Berlin never had a chance. Then again it didn’t exactly help its cause.
I took a bus with four friends to Berlin from Munich where I had just experienced Oktoberfest opening weekend. The friends that I was with were excited for Berlin – unrivaled nightlife, romantic cultural history and significance, blending of Soviet influences and a culture distinctly different from Bavaria. A culture distinctly less appealing to me than Bavaria.
Wifi was very hard to find – none available in the many coffee shops we visited, making actually getting work done problematic. A main reason for my visit to Berlin was the Pergamonmuseum, a museum showcasing the relics looted from the ancient site in Turkey I had visited the week before. Unfortunately I learned upon arrival that the exhibit within the museum showcasing the looted items is under reconstruction until 2019.
As for that historical romanticism surrounding the concrete wall — doesn’t do it for me. Nor does the night-life or clubs that my peers are so excited about. Maybe it’s because I’m 35 and the idea of buying drinks until 6 am sounds silly or I just feel no connection to the euro-chic — Berlin culture isn’t my thing. So I returned to Munich and Bavaria for 6 more days of warm, nurturing, joyous Oktoberfest.
Berlin wasn’t all bad (even though I acted the part to my friends, bemoaning our departure from Oktoberfest). I visited art museums and saw some truly remarkable pieces — many looted from foreign sites. The reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate from ancient Babylon using original bricks was the most impressive.
I did leave with a new appreciation for the uniqueness of Bavarian culture even within Germany furthering my love.