A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Berlin

I'll begin this entry at the end. Not for the first time did I put my camera back in my bag and exclaim, enough. I'm done. Six hours of walking around had started to wear thin on me. My leg was twitching in some, likely, vitamin depleted muscular spasm. Once again I found myself turning a literal corner, and been visually assaulted by a bonanza. Had to dig the camera out again. For me, this piece was the cleanest mural I have seen in Berlin. So it was a fitting end. Also a fitting beginning. It was the last photo in Berlin and I really was done. Hope you like it.

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The comments posted by people are keeping me going. Especially the username comments. You guys are hilarious. And very on point. I dig it a lot. Sorry I havn't mentioned it till now. J, that last one was great! Hah. Feel connected over vast distances and time, in a funny way. As I'm quite an emotional entity, I like this back and forth that is happening. As I have been saying to Mum and Emma, in the absence of any connection/ interaction with Melbourne, makes you realise, as has been mums ongoing thesis for awhile, home is not always a physical structure. It's great when it is, and lets be honest, probably a permenant home gives a degree of security that is essential during certain life stages, but, not nescecarily the be all and end all. See, I spelt it incorrectly again. Home is about emotional connections. Can take all kinds of forms. Alex, think I'm having a flashback to that first night when we had Gin and I fell asleep, sorry, passed out in your garden. Was cool.

Found out it was Kurt Vonnegut's birthday the other day. If you've not read Slaughterhouse Five or Breakfast of Champions, do yourself a favour and read Crying of lot 49. Which is by, perhaps my favourite author. Then go back, to Kurt. Maybe some Bukowski. Hmm, what else have I tried to emulate. Obviously, the Beat Poets. And Hunter. But that's easy. Because the name of this blog is a direct reference to the Rum Diaries. So, unfortunately, just another tattooed Hipster trying to be all street and legit. Except, minus the tattoos. Anyway.

The pin cushion will look a little nuts now. As I fly out to Norway tomorrow to reunite with the Northern Kidds. Super excited. Also have not really had a conversation, in person, for a few weeks longer than food/ drink orders. Hope I have some things to talk about. A lot of back and forth, has been the route travelled thus far. It was making sense when I was cruising with Emma, cause she is a smart cookie and followed a nice loop. Without my antennae, I'm a bit like a leaf in a bubbling brook, just following the currrents, master of nothing, except what i'm carrying. At the moment, the bags overfloweth, as I had to pick up some more treats from a small art collective in Freidrichshain, where I was kicking around most of the day. I retraced my steps from yesterdays adventures, minus the guide and minus the trains. Realised that I will be running out of wall space to display my overseas goodies, what with all the beer coasters I have picked up, postcards purchased and assorted artistic pictures and prints I have snaffled up. Then, possibly, some of my own photos will be given the rarefied honour of a permenant position on the walls of the humble abode. Perhaps I should upgrade to a bigger apartment in, I don't know, how about in New Zealand?

Clearly a combination of crazy amount of photos and lack of conversation has been responsible for the increasing tempo of my posts. I will not be to wordy on this one. Just quite excited to show everyone what I have been seeing. I will save a lot of the back stories about my meonderings to a face-to-face conversation. Actually, I'm sure once you scratch my grey matter surface I wont cease talking until you fall asleep, tea in hand, drifting off to a land of nod filled with bright colourful cityscapes, dark yonders populated by shaggy monsters, lumbering away to their distant caves.

Just a little props to myself. Well and truly versed in cruising around a foreign city, sans map. Berlin is big. Didn't get lost though. Same goes for a lot of other places. Having mention I lost my antennae, the little clip on leaf that was gifted to me in Beijing by a certain someone, have remained on track, with my trusty pair of Cons. They are beyond destroyed, but still can't part with them. Think they deserve to see Melbourne again before retirement, after all we may make it to 20,000 kms travelled in the end.

Show and tell time? Sure, that's why I hope you invited me here after all. First up. Saw a number of recurring works today and yesterday. Robi the dog, Tona, Alias, Alice, Sope and the person who did one of the pieces in Reykjavik, also those little creatures with the eyes kept popping up not sure who it is. Here some of them be.

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Will finish on a little story. Was walking along, remembering chatting to Emma about Space Invader, I think a French dude, who is internationally prolific. Thought how strange it was that I hadn't seen any of his work yet, in all the cities. They are very hard to spot, though. Having replayed the conversation in my head, walked, I kidd you not (sic), 5 metres, looked up as I have learnt to do from mum and life in general. Bingo. Saw a number of his little guys. Then another 10m and hallo! Ausfahrt, or maybe Einfahrt. Another piece. Really these pieces are hard to spot. Did my little excited dance. Succumbed to the beat. Here you go.

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Could actually keep talking, because havn't even mentioned the East Side Gallery, may have to eat my words on my last ponderings on the Wall and how it's remembered. Because that kind off, but not really destroys part of my contention. So, one final piece I really like. For cereal, took over 100 photos of individual pieces in Berlin.

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Posted by kidd1200 08:39 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

Berlin

Urban Diatribes


View Europe 2015 on kidd1200's travel map.

Well this stop takes the approximate distance covered to over 15,000km. That be some distance. If I was a car I would be definitely due for a grease and oil change. Maybe inflate my tires a bit. Guess Berlin did just that. Pumped my spirits up again. I mean, I saw the Northen Lights, on my very first night in Iceland. In Reykjavik, even in the city with light pollution diminishing the effect. Crazy.

Stupid.

I'm in love. With the sky.

Because as I found out, even people who went on 'Northern Lights Tours' that night, out on the boat, didn't get to see it. I'm one lucky cat. As mum said, even people who have been here multiple times missed out. That be crazy y'all. It was evidently a very strong solar activity night, because out of a score of 9, it was at an 8 that night. Have no idea what scale they would be using. Naplan scores? Probably not. Anyway, I feel blessed by the gods/ spirits/ big people in the sky that control the levers that meterologically influence our daily grind. But, what about Berlin. After all that's where I started this post. Well, it's a start to be sure. Having departed Reykjavik at that hour I didn't think existed, 6AM, man I left the Biscuit Factory at 3AM. What?! I was promptly asleep on the plane once it finally took off. See what I did there. Jumped back to talking about Reykjavik instead of Berlin.

Now, having arrived, in aforementioned city, and not been able to check in till 3pm, and having time travelled 1 hr ahead, I did a loop of the block so would no whichever direction I approached the hostel from would look vaguely familiar. Totally seasoned. Got all the tricks. Scooted out straight down the main street in search of urban delights after that. First port of call was the river. Generally a good place to start for graffiti. Was underwhelming. But, seeing some construction areas under the train line, another failsafe, I headed around. Just following the wind. Eventually started to open up. First impressions of the streetscape. Totally different to my previous haunt. Definitely more of the 'by the people, about the people, for the people' if you get my drift. A bit of graffiti origins. Actually, more of a giant f@#$ you to the establishment. Interestingly, all of the really good pieces are totally fenced in by construction sites, like a massive exclusion zone. Appears I may have hit the areas undergoing gentrification. Or, destruction of the character that made these places come alive again. Enough of my political/ social diatribe. Focus.

Actually, I mean I saw a famous Banksy piece, that was totally inacessable even with my sweet as zoom lense. Just could not find a place where I could nail the shot. A few words I like to spell incorrectly; deliscious, nesecarily, beg your parsnips! Sorry, got distracted again. Point is, there seems, just on day one of me exploring, this kind of covering up of Berlin/ societal history. I even, literally, stumbled upon an old section of the Wall. Not the tourist Checkpoint Charlie jazz, which is not near any remaining wall, but some area that was all overgrown with grass. No one around. Was weird. It was all walled off, ironically. Behind some Police joint. Almost got arrested cause I was taking all these photos, inadvertantly looked like I was staking the joint out. Don't worry, just me panicking. There was no constabulary-Daniel interaction.

It's now day two. Things may get a little unhinged. But that is my want, and as i'm the occaisional master of my own insignificant existence, perchance indulge me. Actually, not asking for permission. As stated preiviously at some stage, this endeavour will increasingly become more of an insight to my state, perhaps a deteriation of an otherwise 'aight mind. Or mabes, this is what we all go through and our persona that is projected into the world comes across more stable. As I experience stateless existence. Kind of. Probably will wander a bit. As I was stuffing my face with diner, I had a de ja vue moment, except I knew it wasn't real because, according to my feeling, I wasn't actually eating pizza when I 'lived this moment' before, which then caused another de ja vue, because that was origionally what I thought on my first 'living' of that moment. Was a double de ja vue. Got seriously confused.

Mr's Fryer, your use of the word stalk is fitting, it's more or less what I did to Emma throughout Europe. Observing it from a distance would probably lead to all kinds of assumptions, but I'm no Olaf. Despite my use of masking tape once. I'll let Emma, maybe, tell that story. I'll clarify that, the masking tape and my use of it occurred before I left Australia! Funny, I kind of feel like I know you, what happens after chilling and talking crap non stop for a few months, you feel like you know have known someone for ages. So, appreciate the comments, hope you get a few more chuckles.

Having taken your daughters advice, I embarked on a free 'alternative' tour of Berlin. The use of free is a slight misnomer as these dudes run off the generosity of fully cashed up tourists like myself. Actually, considering most are on a budget and there was only 3 of us today, very small group, I, in the luxurious position of actually making money on this trip, tipped a fair bit. But Max was totally on point all day. How weird and lucky to be able to cruise around Europe, to some pretty expensive places and still be saving cash. I mean my actual savings are at the same level when I left. Despite all the crap I have bought myself. Now I feel guilty. Looks like the young niece may be getting additional treats. Probably should spread the love a bit broader. All right. If anyone wants to meet me tomorrow, I'll shout you a coffee.

Having crapped on a bout my initial views of Berlin, turns out I may have been a little quick on the draw. I saw so much street art/ graffiti today its unbelievable. Interestingly, Max's general overarching theme as he took us through some up and coming neighburhoods was about gentrification and the negative aspects that this has on a local community. I learnt a stack. Consolidated my own beliefs and feelings on the corporate greed/ property speculation monster that priced me out of Brunswickedest and turned it into a comodified locale. Lets be clear. I am a massive hypocrite in this situation. I mean I stopped at Starbucks and bought the cheapest espresso so I could use the free WiFi cause it took me 1 1/2 hours to find the meeting point. Lucky I busted out early, anticipating some such silliness would arise.

Just re read the entire entry from yesterday. Boom. I was actually completely on the money. That first impression was, as most guts feelings, on point. So the building I saw the 'Banksy', after talking with Max we're not sure if its a legit piece or a copy, used to be a artist squat. About a year ago it was reclaimed by the landowners, evicting everyone out and turning it over to be developed. This is a recurring theme in Berlin and a global phenomenon. Again, the whole 'by the people for the people, about the people' vibe I got was on point. An example.

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Incidently, the other paste is from SOPE, heaps of these pastes are all over the place. Always characters of mushrooms and bunnys. Reason why pastes are prolific in Berlin, its quicker to throw up, and is only considered as 'littering' not vandalism, as opposed to stencils of straight graffiti/ tagging. So, legislation leads to adaptation. Also is relevant in the 'war on drugs' and most attempts at legislating your way out of a 'problem' Sorry, getting a little social agenda anti system vibe seeping out. Look, this kind of art is not for everyone and can look ugly as sin. I completely agree. Have found myself advocating for tagging at work (not actl tagging of our expensive automated analysers, although I like to think every time I sign a piece of work, DK is a little tag in history, considering it has to be kept for 5 yrs also a legacy!), not that I'm a fan, but I think you have to show a modicum of consistency. As I said, there is truth in ugliness. Wow, I must be drunk, just wowed myself with my insight.

Mum, this leads me to a piece you will really dig. They are scattered throughout Berlin, by an artist called Yoga, or maybe Yogi? They are little corkscrew figures in various yoga positions, the overarching point is to remind people to look up! Because they are tiny, so inconspicuous. Its a modern day stop and smell the roses mentality. I rekon you should try and do some free tours at the cities you go to. Its great hearing passionate views from locals, and you get great insights. I think this group runs other 'alternative' tours in other cities.

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Cath, reminds me, your comment reminded me, when I was flying into Berlin, once we penetrated the low cloud, the first sight I had was of trees. Now Iceland is a barren place. Most of the trees have been cleared by the early settlements. That was a lot of reminders. The sheep finished the task on the native wildflowers. So no, there is a absence of my favourite fine foliaged fellows, the Birch. May they endure, evermore, in the great sparse expanse of Siberia. Crazy, I spent 3 odd weeks travelling from Beijing to SPB. It's a little crazy. And I had an off the charts time with my NZ crew. Dan, Sarah and Emma. Man. Was sweet.

Some photos. A few big name artists I saw today, and in other places if you have a memory and an eye. Blu, London Police, Os Geomos. These are some of the the big international names. Blu does a lot of stop motion video with his pieces, so check that out if you bored or its you first day back at work and your wearing corporate gear, watching Arrow and just been a general menace.

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Let me end, on what I think is my best photo, ever taken, ever. Mum, this reminds me of your black and white self portrait that you took all those moons ago. That has stuck with me because I think its off the charts. Well, this is my modern take on a self portrait in a mirror. Updated, in colour. If you search for the translation of the word yourself, you'll get another layer of awesomeness that I didn't realise at the time. Very few times in my life do I feel proud of an actual achievement. This is one of those times.

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Not sure if its obvious, but I may be missing talking gibberish to Emma.

Posted by kidd1200 10:06 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

Munich

This is all a little crazy. Two posts in a single week. Thought I would continue rambling on, about stuff you know. Quick update on my loose plans. The only confirmed date and destination is Iceland on the 3rd. Havn't sorted out a ticket because not entirely sure about where I will be. Also confirmed is me arriving in London on the 24th October, but that weekend will be dedicated to two big RWC games, probably hanging out in the Fanzones in Trafalgar Square. Or a pub. Essentially anywhere with a giant TV and the elixir of the gods. Depending on the outcome of these games, the next move(s) will be decided. Also, my erstwhile travelling companion will be cutting away for family time when I head to Iceland. Will also squeeze in Berlin either before or after Iceland. Not sure!! Sorry, please don't hold off on your own plans J, I have confirmed accommodation in Cambridge in December, so will be able to do some revision of my own numeracy with the budding mathematician. Now that I think about it, I know it's super cold but I hear Scotland has a 'Right to roam' law or some remnant of antiquity that allows you to camp wherever you want and have fires. Hmm, might have to investigate this for December and get lost in the Scottish Highlands.

Again, we absolutely killed it in Munich. Second day in, we did our own free walking tour with the mission of finding some quality street art sights. Managed to complete this mission, and also kicked around in a giant loop of walking and through a combination of dumb luck and skilful vague ideas of directions hit all the cool joints that interest people. My highlight was finding the tunnel underneath the Angel of Peace statue. It was rad, I may have done a little dance. Yeah, I totally let the beat take over. We only have an appreciation for the outside of buildings. Having been spoilt for amazing internal delights of both architectural subliminity and sumptuous ephemera at the Hermitage and the Kremlin Museums, we are content with admiring the macro forms and scintillating detailed appendages of Gothic gargoyles that adorn the Castles and Churches we've come across since. You get the idea. Also saves money.

When we headed out to Neuschwanstein Castle, the sun rose early and made a solid start at burning away the early morning fog that shrouds these parts for almost the entire day. Clearly, we have been pleasing whichever god is responsible for carting the sun across the sky in his chariot, because he has been stoking that firey ball of flame well. And props to Thor for occupying himself on the days when we decide to have adventures outside of the cities. Whether it's a cycle along the Danube, or picnic on the lake at Neuschwanstein, we have had the clearest, warmest, unusually brilliant weather in an otherwise bleak, cold, wet and misty month. We only spent 15Euro on our return ticket, and just kicked around in the glorious outdoors for a few hours. Boom. Sorted. Smashed the photos as well. Having learnt how to blitz a supermarket for lunchtime goodies, and of course listening to the echoes of our mothers and purchasing healthy options, we have graduated to top of the Vodkatrain Class when it comes to value for money and gourmet deliscousness. Again, the little things in the life of a traveller. We splurged the other night when we bought a faintly musty, sub-par bottle of vino at the local Lidl supermarket, spent 3Euro. Crazy kids. I think we should have spent only 2.50 and got the bottle from Straya, m8!

It's a quick 2hour trip to Stuttgart, another pin in the cushion of Europe cities. Hope to check out another street art sight, underneath a train station. Hope it's cool. Also, I think we might fork out the cash moneys and hit the Porsche Museum. And it looks like there's some pretty massive parks to wander. I'm going to post a 5 panel piece from Munich. It's sweet. Maybe a photo of the lake at the castle. Just search for actual images of the castle, if you want to see what it looked like. Oh, and a shot of a gargoyle at some church in Mariensplatz, or somewhere in mainstreet Munich. I mean I presume it's a church. Could just be a big building to hold up a small clock.

See, who needs guided tours!

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Posted by kidd1200 00:44 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

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