Hallo meine Lieben,
Sorry for being quiet for quite some time, essay stress got the best of me! Crazy to think that all you Glasgow people are either already happily finished with your exams or just about to. You lucky ones! My second semester started just two weeks ago!? Well, to be honest, I don’t mind – I am really looking forward to the summer in Berlin, and even the fact that I’ll spend most of it studying isn’t going to bring me down. There will be just enough time for after class park beers and biking into the sunrise with new friends from an open air rave, I’m sure. Wasn’t that an idyllic image.
Lovely weather has finally arrived, and Berlin is full of cool summer activities, so I thought I would tell you about a cool place I went to a week ago on a sunny day. There are plenty of abandoned buildings (such as a former children’s hospital and a spa) in Berlin that have been taken over by graffiti artists and turned into works of art where people hang out, drink and create more art. Just google for ‘abandoned Berlin’ and you’ll be amazed how many places you’ll find. Most of them are go-at-your-own-risk zones, since the buildings are indeed abandoned, and shouldn’t be occupied, so parts of them might suddenly collapse – so the most approachable and safest option might just be a place called Teufelsberg that is actually constantly maintained.
So, just outside the city, in the middle of the woods, a half an hour walk from Grunewald train station that has direct connection to the city centre, there is a man-made hill Teufelsberg that houses a former US listening station during the Cold War, now abandoned and turned into floors of street art, art installations and hang out spots. You pay an entrance fee of 8 euros, which is decent for such a big place with a variety of art, and even a photo exhibition that gives you a historical overview of the place. On the roof opens a beautiful view of the entire city in the distance. You can either bring your own food and drinks, or buy all you need from the few kiosks they’ve built up there. A guaranteed lovely chill day, with quite a few tourists but also lots of locals hanging out listening to music.
One happy SASA in the hoodz.
Also, an extra tip if you happen to be visiting Berlin now or in the next two weeks: The Haus. It’s an old bank located in the west of Berlin, which 165 artists have turned into five floors of art, ranging from graffiti to moss installations and tape artworks. The building will be torn down in the end of May, so basically everyone wants to see it while we still can! So, go early or prepare yourself for long queues, since only 199 people fit in at the same time. Pay what you want if you want as you leave.
Next weekend I’m taking advantage of the ridiculously cheap flights Ryanair offers and flying to the south of France to meet some friends on exchange – reporting back on that soon!
If you have any questions about Berlin or Erasmus, don’t hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you out.