Part 1 of my 7th day in Berlin, New Year’s Eve—
There was a foot on my forehead. A foot that, if I remember correctly, had not been washed before heading to bed the night before. Not only that, but there were kissing sounds coming from the area where the heads were. Great, two couchsurfers had hooked up during the night… above my head.
This made me less guilty that I was walking out the morning after… but not before the boys made breakfast for the girls.
After saying goodbyes with the usual Couchsurf “if you’re ever in [hometown], you’re always welcome to stay with me!”, I headed out one final time with my backpack to meet up with a friend at a Plus Hostel in Kreuzberg. To be honest, I was a little disappointed she didn’t book the hostel on the boat in the harbor… how cool would that have been?!
Because it was New Year’s Eve, she and her friend were unable to snag bunks in the dorms so they had to pay exorbitantly for a twin private room. Hostel review intermission: The hostel itself was actually very impressive. Its lobby looked more like that of a hotel with international clocks hanging on the wall behind the reception desk. The only thing about the hostel was that I found it a bit confusing—my friend was staying in room 419. All the other rooms were well-numbered and pasted on the walls leading you to the room. The 400 rooms may have been a new addition or something because it led me to the attic and stopped listing the numbers on the walls.
But it’s time for Spreepark. Spreepark is an abandoned GDR-era amusement park that has been famous of late thanks to Buzzfeed and various photographers. It’s even appeared in some movies and music videos. Right now, there are official Spreepark tours organized by a company, however in order to take pictures and enter you have to pay 15€. And, according to Trip Advisor, the tour guides are quite awful. We preferred having a free adrenaline rush by sneaking in at night.
Spreepark was difficult to find. Hopping on one of the reliant city buses, we got off at this one stop and walked in one direction looking for… well, we really didn’t know what we were looking for. TIP: If you come across a wooden sign at the edge of a paved footpath, that is the one you should take to find the park. We stumbled onto this and decided it couldn’t be that easy, opting to choose a dirt footpath half a mile in the other direction. It felt like the beginning of The Blair Witch Project.
In the end, we did manage to stumble upon it, a faintly lit ticket booth beckoning us from the distance. By this time, the sun had already set half an hour ago; we had to rely on our iPhone flashlights to guide the way. Periodically, we’d see a car parked along the fence. “That must be the guard,” we’d whisper, and then walked a bit further.
We used some broken fences as footholds and jumped our way over. My feet thudded in the fallen leaves with a muted crackle—it had been raining lately. I really can’t describe what we saw but my pictures didn’t turn out well, so I guess I’ll have to try. We immediately found ourselves facing an abandoned merry-go-round (why is it always the creepiest things first?) and then the head of a life-sized triceratops.
Here, I half-expected a squatter to jump out at me.
The funny thing was that we thought we were total hip rebels, sneaking into this forbidden park at night. But while walking through the park, we caught multiple camera flashes near the ferris wheel; and whenever we happened upon another group of people, it was a general rule to pretend not to see each other.
Being caught would’ve have been more interesting and would’ve made a better story, but the park itself is definitely still worth a visit at night. No matter how many other people there are, walking around in an abandoned area like that will not fail to give you chills.