Monday, 7 July 2014

20# IDa4 MURAL IN EUROPE: Jetpak Alternative,Berlin, Germany‎

Forget about the history Berlin is the Future!

This was our last hostel in Berlin and this city has given us so much: friends, history lessons, the best kebab, the best nightlife and some real interesting art opportunities for the future, but this city has a very unique feel to it, Berlin at its best is unpredictable, quirky and accepting.  It has that vibe that something amazing will happen around every street corner. 

This seem to happen every time we went out, we somehow managed to get on the biggest float for St. Christopher’s day parade (Berlin Pride) watching a million people coming out to support the LGBTQ community, was one of the highlights of my life, not everywhere in the world are we accepted, but to see the mix of people, young and old coming out in support made me feel all nice inside, but maybe that was the free bar!

Berlin is the city of possibilities, with its mix of styles and cultural influences, its unique character offers workers, young artists and musicians from around the world a perfect venue where to live, with low rent, probably the lowest we have come across in our time in Germany, its very easy to live and party here.

Berlin feels like one of those cities that is constantly changing and permanently on the verge of becoming the next big thing, this city is simple like nothing we have come across on our travels.  It would be very hard for us to sum this up in a blog entry but I can try and give you little insight from our point of view.

This was our last hostel in Berlin and we hoped it would be a good experience, in fact it was one of our best..

Jetpack alternative is situated in the district of Berlin called Kreuzberg. This community needs a blog entry all of its own, but let me digress a little and tell you about Kreuzberg…

A neighbourhood founded on anti-establishment values, Kreuzberg refuses to lose its rebellious nature,  with “graffiti, dark gas lanterns and dog shit”, this is a quote from jetpacks own website and they are number one on trip advisor for the whole of Berlin.  

But in reality it’s a mix of punks, bohemians, LGBTQ individuals, and counter-culture enthusiasts, but not to mention the larger communities of Middle Eastern, African, tourists, and of course native Berliners. All these elements make this area a melting pot of world values and cultures, but somehow it all fits together and it works. Works Well!

But speak to the locals and they will talk of gentrification, which is a shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents and businesses and increasing property values.  This happens everywhere in the world but I have not seen the fight against this process here so active and involved by the community, I guess if you have something so good, you don’t want to lose it.  

Anyhoo back to our stay in Jetpack, like I said earlier this is number one hostel in Berlin and I can tell you why. The staff! 

From the beginning to the end of your stay you feel welcomed, invited and involved in the hostel, Juilan, Grant, Lynne and James do such a good job, the hostel becomes them.  We connected with all the staff but a special mention has to go to James, who took us under his wing, like he did with all the other guests and made our stay in Berlin all the better. My last night in Berlin I went to berghain  with Grant and James from the hostel, only the best techno club in the world!, we partied and danced till it closed, it feels like a dream now, but I guess that’s Berlin for you,  it also made the 9 hour drive to Rotterdam a little bit more interesting.

About the art.

We had really good wall to paint in the hall way leading from the main reception/common room to the dorm room.  The owner had some really good ideas about what she wanted, but between us, her and James we came up some classic images of Kreuzberg, one was a black and white photo from the 1980’s of two girls laying in the street,, one from a Turkish background and the other from a European background.

The other wall we covered was with images of David Bowie who used to live in Kreuzberg in the 1980’s and a famous club of the neighbourhood called SO36.

We hope you like it and thanks for the memories