Urban Berlin

Berlin is a massive, expansive, wide city laid out on the German land like a thin layer of butter spread on a piece of toast.

It’s industrial, grey, urban.

November in Berlin is bone-chilling and misty. The sky is a heavy mass of thick grey.

It’s eerily empty. The city’s infrastructure was built to accommodate 5 million people. Currently, the population is just at 3.4 million. Reminiscent of Detroit, expect it to be the place to be in a few decades. A revival is in the works as young, hip Berliners transform the city into an artistic urban wonderland while enjoying some of the cheapest costs of living in Germany.

The scale of the city is intimidating. This is no place to attempt to wander around and hope to stumble upon a place to drink and enjoy the evening. No, you need to either be with someone who knows where to go or have a specific place in mind. The streets are too wide, the storefronts of buildings are set too far in and away from the sidewalks to glance into establishments from the street and decide to set foot inside. I can imagine the city being a great place to live with many many options for entertainment, dining, and wining. As travelers without insider knowledge, we were somewhat comparable to lost puppies with wide eyes trying to find somewhere to escape the penetrating chill. Walking back to the hostel after a night out took us at least 45 minutes. Coming from dense, narrow, compact Prague, this was novel.

Filled up closer to capacity, Berlin would have been incredible. As it were, it was nevertheless such a cool city. You really could sense the open, artistic, youthful, creative environment throughout the city. There was an air of transformation. The place was dense with the feeling of renewal and revival and cultural development. I’m excited to see what’s in store for it in the upcoming few decades.

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