Getting My Colours Back

I was actually tempted to skip writing about the trip I had last January. Probably because I wasn’t sure what to write about it or maybe I was a bit embarrassed about the reasons that made me travel. I wasn’t going to see places or experience new cultures, I was just trying to run away from my own life for a bit. Probably not the most responsible thing to do in the middle of the thesis project, but I had to get some fresh air.

Winter is not my friend. And I’m writing this post for myself and for people who can’t handle winter very well. It really gets to me, no matter how much effort I put in trying to make things better. Last winter it just got too much and I thought it would be a perfect time to visit two of my best friends in Berlin and Copenhagen. Actually, they thought it would be a good time for me to visit them.

Leaving Edinburgh for a bit was a great decision indeed. Changing the environment for couple of weeks was all I needed. Some good Jazz gigs, dancing in Berlin’s clubs, playing with the cat and doing loads of cycling somewhere outside Copenhagen with the reindeers were just perfect to give me the colours back. After these two weeks of positive energy it was so much easier to go back to Edinburgh and continue with my life.

What I am trying to say here is that sometimes it feels that there is nothing you can do to help yourself and you feel trapped because of some projects or whatever else you have to do in your life. My thesis project did not suffer from taking two weeks off, this trip probably even helped me to finish it. I know everyone’s circumstances are different, but if you are reading this and you feel like things are getting to you – have you considered taking some time off and running away for a bit?

I’m going to share some colours from my trip. Not everything has to be grey 🙂

Berlin

People keep telling me that I always choose the worst time to go to Berlin. And they are probably right. I’ve been there twice and always in winter, missing all the crazy summer parties. But I don’t mind too much – I always go there to see my friend and you don’t need summer to have fun.

The first time I got to Berlin I was surprised what a mess it was. It’s hard to describe, anyone’s who got to visit a city will probably understand what I mean. But the more time I spent there, the more I started liking it. It actually has everything – some decent clubs and bars, loads of art, music, plenty of green spaces and crazy people. There are loads of hidden beautiful places all around the city and discovering them is especially exciting.

I was lucky or unlucky to celebrate my New Years in Berlin. Well, it’s not the best place to be if you’re scared of fireworks or people shooting them at you. New Years in Berlin feels like a party in a proper war zone and you either enjoy it or not. A good house party is always a better option, I think.

The first time I visited Berlin was in January 2015 and I was in a proper party mood – had to get all the negative energy out of me. I went to Kater Blau, which is clearly hated on Trip Advisor, even though I don’t think it deserves it. It was a proper fun place and the music there was definitely good. I also went to Tresor, which is a well-known underground techno club and I had no problems in getting in. It is a different world and not everyone will appreciate the atmosphere. I’m not sure if I did, to be completely honest. Don’t go there sober though.

Also, the second time when I was visiting Berlin (a week ago), couple of days after New Year we tried to get to Sisyphos club. Well, going out in -12 was not the best idea, especially because we had to wait for the trains forever and then we missed your stop. And even when we got to the right station it took us another half an hour to walk there just to find out that there was a queue and people been standing there for over an hour. Well, I probably won’t surprise you with the fact that after two hours in a cold we gave up. Sometimes even the best club can’t win against cosy evening at home with the pizza and film.

Well, I have to mention that there is a lot of Jazz in Berlin. Yorckschlösschen bar has some good music nights, but you will probably have to stand in a packed bar and pay whatever euros for the band otherwise you will not be able to buy a drink (fair enough, but check the price in advance – we didn’t want to pay 8 euros each). There are some good jam sessions in Gorlitzer park (Edelweiss Bar) on Tuesdays, totally worth a visit, but the place is packed as well. And if you want some good cocktails, I can recommend Schloss Neuschweinsteiger. In fact, there are loads of places I went to, but I don’t remember them that well now and I guess that’s the most exciting thing about Berlin – you can discover so many different places.

I am not a big fan of museums, as I always think that there are too many things there. It feels like every object is screaming its own story and you kind of feel that you need to know a lot of history to truly appreciate it. But I love galleries and I love photography. Both times in Berlin I visited C/O Berlin and I both times they had really good photography there (the second tie there was Anton Corbijn’s exhibition).

I did one proper touristy thing as well. I stood in the queue for an hour and a half just to get the famous Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap. If not the cold (-4 degreec Celcius), I’d say it was totally worth it.

Anyway, when in Berlin, don’t be lazy and go for a walk. Walk as much as you can, (don’t miss Kreuzberg & East Side Gallery) and I’m sure you’ll love discovering things there. Also, visit some markets and don’t be scared to bargain. There are plenty of them, mostly on the weekend although I thinh the one in Mauerpark is the best. Also, don’t miss Tempelhof – it’s a perfect place to clear your mind.

I’ll go back there in summer one day. I’m sure I’ll see a completely different face of the city 🙂