I will keep this blog short, as was my time in Berlin. For this trip around Europe Ziggy, Chris and Myself decided on three cities that would all have a very different from the last. In Barcelona the people are vibrant and boisterous, which makes a lot of sense for a country that has a large tourism culture within their economy. In Germany, that Barcelona vibe of interaction and warmth could not have been less apparent. Germany as a country is known for its strong, industrial based economy and hyper efficiency. The people, at least in my opinion, seem to reflect these staples of German culture. I would not say that the people we encountered in Berlin were in anyway rude, but there was definitely a palpable sense of guarded individuality. A feeling of "I will leave you to your business and you should leave me to mine", which I respect. The streets were noticeably empty during working hours which was a juxtaposition of the Barcelona streets which always seemed to be flooded with life (if you know anything about the economies of the EU than the reason behind this is self explanatory.).
While the cold guarded vibe of Berlin is not what I prefer it was a great 2 days seeing all the history that the city of Berlin holds. Having Chris alongside me, someone who is very well educated on the history and governments of Europe, we spent two days bouncing from landmark to landmark all while trying to not disrupt the way of life around us. When traveling, especially around all the various cultures and countries of Europe, people I discuss my travels with always expect me to have these glowing stories of how much I loved everywhere I visited. With Berlin I can say that 2 days was plenty of time to familiarize myself with the city and the fact that I don't think I would like to spend an extended period of time there, at least not as a traveling outsider.
After our 48+ hour excursion around the city, we would happily move on to a country which is more known for its foreigner friendly vibes, The Netherlands. Our mode of transport this time would be a train (and after construction stopped us), 3 buses and a few trams to get to Amsterdam. More on my time amongst the Dutch in the next blog.