As I sit here thinking about the best way to describe the Berlin that I saw in late December... only one word really comes to mind - weird. To me Berlin is a strange mix of widely diverse ethnic suburbs, big open squares (but with none of the gentle ease of an Italian or Spanish square) and then a series of increasingly strange and different bars in small side streets. And although that doesn't exactly sound like the perfect city, it's wonderfully kooky and entertaining. I don't know that I could live in Berlin, as it seems a little hectic and a touch ugly also - but for a few nights visit over the craziness of New Years Eve, it's the perfect city!
A small street just like this one was where myself and my road trip buddy spent most of our New Years Eve, on the recommendation of our Airbnb host (I can't sing Airbnb's praises enough). She said to us "what kind of night are you looking for, there are fancy places in the centre, hippy places in the park, and some odd mixes right next to us" (next to us was the Kreuzberg district). We wanted a local experience so chose to wander the bars and restaurants of Kreuzberg, and we found some incredible places to celebrate the new year coming in.
This was in my favourite bar of the night, which was purely lit by candles and the light of people smoking inside (although horribly unhealthy and leaves your clothes in a state the next day, it is sort of exiting in a naughty child kind of way). The dog above was not particularly enjoying the night, but at least was in the spirit of the night.
At about 10 minutes to midnight, we all went outside, and in a complete surprise to myself and my friend, people started to hand out small fireworks, and nine minutes later, they proceeded to light them and run around crazily shooting sparks and rockets into the night sky. We were also lucky enough to have a balcony in a fairly elevated position, and could see across the city and see how these fireworks were going off everywhere.
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