Berlin, capital of Germany. Approximately 4.4 million people live there. It truly is a metropolis.
When I was on my way to Berlin, I was curious what I would find there. A friend had promised to pick me up at the central station (Berlin has three main train stations and I don’t know how much other, smaller ones). Upon arrival, she had to phone me because there were so many people on the platform she couldn’t find me. First impression: Berlin central station really is huge!
We went out to have a drink or two that night (I arrived at nine p.m.) so I was in for seeing some of the streets where there is one bar next to the other. Another new sight to me: prostitutes in the streets. They really do look cheap and I hazard a guess that they were either drug addicts or well above thirty.
The next day, we met another friend and they showed me some parts of the city. Shopping malls, famous sites, a flea market in a side street, the underground (to get from one part of the city to another one). What struck me most was the fact that there are modern buildings with huge glass fronts right next to old villas or half destroyed churches (which have been in that state since World War II). Berlin is a mixture of old-fashioned and modern architecture that is quite intriguing.
After two exciting days in the metropolis I went to stay with another friend who lives in a district at the edge of Berlin. When I arrived, it was like stepping into another world. That part of Berlin was quiet, green and small in comparison. There were so many grand houses and villas, one next to the other. Old cobble streets in some parts and new asphalt streets in other parts (the ones with shops, banks and the like mostly). Walking through the cobble streets between old villas and down to the lake at night held something of a fairytale for me. That part of Berlin seemed truly enchanted.
My conclusion: I do like Berlin, the metropolis, but I fell in love with Berlin, the small town.