With my time in Berlin closing fast, I realised I would have to work out my next stop.
I originally wanted to head north to Gdansk in Poland but with all the symptoms of a cold, venturing North was the last place I wanted to go! Instead I’ve got a bus to Wrocław (vrots-wahf). But that’s tomorrow, today I went on another walking tour but this time exploring the alternative side to Berlin, the more liberal, cultural, artistic side of Berlin.
It started at about 12 when the guide came to pick us up, we then went to another hostel for a few more and then actually started the tour at Alexanderplatz. In stark contrast to the rest of the tour, we all met outside Starbucks before heading off to see the underbelly of the German capital.
The first thing the guide pointed out was a familiar site, the large tag of the “1UP” crew. They’re known for graffiti all over town, across skyline flats, rooftops and even the trains of the U-Bahn. Next we learnt about particular artists such as Sober and El Bocho who use paper to make their art, painting it in a studio then gluing it to walls, in a similar fashion to wallpapering.
The group was then led into a dark alleyway that eventually opened up to showcase some incredible wall pieces, and we learnt about the history of the alley and museum during the world war; about how the owner protected his Jewish staff from the National Socialists.
All of us then boarded a train to the other side of town and we walked past an alternative living centre, basically a group formed their own community by converting military vehicles, a wing of an old hospital and tents into a communal living area. It’s not a squat per se due to technicalities with the council, but more a lifestyle choice.
Finally we walked through the centre of the artistic hub; art galleries, music venues and a multitude of international cuisines filled the district. It was here we also saw some massive, government commissioned, pieces adorning the walls.
After nearly 6 hours, I headed back to the hostel to get packed ready for my early-ish travels.