One of the best things we decided to do this year while visiting Berlin was to go out exploring with a local guide. Just a day or two before we arrived I came across a great Canadian guy that was living and working in Berlin for almost seven years now. The communication between me and Chris was great from the start. Immediately I felt good energy and the right connection. The challenge for Chris was to show us some sights in Berlin that we did not visit yet. After 8 years of visits to Berlin we have seen a lot, especially the common sights and to do’s were a no go area. I told him a bit about our plans for the week, and the fact that we actually had never seen Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg in a proper way. Over the years we surely visited some of the touristic spots there, but never took the time to get to know these two fantastic Bezirke that were seriously playing in my mind for a long time!
I was very curious, and heard a lot of (wild) stories about both over the years, and I wasn’t sure if it was safe to go there on our own. Especially not at night, the time that in my head things come to live!
We agreed to meet each other that night at the bridge near the entrance of S Bahn Warschauerstrasse. And so we did! Chris turned out to be a great, laid back guy with an enormous backpack filled with knowledge of Berlin and its history. Chris was a history teacher so that’s a great bonus in a city with só much history.
First he lead us across the bridge to Friedrichshain, and showed us around at the RAW Gelände. A place I heard a lot about, and that in my mind was the summum for me to see in Berlin if it came to “off the tracks” Berlin.
I loved the vibe and the atmosphere that I sensed everywhere around me. I felt perfectly at ease, like I do everywhere in Berlin. You can drop me in a park there at midnight and I don’t care. (At home I don’t even feel comfortably leaving my front door in the dark!)
We continued our walk following the S bahn all the way into Kreuzberg. Never came across that idea myself, but it’s a perfect way to see both of these suburbs. Just follow the S Bahn and you’ll be fine. Chris showed us around the streets, and took us to some great spots and even managed to show us things at places we had been before and just missed out, like the fabulous paper scissors rock game that lights up at the Oberbaumbrücke between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. He showed us the way to some great clubs, mural art and told us all about the history between the two suburbs and their “showing off” against each other.
The night ended in the heart of Kreuzberg at a Spatï shop, drinking a well deserved Spatï beer.
It became late, the shop owner joined us, as well as a girl that heard us talking English and was curious what the conversation was about. We ended up in conversations between Berlin, the moon and the end of the world. Actually, it was one of the first nights out that Covid-19 was no topic in a sense of avoiding people. It was all fine!
We stay in touch with Chris, we will see each other again in September when we are back in town. Eager to create more memories with Chris, the greatest local guide! It was great to be in Christory class!