Thursday, 7 August 2008

Day 3. Falafel, party time & Berghain/Panorama Bar..

Pretty lazy start to the day, the only lure to leave the campsite was the thought of food around midday. We walked to Mitte and met with Ratty who took us to 'Dada Falafel', Berlin's best Falafel joint. The tasty snack was enjoyed by all and gave us enough fuel to wander around town for the rest of the afternoon, all the way down to Check Point Charlie and back.

The plan for the night was to go to the world renowned techno club Panorama Bar/Berghain. (you'll be hard pressed to find any photos or videos from inside the club as photography is banned). Kenny, Cookie, Beefy and Robbie Len had left to go there the previous night for a Dubstep showcase and when we got to the flat at 11pm they still hadnt returned. We figured that they could be either

a) still in the club (its open for days)
b) at some radge party somewhere
c) in jail.

When they finally came back at about 11pm they all looked a bit worse for wear and it turned out that they got denied from the club and had spent the last 24 hours sitting by the river and drinking in the park!!

Panorama bar/Berghain is notoriously difficult to get into and if you don’t look like you fit in or don’t speak any German chances are you’ll be turned away by the scary looking doorman with tattoos on his face. So me Wally and Jo set off with this in mind and nervously drank beer on the street corner before we joined the hour long que to get in. The club is inside an old power station strangely nestled in a retail park between a Toys’r’Us and a McDonalds. To say it sticks out like a sore thumb is an understatement!

We hardly spoke to each other in the que, instead studying the doormans pattern of turning people away. Luckily for us there was a load of typically crap English people in front of us and most of them got turned away (one of them was an earth queer so he had no chance), we were next in line and managed to get in. Just getting in I was overjoyed to say the least, it was the main club that I wanted to go to while I was in Berlin and it didn’t disappoint.
The main room (Berghain) is like a catherdral of techno, the speakers hang from chains and the d├ęcor is quite gothic and dark. The tunes were hard and unforgiving, much like the majority of the punters in here (and the toilets).. Wally got up close and personal with one or too of the locals and lived to tell the tale! Marcel Dettmann played for 5 hours down stairs and was the highlight for me, no nonsense techno all the way.
Panorama Bar upstairs plays the more civilised side of techno and deep house and instead of the lights coming on when the tune kicks off the DJ has a lever to open the shutters on the windows, when it went off I was sure half of the people dancing were going to turn to dust!
The culture of clubbing and drinking in Germany is so much more relaxed that it is in the UK, to give you an example Mathew Dear who was the last DJ to come on didn’t start his set until 4pm. Yes that’s 4pm on Sunday afternoon. Some locals get up on Sunday morning have breakfast then head down for the day, crazy.

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