berlin day 2


We started our second day in Berlin with a fabulous alternative Berlin walking tour led by a charismatic British expat called Jake. The tour covered glimpses of current and historical alternative culture and used similarities in them to reveal the spirit of Berlin in its most distilled form. Our tour guide gave an example of two unlikely heros from different eras in the city that perfectly demonstrated Berlin's collective love for rebels and acts of courageous resistance to authority. He drew a parallel between Wilhelm Voigt, an ex-convict caught in the dilemma of starting an honest life who successfully robbed a bank by impersonating a Prussian military officer in 1906 and became an unlikely champion of the people (there is now a sculpture in his memory in front of the bank he robbed) to the modern example of the graffiti artist JUST, who when caught redhanded doing a giant fire extinguisher tag showed the police a fake permit, sprayed DO IT next to his name, explained that he was part of a guerrilla marketing stunt for Nike and walked away a free man. Pictured above is a street sculpture by Danish street artist TEJN made in support of the Standing Rock protests. Once again, this piece of subculture perfectly illustrates Berlin's international and courageous soul: A celebrated illegal sculpture installed on Dircksenstraße Street by a Danish street artist standing up for Native Americans affected by the Dakota Access Pipeline.


Our tour ended near the famous East Side Gallery, so we decided to walk its length and continue indulging in the day’s healthy diet of wall art. What is now the East Side Gallery is the longest remaining section of what once was the Berlin Wall. Nearly a mile of wall is covered in large-scale murals… It is perhaps the largest and longest lasting outdoor gallery in the world. A good deal of the artwork is inspired by feelings that come from the city’s fragmented past. Definitely a must-see on a Berlin visit of any length.