On arrival in what proved to be the best hostel ever (Grand Hostel Berlin, if you are interested), I was unfortunately a little early for check-in. Reception gave me directions to the Berlin Jazz Festival in the mean time, which happened to be very close. It turned out to be such a great stroke of luck! I’m not sure where the name comes from, though, as I ended up spending quite some hours there and not once did I actually hear jazz among all the music.
It was a really great festival though, and when the rest of the team arrived at the hostel a few hours later I took them down there too. There were all these amazingly intricate food stalls and bars, with gourmet food from all over the world displayed beautifully in front of you, and impressive cocktails being whipped up. The food and drink were really cheap too, and it was really nice to be able to wander up and down the streets and alleys with a delicious and cheap cocktial in hand! There were also a tonne of good stalls selling everything from second hand goods to jewellery to crafts. But of course, being Berlin, it was all really cool, trendy stuff, not junk on a table. As well as all of the stalls, the surrounding shops were also open, many of them really great vintage/second hand stalls.
One most laughable moment was when I discovered that yet again my market [stall] theory had not been disproved, even on the opposite side of the world: it simply isn’t a true market without someone hawking ponchos and pan-flutes. This one did have the spanner in the works of them being in different stalls, but I still found them. I’m really not sure how there is such a big market for ponchos and pan-flutes the world over, but hey – to each his own.