Just follow the river…

Berlin October 2014.

After being convinced by some of my hostel mates that there was no way in hell that I was going to get into Berghain, I embarked alone on a mission to find a club under a bridge, at 2am, on a brisk October night.

“Just follow the river,” they told me. I knew nothing else.

As I walked along the Berlin Wall in my backless, shoulder-padded dress, I felt an unwavering sensation of confidence and security. I continued along the wall, past one bridge and then another, past the broken down and windowless brick lofts adorned with graffiti. Past the new condominium construction and the Berlin Energy Forum building. A reminder of the past, a nod to the present, and a notion of where the future may take Berlin.

Just as I had begun to lose hope of finding my destination after wandering alone for nearly 40 minutes, I caught a glimpse of sparkling holiday lights illuminating the underbelly of an overpass. A glimmer of hope. Under my feet, I could feel the pulse of what lay on the other side, and found myself at a kind of broken down picket fence. I hand the door guy my passport and try to play it cool, he takes one look, says nothing and passes it back. He asks the girl behind me if I am her friend, she says yes, and he steps aside.

On the other side of this broken down picket fence lies a patio with a kind of tropical, bohemian, Alice in Wonderland type mystique. I walk past clusters of German hipsters huddled in salvaged Tilt-a-Whirl cars, no doubt sharing substances in the comfort of their temporary nests. I walk a little further, an old ship opens up on my left to a crew surrounding an open fire, singing, playing guitar, and guzzling champagne. Exploring the light-adorned ship a little further, I come to realize couples snuggled in hammocks and on strung up tug boats. The early morning fog starts the slowly settle in around us.

I decide to grab a drink and explore the labyrinth of a hallway that leads to the pulse I have been searching for all along. It is heavy with smoke and twinkling with lights and I even get lost as I approach a maze of mirrored walls. Finally, I make my way to the end of this fun house pathway and the club opens up to a seemingly limitless atmosphere full liberal and smiley club goers and some truly funky and righteous beats. Someone speaks to me in German and it is too loud for me to explain that I only speak English, so I smile and nod and move along. The anonymity makes my heart happy. I have found KaterBlau, and feel immediately at home.

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