After 20 hours in transit, I arrived in Berlin at 7am. The flights were quite pleasant, it was my first time flying with Etihad and I was impressed by their service. The cardboard box containing my bicycle was still in mint condition and waiting patiently for me at the luggage carousel. Unfortunately none of my other stuff arrived. So I reassembled my bicycle (to avoid carrying it or pushing the box across cobblestoned paths) walked to Terminal C and waited two hours at baggage services.
On the brightside, I had my bicycle, so after I filed a lost luggage report I went to my hostel. I had about four hours to burn before check in, so obviously I went cycling. The cycling experience felt surreal, there were so many different bicycles and cyclists scattered in every direction, all of them looking stress free. I could understand why, the roads and cycle paths are so well laid out and motorists respect your personal space. I didn’t really know what I was doing (regarding road rules or riding on the opposite side of the road), so I just followed everyone else.
I made it to the Berlin Wall on the East Side Gallery (there are several places you can view parts of it) which is a 1.3km stretch of artwork. In fact it’s the largest outdoor art exhibition in the world.
The next few hours were a blur, I think I just rode back to my hotel and slept. It was a rookie mistake, as it probably made me more jet lagged, but it was sunny until 10pm so there was plenty of time to do stuff. Since it was Friday night, the main hostel activity was a pub crawl. It’s not really my cup of tea, I’d prefer to actually crawl around on pub floors than go on a pub crawl. So I hopped back on the bike and cycled til midnight.
With a population of 3.5 million people, I expected Berlin to be really crowded, but I found that the streets were so spaced out and green. I couldn’t wait to get up tomorrow to explore more of the city.