Images

Hilton Beach, Tel Aviv

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Berlin

Fernsehturm and Alexanderplatz station

I didn’t really know how to begin this blog, as I’m pretty new to blogging (writing, not reading) and moreover I’m still deciding what it is I want to say with it. So, to accompany a rather rambling start, I’ve put up a picture I took on my last visit to what is, without any shadow of a doubt, my favourite place that I’ve visited thus far.

Overflowing with all the epithets one ascribes a city such as this despite none of them being truly descriptive enough, Berlin is, put simply, wonderful. I’ve made four visits in the past ten years, three of them in recent rapid succession, and if all the usual irksome entanglements of life such as work and rent and bills were not preventative factors, I’d most probably fly there today.

Each of my four visits has been an almost entirely different experience; the first, an end of school A-level German trip (myself, three classmates and our teacher, the whole class); the second a brief two-night stopover eight years later at the beginning of a three-week InterRail jaunt; the third a group holiday with friends the following summer; and most recently, on which I took the picture at the start of this entry, a long weekend at the beginning of this year with my partner, as a joint birthday celebration. My age, the company, the budget and the itinerary may have differed on each visit, but Berlin has always been the same; exciting, enthralling and edifying.

There are some places you go and almost immediately there’s a connection or a spark, a feeling that this is somewhere you definitely want to be, somewhere that you should be, almost as if you can’t believe it’s taken you this long to get around to being there. On each occasion, Berlin has always given me that spine tingle from the moment I’ve stepped off the plane.

It’s not difficult to ascertain what does it for me. It’s most likely the fact that I love the history, architecture, taking the U-Bahn to different parts of town, having beer and cigarettes together, döner kebabs, David Bowie and Iggy Pop, kaffee und kuchen, the German language, Jägermeister, currywurst, Christiane F and Lola rennt. For me, Berlin has it all. I can’t wait for my next visit.

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