Germany was set to be the final leg of my European vacation before I began the extremely long journey home. It was at this point that elements of exhaustion were beginning to take their toll on my mental and physical state. My life for the past month had consisted of parties and planes and not a lot else. I was hoping that Germany would be a nice way to relax and recuperate, however as my time in Deutschland randomly fell into the same week as the Fifa World Cup Final it was doubtful that much rest would actually occur.
I arrived in Germany the day of my good friend Megan’s Birthday and made it from the airport to the bar just before 10pm to have some drinks with her and some of her newly made antipodean/Berlin friends. I found them at a bar watching the football. It was a significant match to all the spectators in the bar as this would be the deciding match to see who would be taking on Germany in the final. To be honest, I care very little about any form of sport so the whole football thing was of very little interest to me but the atmosphere was a rather intense thing to be a part of.
Between that game and the final Megan and I took a trip to Dresden. We had both never paid a visit that part of Germany before so had little idea of what to expect. What we found was just another beautiful city in Germany separated into two areas, the old and new. Luckily our large apartment was situated above a bar on what seemed to be the high street of the oldest neighbourhood. Upon our arrival we were greeted by our hosted who encouraged us to attend his gig in the bar downstairs later that night which turned out to be some form of classical Spanish entertainment complete with Mexican masks and Spanish trumpets. Our one and only full day in Dresden was spent exploring the city. We took a stroll through the Botanischer Garten and lay in the sun outside the Dresden Hygienic museum (we weren’t that keen to pay to go inside). For our final night in the city we decided it would be entertaining to head to a karaoke bar and perform anonymously to a room of Deutch strangers. I’m glad they were strangers as after rehearsing our duet of Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue’s power hit ‘Kids,’ we failed to hit the harmony’s we had managed back in the comfort of our apartment. After Megan sung some Jewel and I had a Creep to Radiohead the clock struck four which meant it was well and truly past our bedtime.
We awoke with throbbing headaches and dry mouths the next morning and slowly made our way to the cheap bus that would take us back to Berlin. The city had transformed upon our arrival back to Charlottenburg. It seemed that overnight everyone in Berlin had come down with a severe case of patriotism. German flags were painted on every face, held in every hand and slung from every pair of shoulders. As mention previously, I’m not a fan of sport but I couldn’t really miss out on this festive yet intense atmosphere. When Germany scored their one and only goal shit just went crazy. I was sitting on the floor of a bar and instantly everyone was on their feet screaming. The women behind the bar administered free shots to every patron. When the full time whistle was blown, everyone headed for the streets, chanting, letting of fireworks, smashing glass. It felt a cross between the stroke of midnight on New Year ’s Eve and a war zone. I watched cars drive passed, all with the horns constantly ringing and passengers hanging out the window.
Walking the streets the next day you could tell that Germany must have had one hell of a hangover. My eyes were looking down as I attempted to avoid shards of broken glass and pools of vomit and piss that seemed to be on the corner of every street. I was glad to not be responsible for the clean-up and headed back to the airport with a heavy heart. My summer holiday was over, now to face the long, long journey home.