My arrival to Berlin was timed perfectly for both the Christopher Street Day Parade and the Germany/Ghana match. I took the Meinfernbus for 20 Euro; it took 7 hours but was pretty comfortable - and much cheaper than the train. The bus has only recently become an option in Germany, and many people also choose to use the rideshare website Mitfahrgelegenheit. I was staying with some friends I had met while in Mauritius in Weissensee (NE part of the city). They were super excited for Saturday, and we headed out early for a sehr lange Tag! We arrived first to the parade, where all of the wonderful Berliners were out celebrating and demonstrating to support the rights of LGBT people and promote acceptance and inclusion. It was colorful and raucous, and great people watching. We had our flag, and marched part of the way as part of the parade as well. The word of the day was Erdbeer bowle, and boy were they delicious!
We heard rumors that the Fan Mile wouldn't let people in if it got to packed, so we set out early to claim a spot. Germany is crazed for soccer, and Berlin is no acception. Their fanmeil is one of the largest public viewings in the world and runs between Brandenburg Gate and the Siegessäule. There are tv screens, pilsner stands, snacks, and German fans everywhere you look. I got the feeling that the Germans were not expecting much from the Ghana team – particularly after the US defeated them last week. But, Ghana brought their game and the Germans were taken offguard. Germany had the first goal and the crowd was charged up. But when Ghana answered with a goal, the only people cheering were the 5 Ghanaian fans in front of me. Ghana's 2nd goal brought even more silence and confusion – and longer beer lines. I was almost relieved when Germany scored that tying goal – it would've been tough to get through all of those very depressed, and inebriated Germany fans! I was decked out this time but on Thursday the chameleon will change her colors to red, white and blue! Go USA!!
The rest of the week in Berlin was spent exploring Prenzlauer Berg, improving my German, and checking out some local startup events. I hit up Betahaus for an event for location independent entrepreneurs - digital nomads - and it was great to meet like-minded people from all over the world. Inspiring and motivating! Berlin is a great city, and very livable. I would've stayed longer, but I had a date in Munster for the US/Germany match!
Combining a passion for travel, the desire to make a difference and a love of maps, MaggieMaps was born. A place to share stories, resources, and a way to inspire and support others in realizing their individual travel dreams.
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Unless otherwise noted, all prose, poetry, maps and photography posted on this blog are Copyright 2013 Maggie Maps
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