Free Tours, Graffiti and The Hoff In Berlin

I warned you back in I Left My Heart In Berlin that I would be bombarding you with more Berlin Stories. I broke out the book as  a reminder and now I have stopped laughing at the unbelievable wit of  Salma and I, I am ready for the next one.

We figured the best way to get to see some cool places quickly and decide where we would want to spend more time would be to do one of the tours. We found some leaflets in our hostel that pointed us in the direction of a free (just tips to the tour guide) tour. I think it was called the alternative Berlin tour. Definitely a quick easy way to see lots of cool interesting places. The tour guide was friendly but as his buddy didn't turn up I think he was struggling to handle the crowd which sometime meant we missed out on the information as he seemed to have his favourites. He took us around the city showing us some cool Graffiti and night spots. As it was only our second day there it was very useful and we actually revisited a lot of the places.

I really liked RAW this is a place that apparently has some great parties it really reminded me of the custard factory in Birmingham when they have the whole street open. They had a big bus that I am guessing DJs play from. Sadly because of the snow we didn't get to go to any parties there but we wee told that in the summer it is a local hangout for artists. There are some galleries and markets around the buildings. We grabbed some sunglasses and almost got left behind. The tour guides really know what they are talking about and can tell you a lot of interesting history around some of the beautiful art.

Even if you are not a fan of street art some of the work you see here is so beautiful there is no denying the talent. The artists are from all over the world. I think this one  to the left was done by a guy from Australia.

One of my Favourites was the cowboy slipping on a banana peel as you can see below.

 Along with a few more there was wall to wall graffiti on every wall around every corner.

 RAW used to be squats at one point but was now occupied by galleries and cafes.

  This one was huge and must have taken forever to do.

The tour wasn't all graffiti the tour guide gave us lots of history about Berlin. The highlight of this for me was where we got to meet an old man who is a local legend. He built a house completely out of things he found right in the corner of where the Berlin wall originally met. He was in his garden and waved to us. The house was impressive and the story of the revolutionary protests this guy made are worth the tour alone.

Like all good history we finished the tour at the Berlin wall Eastside gallery. Some of the work on the wall is
so beautiful but there is just so much of it I will only share some of my favourite pieces at the end of the post.  We got to sign the other side of the wall and then went to hang out at YAAM a really cool and interesting youth place that had massive basketball courts, Jamaican food huts and lots of cool reggae music.Lots of open air raves and parties happen at YAAM mostly with an urban vibe we got invited to a huge hip hop party by the security guard who we randomly met at Belushi's on my birthday. Of the places we partied this had the most chilled and relaxing vibe. That was until all of a sudden the place was filled with cameras and floods of people. It turns out of all the days we chose to visit the Berlin wall so did the one and only HOFF. News crews were going mental. People were chasing him up stairs even falling over each other to squeeze through a door after he bust a sing on the steps.

We knew that we had to get a picture or nobody would believe us. He was there to sing to help protest that the city would be building apartments on the space on the other side of the Eastside gallery and to do so they would be removing parts of the wall. Although this seems slightly ironic after people fought hard to bring down the wall originally this part represents both history and art. Sadly he lost this battle but an agreement was made to put it back together after the work was finished.

After we got our picture we preferred to go sit in the bar and listen to some reggae rather than listening to the Hoff sing. Hot apple juice and rum in our hands we walked away from the Berlin wall while the sounds of the Hoff rang out in the air. These are the moments you just couldn't make up and it was kinda magical.

I will leave you with some more of the beautiful work from the wall.


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