Berlin: when the glitter shakes off

Late night post here. As always when it’s 11.30pm and I’ve planned to have a good night’s sleep, an idea will wrestle me awake! And well, here we are. I’ve been struggling to write about my recent trip to Berlin and it’s a tricky one. I loved it the 3 last times I visited, and I mean really loved it. I was under its spell. But this time – it just wasn’t there for me. Now I don’t know if it was me, the time of year (freezing, worse-than-London freezing), or a case of too high expectations.

Let me show you what I loved about Berlin the first time round. First of all, I hung out with friends, locals to the area and my trips were a good mix of independent exploring and being led like a little child to the local much-loved places.

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Enjoying the optimism that came when the sun shines on Berlin

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Appreciating Berlin’s creativity and how it was reflected in flat decor!

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Having love affairs with cafés (as you know i’m rather obsessed)

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Riding around Tempelhofer Feld with my buddies

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Coffee stops

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Life made with this ice lolly + Tempelhofer Feld

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Seafood with my soul sister (also lives in Germany, but Bavaria)

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Amazing food – like this Lobster Bisque

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Transit – Asian tapas restaurant (favourite of mine)

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Enjoying magical-looking clubs

The only thing really missing from my little photo gallery is the humour and energy of the people. People happy to chat to you or make a comment about life wherever you are: museum, just passing by on the street, café, wherever.

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Then we fast forward to my last trip in December/January, and well, I didn’t explore as much (because I hate the cold) and it ended up being that I saw a whole lot of Berlin’s nightlife and the inside of the flat I stayed in instead. I still visited some of my favourites like Transit, Milja und Schafa and discovered some new favourites like Glory Duck – but on the whole I think the picture was skewed because I mainly saw the night.

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And lets talk about the night shall we? Berlin is outstanding for clubbing, bars are brimming all over the streets; I celebrated New Year’s Eve there and they really know how to ring in the New Year. But the truth is, I’m not a huge partier – so it’s only now, weeks later that it’s dawned upon me that that may have been the reason I wasn’t so enamoured with my experience this time around.  Upon realising that it is such a part of what Berlin does well, I think I subconsciously thought – well maybe Berlin and I aren’t quite what I thought we were?

Ground this revelation in the fact that I saw myself possibly moving here in the future and it had previously been in my top places in the world (still is, I’m not that fickle) when I got home and poised my fingers on my laptop keyboard – I was a bit stumped on what to write.

But now as I sit in my room in London and my Berlin Lonely Planet guide peers at me from my ‘travel corner’, I realise this was a good thing. Very often, you can fall in love with a place and end up romanticising it in your head, travel can do that. But this was a good way for me to realise that Berlin is still a ‘real life’ place, with seasons that come and go and ups and downs. At least now if I do move there, I wont expect some fairy tale movie or for La La Land scenes of my life to play before my eyes; I can shake the glitter off and just appreciate the beauty of Berlin for what it is. And you know what? It’s still pretty damn awesome.

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Photo from my January trip

Check out my good friend and travel companion Grace’s review of Berlin and her favourite spots in (Re)visiting the Magic of Berlin.

0 thoughts on “Berlin: when the glitter shakes off

  1. jezzikafos13 says:

    These photos look lovely! I don’t know much about Berlin but it seems like a beautiful place with a lot of history. Also I can totally relate to ideas just keeping me up at night lol I don’t sleep much

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