CityTravelReview Berlin Blog: WEEK 1

by - Monday, July 11, 2016

Hi Friends :)

I've officially made it to Berlin! I arrived just over a week ago. How is it possible that this week has gone by both slowly and quickly? I feel as if last Sunday was so long ago and yet, each day has gone by extremely fast.

The programme is pretty much how I expected it to be so far. After being collected from the airport, I was taken to my apartment by a girl named Steph who is interning with the company. She did the programme last year and loved Berlin so much that she came back! I honestly don't blame her, this city is amazing. I share the apartment with two other people, Aimee and Joe. Aimee and I share a room but you're able to pay extra if you want your own.

On most days during the morning, we have German lessons. I'm in the beginner class because before coming here, I didn't speak a word of German. I now know some basic phrases, which is helpful because not everyone speaks English. Most people (unless they live/work in the centre) only know very limited English. So communication can sometimes be an issue. If you're visiting Berlin, a phrasebook wouldn't go amiss. 

During the afternoons, we either have project group meetings or go on excursions. On one of the first days, we were taken on a waking tour of the main sights in Berlin. Even though it was really hot that day, it was so worth doing. We found out some really interesting facts from our tour guide about many of the main attractions (in particular Hitler's bunker which is now *spoiler* a very plain car park) 

Like London, Berlin is a city that never gets boring, no matter how long you spend here. A lot of us have actually found that a month might not be enough time to see everything! So as soon as I'm done with this post, I'm going to compile a list of things I definitely need to see. 

This evening, I'm going to an open-air cinema in a place called Griessmuehle (which is also a night club) to see Requiem For A Dream. 
Open-air cinema's in London are usually extortionately priced, but this one only cost 6€! Berlin, in general, is an extremely cheap city; it basically is a cooler, cheaper version of London. The only thing I have noticed is that it's not as diverse as I expected it to be. All throughout London, you can see people of different races everywhere. In Berlin, it's not as obvious. It's definitely multicultural (there's a large Turkish community here) but I still find that I get stared at in certain areas...

One thing on a lot of people's Berlin bucket list is Mustafa's Kebab; probably the most well-known kebab shop in the whole city. I had to try it (obviously) so I decided to review it for the travel guide. When they say the queue is long, they aren't kidding. We waited for nearly 2 hours!! It was ridiculous, I've never queued so long for something so insignificant. I mean, it was bloody tasty. But 2 hours? Definitely not worth it.

Mauerpark has to be one of my favourite experiences so far. For those that don't know, it's this massive flea market that takes place every Sunday. I bought two simple silver rings while I was there, but there are a variety of things you can buy, such as vintage clothing and old homeware. Although it's more expensive than other flea markets, there are a lot more things you can do than shop. There's a massive karaoke pit that is insanely popular. You don't even have to be good at singing to sign up, we heard a mixture of good and bad. A lot of people come with picnics and barbecues (be aware, disposable barbecues aren't allowed) when the weather is warmer. There are also quite a few buskers dotted around the field and there was even a guy writing poems in exchange for small donations. Mauerpark has it all. 

That's all for now. Hopefully, this week I'll be up to some more exciting/alternative things. For the most part, I've spent my evenings in beer gardens watching the football (which I wouldn't usually do, but it's a social thing). So, not terribly exciting. I haven't even properly experienced the nightlife yet! 

Until next time,

Nat x

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