Wednesday, 23 March 2011


A whirlwind change of state it definitely has been. I reluctantly left Beijing on March 9th, the day my visa expired, but after a night on a southern China airport bench I crossed the border a day late in Guangzhou, thankfully to no remark. Then it was Bangkok again, the familiar, warm, memory-filled city I arrived in way back on November 18th. Curries eaten, flights booked, bike boxed with the help of Marc, another great, thought-filled dinner with friends Tyler and Tara, and fleeting friendships with more interesting people (Martin, Stef, Lindsey and Kyle), I left on March 15th after 5 days in the heat. Huge excess baggage charge paid, a night in Moscow airport passed quickly with yet more new friends (thanks Line and Jasper), I arrived in Berlin on the 16th. Welcomed by another, even more thorough search and drugs check than in Japan, lasting an hour and requiring my lovingly packed bike to be unpacked in the middle of baggage claim, and resulting in me (wrongly) testing positive for heroin or opium but nothing being found amongst my 42kg of luggage, despite the excitement of the sniffer dog. Ahh, Europe!

Berlin has been my favourite city to date without a doubt; the place I feel I could spend a few years. I was supposed to have got back on my bike on Monday and be a couple of hundred kilometres away by now, but thanks to the huge number of things I want to see and do (the usuals; Brandenburg, Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, The Wall, Jewish Museum, etc. etc., as well as the slightly more alternative; Tacheles art squat, all-girl Roller Derby, an undercover mission to the Cold War era 'listening dome' atop Teufelsberg), I haven't even managed to unpack my bike yet.

Departure is now slated for Friday but is likely to change - the details of the above along with a selection of the already 500 photos from the city will have to be filled in from home.

For now though, just a couple:

Tacheles - art squat, social space, beautiful atmosphere, but possibly soon to be demolished.

The unfortunate crucifix reflection on the GDR-designed and built TV Tower, with the omnipresent Berlin graffiti. This shot taken from the 'death strip' behind the Berlin Wall.

Inside the 'listening dome' atop the Teufelsberg Cold War era US comms. interceptor, one of Berlin's many underground, alternative attractions


  1. ok so Berlin sounds great, but 'all girl roller derby'? sounds interesting and painful at the same time!! xx

  2. I havent heard of anybody not in love with Berlin after their visit. The style of Berlin sounds quite suit to you. I have no doubt you can fall in love with this city for at least a few years. You make it happen.

  3. Hey Kris!
    David here from the swinging saddle. I bumped into you on a beautiful day in Germanay. I like your photos. Very pretty indeed. Hope it works out with the girl in Beijing! I just got offered a job in Mumbai, so goodness knows what's going to happen with my bit!