Sunday, July 02, 2006

Zie last few days

Mick, Ethan and Ranjan left Germany on Friday, so Hans and I figured we had to give them a proper tour of the Berlin nightlife. The day started, however, with a sightseeing expedition of Berlin and we visited the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz and took in the cityscape from the Berlin TV Tower. Obviously, there were no matches on Thursday. We also paid a visit to the Addidas World of Football which sits right outside the Reichstag. Addidas has built a 10,000 seat replica of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin which has live broadcasts of all matches. We were on hand to witness the unveiling of the Gold, Silver and Bronze boots, which are given to the top goal-scorers (in obvious order). I provided the highlight of the day with a superb free-kick which I bent up and over the wall at the Free Kick demonstration exposition pavillion - yeah, it was boss.

So, the nightlife tour. During our last visit to Berlin, we discovered the Schlemmer Pavillion and some of the Berlin clubs. Because we were all still reeling from our club-night in Cologne, we decided to opt for the bars. We started out at FC Magnet bar, a football themed bar that Hans, Roger and I unsuccessfully tried to locate on our prior visit (that same expedition also saw me take a massive digger as I rounded the corner of an alley trying to chase a cat - Jäagermeister). Unfortunately, we found it this time and it was a massive dissapointment. We made our way back to the Schlemmer for some road sodas but stopped off to have a ping pong match with some kids from Israel. After the Schlemmer, Ranjan's friend advised us to go to White Trash, where we met up with Ethan and Ranjan, and Brent and Nate of ESC fame, and Andy and Matthias - our new mates from Cologne who knew even less about Berlin than us, but did know that the Schlemmer was the best Kebab in town. We ended the night dancing the night away again at another club - coincidentally named Magnet club. It only took Mick 33 minutes to have his shirt off. On the way home, chaos ensued. Hans apologizes to the owner of the 2001 Jetta. I apologize to all of mankind.

Hans and I split ways from the group and headed to Hamburg for the Italy-Ukraine match. We stayed at a true Youth Hostel which was overrun with 14-year olds. Not as sweet as it sounds. We tried to watch the Germany match at the Fanfest, but the Polizei closed the doors as we approached, instead directing us to "the alternative fanfest on the Reeperbahn" - Hamburg's answer to the Red Light District. We only lasted for the first half as the 50,000 people that were packed into a space for 20,000 and the sweltering heat were enough to convince us to retreat to the air-conditioned confines of our Hostel. The school kids and teachers alike erupted when Lehman made the save that allowed Klinsmann to keep his semi-finals or bust promise.

At the match, I cheered for the Italians for about 20 minutes before I wanted to kill all of them. Diving sissies. An Italian guy behind us was awesome though. He videotaped himself signing the national anthem while he sang it into his cell-phone. He would also yell "Shame-O!" and "Handball-O!" whenever the diving italians fell over or the Ukrainians chested the ball. Hilarious. I think his name was Mario and he only spoke the broken english.

After the match, we returned to the insanity of the Reeperbahn where a massive street party had broken out. Thousands of bottles had also been broken in the streets - not flip-flop weather. We partied for a while before being forced back to the Hostel because of their draconian 2 am curfew. We didn't leave before enjoying more Mexican Doubles. In fact, the day should be titled: the Mexican Octouple as we ate 2 Mexican Doubles each!

We woke up severly hungover with no place to go so we headed to the train station and made a platform decision to jump on a train to Heidelburg. We caught the England debacle and watched Les Bleus dismiss the Selecao (as I had accuratley predicted). This morning, because it is again a footy-free day, we visited the Schloss castle in the hills of Heidelburg. We took the train to the Königstuhl and attempted to hike down to the castle, only to find ourselves completely lost after only 20 minutes. We marched back to the start and then took the express stairs down and found the castle in no time. The castle is magnificent, very much intact despite the wars, which begs the question: which bombing ace missed his target? The castle also contains a pharmacy museum and a dwarf that never refuses a drink - explains why he's turned to wood.

We leave for Mannheim today and we pick up a Smart Car tomorrow. We're going to visit some vineyards as we race around the hills of the Rhineland in our glorified smart car. Chances of death - high.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hans apologizes to the owner of the 2001 Jetta. I apologize to all of mankind.