WANDERLUST; Teufelsberg

In the hills of Berlin there is a mountain called Teufelsberg which is 80 metres above the city. On the mountain there is an abandoned American spy base.

Dani and I rode the train to Grunewald bahnhof.

The quaint town of Grunewald met us on our exit from the station. Although not far from central Berlin, the architecture and manner of the locals is very traditionally German.

After buying snacks and beers we embarked on the half hour trek through suburbia and up through the forest to Teufelsberg.

Until recently it was illegal to be in the abandoned spy base premises, but laws never stopped true adventurers.

We were under the impression that it would be easy to get in, yet recent deaths combined with a student now conducting approved weekend tours around there meant that all of the previous holes in the fence have been sealed up and there is rolled barbed wire all along the top.

We could hear loud techno and minimal electronic music playing which got us excited for the prospect that one of these famous Teufelsberg raves we had heard of was happening.

Upon surveying the whole parameter we found two places where we could (somewhat dangerously) climb over the fence.

We saw two private security guards standing inside the locked gate next to their van. This fact meant that someone had a key inside… yet how to convince them to let us in. My German is not good enough to persuasively flirt with mean looking middle aged security guards.

We came across a letter, written in German. I read it and wondered if it could be part of the puzzle – perhaps ravers telling us clues for how to get into the party!

(…but the letter didn’t end up having anything to do with the party inside.)

Snacks and a sit down followed then we decided yes we are definitely going to climb over the fence.

We made friends with a German guy who spoke to the security guards. They said there was a private artists party and if we found a way in we would get fined 150 Euros. That was enough to scare him off, but Dani and I had come all the way from Australia! A small fence is not a real obstacle for two girls travelling through Europe – plus private security guards have no power to fine people.

The music stopped yet we continued our problem solving for how to get in.

We met two German girls – Jule and Steffi – who were having a picnic, and they hadn’t found a way in yet either.

When about to climb one of the fences we met two beautiful men who were ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE! One from New York, the other from Paris. They walked us around to where they had entered and helped us climb under the fence, then we got Jule and Steffi and helped them climb under too.

Finally we were inside, with four new babein’ friends.

The whole site is graffiti’ed and quite run down.

There is three ‘listening’ towers that America used to watch and listen to surrounding activities of their allies and enemies.

We climbed up the internal stairs right up to the top. It is the highest point in Berlin and the view is ahhhh-maze-ing.

Our new males friends then started taking off their clothes and explained they were doing a nude photo shoot, and oh Dani was designated as photographer for the photos of both of them.

Jule and Steffi have their own clothing label julijuli, so they took some photos for their lookbook.

Upon leaving we met the lovely hippies who are squatting in the grounds. I have no photos due to a large sign saying “No photos! Get it, dickhead?”
The lady was talking to us in part German, part English and part jibberish – but she was excited that we wanted to talk to her and provided a lot of laughs.
She explained that the tourists who go on the weekend tours look at them like “animals in a zoo” which she then followed by jumping around like a monkey – complete with “oooh ooohhh ah ah!” noise.
She also had a key for the gate, so (gratefully) no climbing was required for our exit.

That night Dani and I went and saw bands with Jule and Steffi at Levee club (formally Bang, Bang club) which is under the Hackesher Markt S-Bahn station.

Getting to sleep was so hard that night. It had been the perfect day and I never wanted it to end.

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