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Berlin: where "hangoutability" is off the charts
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It’s called Pfaueninsel and, according to LEGEND, was chosen by a Prussian king as his royal adultery sex-pad. He built a castle on the island for his mistress which is a pretty dang Lord Of The Rings-looking structure:
PLEASE. What is this, Rivendell?! Later in the island’s history, someone else built another castle, and an adorable tiny church, and at some point a travelling circus lost their peacocks on the island (no kidding). The peacocks are the eponymous “pfauens” and here is my hand feeding one:
To get there, take an S7 train to Wannsee and get a 218 bus to Pfaueninsel (they go every two hours from 9:51am to 7:51pm in winter; more often in summer). Then catch the world's shortest ferry ride across to the island. It’s very nice!
As far as culture and learning stuff goes, there really is a shitload you can check out. There’s Hamburger Bahnhof, a massive modern art gallery. The Soviet War Memorial at Treptower Park, an enormous, intimidating tribute to the Russian soldiers who died in World War II which is covered in Stalinist friezes. There's a Ramones Museum. This amazing little shop that restores, sells and exhibits vintage radios. There’s also the Museum of Natural History which boasts an IMPRESSIVE collection of preserved animals, including this lil' baby hammerhead shark:
Hey buddy! So kawaii!
Another great reason to go to Berlin, if you’re a vegetarian, is the food. I had the two best vegetarian meals of my life at Cookies Cream and Yellow Sunshine, which are both 100% vegetarian and specialise in fine dining and fast food, respectively. (PRO TIP for Cookies Cream: it’s tucked away and tough to find. Google Maps won’t help you. To get there, go to the address on Behrenstrasse in Mitte and turn up the little dead-end laneway in between the Opera building and Westin Grand hotel. Then turn right, then left, and then go through what looks kinda like a loading bay to get in. You’re welcome!)
As with most places in Europe, the coffee situation is pretty dire. But we found ONE place that served good coffee, run by a couple from New Zealand, called Antipodes. I’d get the address tattooed on my arm if I were you.
Even though it’s kinda become a bit of a cliche in the last few years for artistic types to pack up and move to Berlin (Stephen Malkmus even lives there now. It’s a fact my girlfriend was AWARE OF), I still don’t think the city gets the credit it’s due. Unlike some of Europe’s other big name cities, like London or Paris, it’s not totally choked up with people 24/7. It’s easy to get around, there’s almost endless cool stuff to do and - most importantly - the hangoutability is off the charts. You can CHILL in Berlin. It’s easy to do. You should go there before it’s ruined.
For some reason Max Lavergne is currently recapping the current seasons of The Voice and MasterChef for TheVine.
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