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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Wieder zu Hause

By 'eck time flies when your having fun. Our five day jaunt was over in a flash (Apart from Monday, which was a bit of a slog for yours truly. Getting old sucks) and once again I am back in sunny Bradford. So Berlin. Was it gut? Yes it was. The place is a fair old size, and I reckon it might take three or four goes to get a handle on the place. But it has plenty going off, especially from Friday through to Sunday, when the place is buzzing. A true 24 hour place, catering for all shapes and sizes, it is the scale of the joint that is a bit bewildering for a quartet of first timers. Saying that though, the locals are more than happy to give you tips. A friendlier city you couldn't wish for, but this means we ended up in a lot of very German places, which tended to uber laid back and filled by folk our age being a tad responsible. Saying that, most of them were local places, charging local prices. A half litre of Berliner Pilsner was around €3 in the majority of them. Cocktails were pricier, but after three days of lager, a change was needed.

So much for the place. How did we get on? The Major and Downhill landed too late for the 1860 kick off, so it was just myself and Shouty who took in the game. I don't want to do to much on the stadium, or the game, as I would prefer to save that for an Away Days thread, once my poorly PC is mended. I well tell you that yet again the wristbands proved a great introduction to both Herths and TSV fans, the ground was great, the beer plentiful, and at the sixth time of asking, Der Lowen finally pulled of a victory. Guess who was having a piss when the winner was scored? That's right, yours truly. The train ride home was quite fraught. Hertha fans apparently kicked off with a bunch of Dresden hooligans (?) so the U Bahn was emptied, and we were left having to use shoe leather for the next 2 or 3 kilometres. Things got a bit tasty around the Zoolisher Garten, was glad we weren't wearing colours, so we got a cab to a bar near our digs in Kreuzberg. The Ankerklause was my kind of boozer. A bit of a dive, with a killer juke box, a clientele of friendly folk of around my age and great beer, at a great price (Pilsner Urquell at €3) And it was open late. Me and the Shoutster had been out all day, we had our first beer in Liverpool at around 8:30am, so I called it quits at around half two and left the lad with Major and Downhill.

The next day was started with a spot of breakfast, and sight seeing. We all hooked up around 11 ish, and found a sunny plaza at the Alexander Platz and started on the beer. The rest of the day proved to be quite an epic effort. We took in the Spurs Chelsea game in an Irish bar, and the parted for a quick shower stop, before rejoining in Kreuzberg. We sampled a wide array of different places. From dives to cocktail lounges, via a karaoke joint through a jazz club, all powered by Caipiranhas and Margaretta's well into the wee small hours. Downhill was wankered, so the Major took him back to his hotel. Myself and Shouty found a proper dive, and carried on our mission. This place had some serious characters as it's clients. Everything from young couples drunkenly sucking each others faces, to cruising Gaylord's. It was a cross between the later, who I am sure mistook my facial hair as an indication of my sexual preference, and an American dude with a guitar. His name was Charles, and he some how managed to get Shouty all bent of shape, and ready for fisticuffs. So at seven in the morning we finally decided to make good our escape. Of course, there was a twist in this particular tale. We got whitin about 50 metres of our hotel, when we chanced upon a young chap called Oliver, and his extremely hot girlfriend. "Hey guys, come to my party!" An offer we couldn't refuse. Well Shouty couldn't. I got an earful of the Techno blur emanating from the dance floor, and began to waiver. When I was asked to pay an entry fee, I called it a night. But not for long...

At 11:00 I was woken by Shouty, who announced we were going to a Jazz club. Luckily for him I was starving, and knew this place did an English style fry up. So off we went. And what a top afternoon it proved to be. The venue was a bar called Yorckschlossen. If you ever in town on a Sunday afternoon, give it a shot. The patrons were all knocking on a bit (as you would expect) but extremely friendly, as were the bar staff, who kept the beer and grub coming. All at a decant price. For about four hours Shouty owned the gaff. The the previous evenings depredations caught up with him. He fell asleep propped up against old Joanna in the corner, much to the mirth of the whole boozer. The Major and Downfall arrived, and we managed to rouse him, but it was plain to see that he was a spent force. We stopped for some grub and beer in a Greek Taverna, hoping he would summon up some unknown reserve, but he was done. This was not the end of the night. It was May Day after all, and just a few stops down the line we found a street carnival. It was very good, but I'll tell you this. Once you get past 40, that techno sounds just like a row. I did manage to keep going till two, but after an incident with a door (yes there is a couple points) and an African beggar (no points, I handled that one quite well) Downhill got me a cab, and I was done.

The next day was an odd one for me. I felt fine, but the lack of sleep had done for me. We saw loads of sights, went up a massive tower, and took lots of pictures. But I just couldn't snap out of it. Even a steak dinner wasn't enough to get me up and running, and I manged one beer, later, back at the Irish bar. Still, the day well have been the problem. As Downhill said, it was a good idea to have four full days, but having the Monday as one of them was a bit of a mistake. If we are to do the same thing again, we shall definitely make Thursday to Monday, not Friday till Tuesday. Lesson learnt. Still didn't get in till 2:30am, again.

So that was our Berlin Odyssey. I am going to try and add some pictures, but like I say, my computer is fooked. There will be a Buffoon 2011 update as well, along with a Gender or Bender post. Right I am off to see if this infernal machine can locate my camera/phone.....

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