3 Nov 2009

Berlin, city for all..

Posted by walterheck

My flight was leaving from Berlin. Berlin is one of those cities that many of my friends, family or random people I meet have been to, yet I have never heard anyone say that it wasn’t a wonderful experience. This city seems to have something for everyone. So, since I had to go there anyway, I decided it was a good idea to head there a few days early to check it out. I found a nice couple that was willing to host me. They were metalheads as well, so I knew that getting along would be no problem at all. They also had 3 cats and a chameleon, so my love for cats and my curiosity towards the unfamiliar were also satisfied.
My hitchhike towards Berlin was not the greatest I have ever had. I left saturday late afternoon from Maliveld. Another hitching couple showed up, but they didn’t seem to understand the rules of ‘first come, first serve’ and positioned themselves right next to me. I knew this was never going to work, and since the girl was kinda cute I decided to let them go first, counting on her beauty to get them a ride in no time. I barely laid down a couple of meters away from the road when they got a ride. I quickly got up and tried my luck. I got picked up quite soon as well, only to find out after 5 minutes in the car that I had lost my glasses. I clearly remembered taking them off when I laid down in the grass, so I had to ask the car to stop at the next exit to let me off and turn around to go look for them. This was costing me major time, but luckily I found them in the grass. I got away quite quickly from the same spot I arrived in over 2 hours before, but the car wasn’t going very far. As a result, I ended up spending the night behind a gas station in my tent just south of Utrecht. The next day, Sunday, would be extremely slow. It took over half the day before I realized why: it was car-free Sunday in NL (d’oh!). That doesn’t mean no car is driving, it just means that the government encourages people to leave their car at home for a day that day. Great! On top of that, when I finally made it to the border it just got worse, since trucks are not allowed to drive the autobahn on Sunday. As a result, I didn’t get to Berlin until monday afternoon, almost a day after I had hoped to arrive.
My time with Maike and Martin was very nice though, and it felt very weird to be leaving Europe again. Maike gave me a quick tour of the important places in Berlin. The reichstag and the Brandenburger Tor were less impressing to me then I had thought, but it was still great to see these famous landmarks in real life. We went to a very nice Turkish market and I spent quite some time with discussions with Maike while listening to some good metal. The day to leave had arrived too fast once again. Martin drove me to the airport and I got on my flight, ready for a new chapter in my traveling life.

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