Hamburg

In May 2018 I agreed to catch up with one of my best friends in Hamburg. Not sure if it was a joy of finally seeing her again, the weather, the city or the combination of them all, but I had an absolutely fantastic time there.

What really surprised me about Hamburg was that there was so much variety. Some extremely peaceful and lovely neighbourhoods, plenty of green spaces, amazing botanical garden, beautiful canals and the port, interesting red light district with loads of bars for everyone’s taste, second hand markets during the weekends, art and so on.

I’m just going to share a bunch a photos from my trip, but would recommend anyone to visit the city and experience it for themselves.

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 🙂

Köln & Moitzfeld

At the beginning of November I was flying to Köln, but I was losing my hope to see it. All these cool bridges and the massive cathedral might be missed… oh well, I wasn’t going there exactly for that.

My boyfriend was living just outside Köln, in the place called Moitzfeld. I was going to visit him for a weekend and I was really excited to go to the mainland – UK is a slightly different world and going back to the mainland is always refreshing. I don’t know why, maybe because there are usually more colours in the streets or because it’s always exciting to listen to the language other than English or maybe because sometimes the weather is nicer.

However, I was wrong thinking that my boyfriend would not want to go to Köln and straight from the airport we went to the city. It was nice to walk along the Rhine and enjoy nice autumn evening. Kölner Dom (the cathedral) turned out to be more than impressive as well. I didn’t take that many photos during the trip, but here are some:

We also went to the food place just next to the Dom, which was Kölsch Bier brewery restaurant where they were serving typical food for the area and of course, Kölsch beer. It was served in a tiny glasses (0.2l) and everyone was drinking it pretty quick – so I was really impressed how well the waiter was doing his job.

It was a Friday night so the place was crowded and it was a struggle to get a table. Even when we got it, a few minutes later couple of random guys joined us – well, if you don’t want random friends book your table in advance.

New friends didn’t bother me, although my boyfriend tried to be funny and ordered me a third of the meter long sausage (it wasn’t just long, it was thick as well) and when it arrived…well, the guys were laughing and I was slightly embarrassed. It was massive! I think even the waitress could not believe I ordered that.

But it was really good!

The rest of the time I spent in Moitzfeld and it was such a nice little place. Weather was just brilliant and we did some hiking as well – there are loads of perfect paths for hiking around the town.

This was my second time in Germany in 2015 and it seems that I’m going back there again – just to Berlin for New Year to see my best friend!