After a lot of thought and planning, we had decided to take our car back home. We were unable to drive in the city or get insured once our European insurance ran out. Plus, it was costing way too much money keeping it in car parks for weeks at a time – it simply wasn’t worth it. We were completely devastated that we’d have to take it back to England as we’d bought it especially for the move but we’d be able to drive it again once we have moved on to the next destination.
Since we were heading to Iceland in about 2 weeks time, we decided that rather than getting a plane straight to Iceland, we’d drive back home instead. Once home, we’d then catch the train to Edinburgh airport and get the flight from there (a lot cheaper than flying from Newcastle airport). Then get a flight from Iceland back to Berlin at the end of our holiday. Now that we were driving back, it did mean that since Jordan could only get 1 week off work, we’d get 2 days less in Iceland than we had originally planned but since we hadn’t booked anything yet, it didn’t make too much of a difference. It’s times like these I’m thankful that we leave everything until the last minute.
On the plus side, it meant that we’d be able to take some things back home that we had realised we didn’t need and we’d be able to see our family very quickly before we moved on. Since the holiday in Iceland was for my 21st birthday and it wasn’t the typical ’21st birthday holiday’ that you’d normally expect, my parents were meeting us there. They were travelling on the original date – 2 days before us – so we wouldn’t be seeing them in England but we’d meet them at the hotel in Iceland after we had landed. In England, we’d be spending two nights with Jordan’s parents and one full day trying to cram in seeing all of the grandparents and siblings.
Until then, we still had another week left in Mahlsdorf in the lovely bungalow and another week in an undecided hotel. Back in Mahlsdorf, I had been trying to find ways to make a little bit of money while I was (unsuccessfully) searching for a job. In the end, I decided I was going to start knitting again and hopefully open an Etsy shop. As I had left all of my knitting gear at home, I had to venture out to find a crafts shop to buy everything that I needed.
After some googling, I found a shop in the Friedrichshain district of Berlin – a district mostly known for hosting the largest section of the Berlin Wall that’s still standing (East Side Gallery). We hadn’t been to Friedrichshain since arriving but had spent the day there when we visited back in 2015 so thankfully, when I got off the S-Bahn, I wasn’t completely lost. However, I was absolutely useless when a tourist asked me what direction the Berlin Wall was in and I completely blanked and I’m pretty sure sent her in the opposite direction.
The walk from the station to the shop was about 15-20 minutes and it was pretty eventful to say the least. On the way there, I was walking alongside a dog park when two dogs started attacking each other and the owners couldn’t stop them. Then about 5 dogs decided to join in and by the time they had been dragged away, everyone was completely traumatised and one little dog seemed pretty hurt, it was awful. Believe me, i would have helped if there wasn’t already a crowd of people there and they weren’t on the other side of the fence.
Wollen is the shop I visited and it is so good for anyone who enjoys knitting or crocheting (and in other words – are 90 years old like me). The staff were so helpful. I basically showed them the list of everything I needed and they ran around and grabbed it all for me without me even asking. I got everything I hoped that I needed and headed back towards the station.
On my way back, I was walking past what looked like warehouses next to the River Spree and decided to go down when I saw that everything was covered in street art. It ended up being a mixture of bars, clubs, shops and loads of other things all hidden away down a gravel path that I was lucky enough to stumble upon. I didn’t bother going into any of the buildings (with fear that I’d embarrass myself) but I spent a good hour admiring the art painted all over the walls.
As I headed further down the River, I came to the Urban Spree – what I now know to be a large artistic space that offers exhibitions and art classes. Opposite this building were renovated containers stacked on top of each other and contained in one was a tattoo parlor. I had a look at some of the artists’ designs shown in the window and they were so good and exactly my style so I’ll definitely be finding out some more about them some time in the near future.
On the back of the containers was an art piece – it was different pieces of scrap metal positioned and painted to look like a toucan. It may not sound like much or even look that great in the photo below but it’s certainly more than impressive when you see it up-close.
After a solid week of knitting – attempting to get some practice in before I began work for my Etsy shop – our time in Mahlsdorf was over and it was time to head on to the last hotel before the big drive back to England. Mahlsdorf was such a wonderful place to spend two weeks in and I’m going to make sure to take Jordan back to the Urban Spree one weekend in the upcoming summer.