Berlin, 9th September
It’s a fairly well established fact that when you get to do a place with a local, you get to experience that place in a whole different way to the standard do-it-your-self-tour experience. In short you pretty much get the antithesis of The Day with The Plan.
Thank goodness for Our Dave, the Aussie mate turned long time Berlin resident. Because he
loves us is a little bit mad Dave agreed to spend our second day in town showing us around and giving us the local tour of his adopted home town. Which made us love him a little bit more than the a lot we already love him!
On the morning of our planned meet up we, without incident or the requirement to be up early or yell at the ticket machine, caught the S Bahn to somewhere that felt vaguely out of the standard tourist confines. Whilst we waited for Dave to show I kept asking Wally if he thought it was safe to be there with kids. He just rolled his eyes at my pathetic introversion and pointed to Peach dancing wildly to a busker screaming in to a microphone about being incarcerated and taking drugs and lord knows what else. Pea fitting right in with her short dress, striped tights, work boots and crazy short at the back long at the front hair. And Pops engrossed in her Kindle – she could have been in Vladivostok for all she knew. Clearly nothing to worry about.
When Our Dave arrived, lunch in hand we headed down to the river for sandwiches, well before the small people could start asking for food (for a man without children he is extremely clever). We nabbed a sunny patch of grass between the water and the Eastside Gallery and because the Universe is kind sometimes, the entire areas was devoid of both birds and tourists.
After lunch we spent about an hour strolling the length of the Eastside Gallery, which Pea LOVED. In a city full of blonde haired children she still managed to be photographed by dozens of Asian tourists. I just love this photo of her looking all cute and Aussie in her traveling Blunnies, keeping her legs crossed to stop herself from cartwheeling off along the footpath in excitement! This section of Berlin is new since I was here last and I loved how the whole area has been reinvented.
Our strolling along the river continued until we ended up at the beach. There’s nothing quite as weird as having a beer on the sand in the middle of a land locked city listening to Jamaican reggae and people talking in German. Weird or otherwise it was good, so we stayed for the afternoon chilling out, kicking back, reeeeelaxing, whilst the kids played in the sand singing Bob Marley at the tops of their lungs. Thank goodness we were flanked by some pretty wild art and a few squats to remind us we were in Berlin, and not Jamaica man. After months of brandishing the hash tag #travelingisnotaholiday like a weapon, it was actually like being on holidays!
We strolled a bit more whilst Dave regaled us with a steady stream of historical anecdotes and flailed his hands around pointing out this and that and this so fast it was hard to keep up. Unlike the day before, the kids absorbed everything like wide eyed sponges, because you know, he’s not their parent and he’s cool and when he says things in German they sound like real things where as when I say things in German it sounds like I have a hair ball.
When we’d all had enough walking and the whinging about legs and carrying kicked up a notch, we headed to Daves ‘hood. Lured by the promise of icecream. And on a mission to find The Second Best Kebab ever!
As it got dark we all skippity hopped and danced home, to the sound of piano accordions in the subway, because we’d all had a really really really great day being locals by proxy. Should you ever find yourself in Berlin, in need of a local, I’m sure Our Dave would be happy to help you out!