I went back up to Prenzlauer for some afternoon breakfast, deciding on a corner café round the quieter end of Helmholtzplatz, devouring a tasty panini and trying not to stare at the model-looking friend of the waitresses who was sitting at the end of the bar. Still rubbish weather but it didn’t stop me taking the four o’clock free walking tour from Brandenburg Gate, including the Holocaust Memorial, Hitler’s bunker site, Checkpoint Charlie, the site of the 1933 bookburning and finishing up at the Museum on the island.
I’ve only been here two days, and walking amongst the streets I’m starting to find that the whole place looks, as our tour guide put it, like it’s still all under construction. Barely seventeen years after the wall came down, a random, broken-up feel pervades – turn a corner past some baroque magnificence and you’re at an old GDR apartment block, or an empty patch of land, or a really hip café. It’s all jumbled up, and as a result still open for change and development, which is of course a thrilling prospect. I’m trying to imagine what it’s all going to be like in another seventeen years.