Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eurotrip 2011 - Day 8 (6/24/2011) - Hamburg to Berlin

We started out the day by finishing off our bread, cheese, and fruit that we had left in the hostel fridge.   We checked out around 11 and headed to the Hauftbahnhof by S-Bahn. There we waited around and caught the 12:34 ICE (Inter City Express) to Berlin Hbf.  The ride took about an hour and 15 minutes, and we rode in second class since there were some seats open in the car we boarded (we didn't bother checking first class). After arriving in Berlin we followed most of the hostel's directions (we took the S-Bahn as directed, but walked instead of taking the tram) to find it. I'm glad they (Have a Smile Hostel) provided detailed written and video directions on the HostelWorld website, because they are kind of hidden in a back courtyard.   The attendant was super-nice when checking us in - he made us some tea and pointed out a lot of things to do/see on the map.  He also mentioned that TV on the Radio was playing at a nearby venue that night.  He also invited us to join a dinner at an Indian restaurant that the hostel was organizing that night for the guests (they do an activity every day).

After putting our stuff away we wandered into a nearby neighborhood to grab some cheap eats to tide us over until we met up for the hostel dinner.  We went with a pair of noodle boxes at a Thai place (one with chicken, one without).  We next walked down to RAW, an abandoned-looking warehouse complex that actually housed a couple of clubs, a skate park, a climbing gym, and the Astra music venue (where TVotR was playing).  We walked through to check out the graffiti and then saw a poster for the show. We walked over to check out the venue, and we could hear TVotR doing their soundcheck.  Galen tried to get a guard to let us in to watch, but without success.  Another worker told us that we could still get tickets at a place called Kola which was a couple of U-Bahn stops away.   So we started heading in that direction.  We ended up walking instead of taking the train.  This turned out well because Galen saw a few large pieces from famous street artists that he knew.  After wandering and asking for directions twice, we finally found the place and bought 2 tickets.  As we headed back it started to rain.  Galen also wanted to see the East Wall Gallery (a portion of the Berlin wall that had been designated for artwork) so we walked under the raised train tracks instead of taking the train, which would have taken us too far. The rain eventually subsided enough for us to check out the works on the wall.

After that we walked back to the hostel, where we arrived in time to chill for about 30 minutes before dinner. A little after 8 we walked down to the Indian restaurant with 5 other guests and a hostel worker. We had dinner (Chicken Tikka for me) and then Galen and I left early (around 9:30) to go to the concert. We arrived at the venue after the opener and had time for Galen to grab a beer before joining the crowd to wait for TVotR. The band got on around 10:15 and played until 11:45. The show had a raw feel to it, but it was pretty good. Afterward, we walked back to the hostel and chilled before going to bed.

Some pictures from the whole trip:

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