old enough remembers, towards the end of the show, an 82ft high wall is knocked down, giving it a climaxing energy to what was an awesome show and to the fact that the Berlin wall had come down a few months prior. I know that some of the younger folk wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about this event in particular, or the significance of the Berlin wall, from a historical and cultural point of view, but when I saw that concert on TV back then, it was an incredibly elaborate display, which also showed the new unity of this city.
What we knew from Berlin, back in the day, was not exactly all flowers and happiness and I developed a growing interest in this part of the world. Thus, with the concert that greatly caught my attention, I loved it and the city and it stayed in my mind for a very long time.
Before this though, as a young pup, I pictured places like Berlin as a cold European city with a perpetual shade of monochromatic gray clouds, of the likes of London. The language alone didn’t allure me to venture into places like this, but time went by, I got out of my hole, moved countries, matured (kind of) and decided to travel. Realizing too that Berlin is a very happy and colorful city under a vibrant sun and blue skies.
Anyways, a second installment should follow, or perhaps of another location. I don’t know yet. Everything with me is random and unexpected.