Berlin Vol 1.1: hostels, food shopping and beer gardens

At the beginning of August, I arrived in Germany’s capital city. In a few days time I was due to start a language course for the next four weeks and so my first mission was check into my hostel and then find a flat.

The last time I stayed in hostels was in Australia during the winter, where we rocked up on the day and booked in for as long as we liked. Turns out you can’t do that in Berlin during the summer. I had to spend my first two nights in two different hostels and then head off to number three the next day because they were all full.

The first one was called Alcatraz and had a buzzy atmosphere and the people in my room were friendly but there were downsides. My room was next to a main road so there was a constant onslaught of noise. I also couldn’t get my key to work at 1am on my first night after having drinks with a friend so had to wake my roommate to let me in. Bet he wasn’t sorry to see me leave. Admittedly, that was probably my fault as opposed to the lock.

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Now I’d got my first embarrassment out of the way, the next couple of days went by smoothly. Thankfully my second hostel- Lette’m Sleep– was not fair away and was pretty peacefully- minus the loud couple who came in during the early hours, chatting loudly and then took about half an hour to wake up to their morning alarm, which went off every five minutes from 6am.

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Everyone in Berlin seemed to speak English, so when I was alone I could take comfort in the fact that I could only get so lost- although I couldn’t tell whether the man who worked in the supermarket was amused or being sociable when he said ‘oh, you don’t speak German?’ or whether he was just disappointed in the mono-lingual British girl before him.

In the first few days, I didn’t really do too much. I sent of some job applications as the deadline was looming and did some flat hunting. What a holiday. Yes, I had been out for drinks but when asked by my hostel roommates where to go, I was stumped. I had no idea what was in the surrounding area.  Mercifully, one of my friends had already been in Berlin for a month, so I had someone to go flat hunting with and who had things to do at the ready.

Within the first 24 hours, I was taken to a beer garden– because you can’t go to Germany and not venture into one- and treated myself to a beer with raspberry cordial (a Berliner Weisse) because it seemed like a novelty- however I quickly realised that it was simply a snakebite without the cider. But it was good either way, particularly because I’m not really a beer person- although you can’t really not be a beer person in Berlin, especially if you are on a budget, as it is cheap!

Berliner Weisse beer with raspberry syrup

I had high hopes that I would start to be more proactive with my days so I’ll be able to write a more interesting blog post next.

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