Pink in our lives gives you also interesting suggestions for you to go, to visit, to see or to do and Berlin should be at least on your list.
Finally I went in February with my man and two good friends Bart and Bjorn to the city that lots of people told us to visit one day. Well we went from early friday morning till monday afternoon to the city that has lots of contradictions. It is still a big contrast between East and West (The big Berlin wall divided this all and has luckily came down many years ago). The words old and modern, historical and innovative, conservative and open minded pops up in your head, when you walk through Berlin.
I must say and it could be because of the winter period and the present cold, but I find it a very grey city and more of a construction site. There was so much construction going on and even in the late hours??? A lot of beauty got unnoticed because all of this. This was unfortunate for us. I think we missed some other beautiful buildings or monuments. Even so Berlin is a city with lots of history (not always positive, but with the wall falling down it is getting better).
Most gay people go probably for the gayscene and clubbing, which has also a big variety for everybody. We have seen a bit of it, but it was not our main purpose of going to Berlin. That is why I also want to recommend some stuff too that you have to visit or see whenever you go to Berlin.
When we arrived on the airport friday morning a taxi brought us to our Hotel called Indigo Hotel at Alexanderplatz. It is a nice hotel with a restaurant, gym, cosy bar and the rooms that we had were not big, but well equiped (Us gays like that off course LOL) The room had all the nice facilities, but the rain shower head with warm water with the freezing coldoutside was a great plus!! Also it must said the bed was amazing to sleep in…..yes,we held a beauty sleep from time to time too ;-))
We started our first day with strolling around and seeing some highlights of Berlin with some stops to get a hot drink or alcohol. We have seen the Fernsehturm, Brandenburg Gate, Gallerie Lafayette (gays need their shopping too off course)
And the Reichstag from outside. Yes only from outside, because you have to register when you want to visit this amazing building,which is the parliamentary and government quarter of Berlin. It can held only a few hundred visitors per hour.You have to choose when and what time. So there we were 45 minutes waiting in line, freezing our balls off to sign in for a free ticket of this building. We went evenually on sunday and it was worth it. The building has old and modern combined, on top of the parliament building you have the modern well designed dome, a roof terrace and roof garden restaurant. It was great to walk in the dome and see a marvellous view of the city (Also a lot of working cranes unfortunately). The way the dome was structured ,designed and built I had never seen such it before and it was not something you would have imagined when you think about a parlement building.
On the first evening we went to dinner under the 368 meter high television tower (Fernsehturm).
The restaurant is called MIO and is a club restaurant, where you can wine and dine….. and dance off course. The interior is very stylish and make you feel special. The staff is friendly and very tasty food and drinks. A lot of good looking (straight) people come here and MIO does a lot to get noticed by people. The way all the areas (lounge,dinner,dancing) are placed and combined makes it an interesting place. They arrange lots of theme evenings with great care and off course they have happy hours…..No we are not alcoholics,we just find it fancy to have a cocktail in our hands 😉
The second day we dressed up warmer, it was really necessary and we went to Kürfürstendamm and KaDeWe. Shopping areas!!!! KaDeWe is a department store that opened in 1907 and can be compared to Harrods in London. They provide nowadays next to the variety of stores, an array of desirable goods from around the world(from fashion looks to exotic south sea fruits) and also services like beauty rooms,wedding service,hairdressers and many more. KaDeWe has more than 60.000 square meters of sale space and 2000 employees. As you can guess we were here for a few hours….The eating area was a complete floor on the highest level and you can order whatever you want. Too much to choose from but all fingerlicking delicious. ……
Most transportation we did with the subway and this is very good in Berlin. They go on 7 on 7 for 24 hours, so this is a perfect transportation when you go out late at night. So saturday night was the night to check out the gay nightscene here. During the day we had visited Bruno’s store already. A big gay store where you can find everything from dvd, lube, underwear, toys and books. We asked them also where to be tonight and apparently the gayscene is divided in two areas; the younger crowd and a bit older and mostly the more fetish side of Berlin.
Nearby this Bruno’s is a good restaurant called More, so we started the evening here. I recommend this restaurant in the Motzstrasse, because it has a nice interior, a feel welcome atmosphere and the carpaccio of tuna, chicken tandoori and the entrecote are a sure thing to order if yo want something tasty. What strikes us most that evening and gives you also an idea of Berlin, that everybody can do what they want without being judged. You get watched, but that is off course everywhere in the world. A table next to us came sitting two Italians (hunky I might add) completely in leather just to have dinner and go to a fetish party instead. In most countries you do not go to a restaurant dressed like this, but here it seems normal of at least accepted. It is nice to know that everybody can be themselves. After dinner we went walking through the side streets to get a drink and most bars were either fetish bars, behind-closed-door bars or not that trendy bars. Were we in the wrong area? Does Berlin not have gay trendy bars? Is there too much and too mixed crowd to have bars like that? I do not know this answer, so we just went in a normal bar and everybody here is sitting in chairs and just hanging and drinking. More of a hangout with young and older people than a club bar on a Saturday night. Because we did not bring our leather chaps and hats, we went back to the hotel. It would be an early rise again the next morning to visit the rest of Berlin….
We started with the Reichstag, a rooftop lunch and from there we went to the holocaust monument and museum. This was impressive and very sad. The monument is so specially made as you can see on the pictures, but the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe gave us all goosebumps and we shed some tears. The museum has several rooms (dimensions, families and names) and with words, letters, video images you get such an vivid image of how cruel everything was in those days. I have not lived during that time,but you can feel the pain. This is the most memorable place that we will remember from our trip to Berlin. It is not the most fun thing to do on a citytrip, but when you go to Berlin you have to visit this museum. It is free and you get earbuds, so that you can hear everything in your own language. Afterwards we went to see a part of the Berlin wall and also a exhibition called Topografie of terrors. I suggest that you do this all best on the first day of your citytrip and then do fun things the rest of your vacation, because it brings your mood down.
I would like to end with a memorial nearly located to the Brandenburg Gate. It is little monument in the woods and it is a memorial to the homosexuals persecuted under the national socialist regime.
There was a time when a public kiss between two persons of the same sex could cause offence in society…and it still can….
That is why the monument was designed by Michel Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset (both Scandinavians lived and working in Berlin from 1995)
Like the Jews in the letters that are shown in the museum write, “we have not done anything wrong”. This is how many gays have felt when they were persecuted. And still there is so many hate and violence against gays nowadays. Hopefully in the future things will change, will get better for this generation and the future ones. It is a part of life and part of this world and violence does not make us go away or should make us feel differently than anybody else.
I was glad to make this trip with my boyfriend and two good friends and that we could be ourselves, even though how difficult it sometimes can be…… but Berlin made us definitely feel welcome.
Depending why you go to Berlin, everybody has different expectations. We went for a trip with sightseeing, visiting Berlin and not just for clubbing. Maybe we will next time and definitely in a spring or summer period, because like the city people looked also grey and I think that can change totally when the sun is there……Maybe you have different opinions or experiences or hopefully to suggest other great venues, please share it with me and my followers.
Have a PINK day and keep smiling!!!