On Friday, our team visited Teufelsberg. It was a place literally and symbolically layered with history and stories. It was interesting going in expecting something completely different, and to come out impressed by a completely unforeseen experience. Our day started as we met up with our tour guide at a hostel near Alexanderplatz. First, he took us to the berlin wall, then after that took us to Tefuelsberg. I think a lot of us expected the Teufelsberg Spy Tower Tour to be a very curated, historical, dense museum tour. I personally was expecting a very sterile, white, grey and black place. However, what we experienced, was definitely not that. When we stepped out of the train, I felt like train had took me to Big bear in California, or something like that. Haha. It was such a drastic contrast to what I was used to in Berlin the past 2 weeks. It was nice to see an expanse of scenery and green. I only had a little knowledge of what the Spy tower was but it was nice to hear a much more detailed history from our tour guide. Teufelsberg is a man-made hill made from the rubble and debris of World War 2. What also lies under Tefuelsberg is a never completed Nazi military-technical school that was too sturdy to be demolished. On top of this man made hill lies a cold war relic, a former U.S spy station. Now, the spy station is dilapidated and looks almost post apocalyptic. It was an eerie feeling walking up a man made hill. A hill that seemed like any other hill I hiked before, however, underneath this hill, there was the debris and remnants of a painful, and destructive war.
After the hike up the hill, the spy station was in sight. The dilapidated buildings were filled with graffiti and art, with plants growing through and around the area. We first started on the grounds around the spy station. We were greeted with two small shops selling drinks. I got myself a lemonade beer (I thought it was the best thing on earth, but apparently beer enthusiasts thinks it’s a disgrace haha). I liked how our tour guide said to us that in a place like this, it is okay to take it slow and take everything in. A couple of us lounged in chairs looking around, another group of us walked around, and as always, Orion was climbing things and made this place his playground.
We then moved on into the spy station and wow. I felt the energy of creativity and resourcefulness. Each floor was covered with spray painted messages, art and graffiti. The higher we got the more of the city we saw. It was a new and refreshing perspective to have; to be above ground level, seeing this still-foreign city we will be in for 3 more months. The final floor was a big room capped with a big dome. The echo was tremendous in that room. Of course, Orion wanted to take advantage of this, and made a lot of echoes and noise haha. We all took turns singing songs, whispering, and listening. That was the last stop and highest floor of the tour. Slowly, we made our way back down, hiked down and took the train back, watching the transition of greenery change back into the city, where we returned.