I slept soundly but when John awoke he told tales of the snoring man on the top bunk next to him, and his failed attempts (after much umbrella-poking) to stop him from doing so. We breakfasted at the buffet bar downstairs, and for doing so would normally cost €3 each, but as it was the hostels 10th year there was a tiny note on one of the flyers saying that if your birthday was on the 10th of any month you and the people with whom you booked would get a free breakfast! Hurrah for John! The guy at the desk didn't know what we were talking about, but after showing him the small print we got our free breakfasts that turned out not to be worth the €3 anyway.
We walked south from the hostel, over the River Spree and saw the Molecule Men near the next bridge along. We only crossed the river so we could see the cool bridge that had been designed to look like a castle, it was crenelated and had turrets. We crossed back over the river and walked westwards along Mühlenstraβe past the East Side Gallery where John was attacked by a crocodile (!), and read lots of the graffitied comments, including "Make Love Not Walls" and a mural of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and subsequently had the theme tune stuck in my head all day. We re-crossed the river, walked past a huge church which must have looked very phallic from above, and ended up on Orienstraβe. We passed a food stall called "Food Bag" and then had a little sit down in a park, where we saw baby sparrows and I fell asleep in the sun for a little while. I woke up when it started to get colder and we made a move past the horde of tourists at Checkpoint Charlie towards Brandenburg Gate and The Reichstag, just in case the sun would still be shining when we got there as we'd only ever seen it on cloudy days. We stopped in a huge souvenir shop, and saw snowstorms which had small glittery balls instead of snow, some with small gold coins and the worst tie EVER made: it was yellow and had a picture (a term I use loosely) of Berlin which consisted of a rubbish blurred black and white image of what could have been any city, with construction cranes in the background. Most odd. The shop had some lovely Christmas decorations but I don't think they would have survived the journey home.
By the time we got to Unter den Linden the wind had picked up, and although it meant all the flags were looking great, it had also brought dark clouds and it wasn't long before the rain came. Walking towards Alexanderplatz we saw a 6-person bike and encountered some gypsies who we, when asked if we spoke English, couldn't resist doing a "Big Train" sketch at them, which you can see here. We neared the TV Tower and John took some "arty" jaunty photos. We saw a bear with a curly moustache (a Chap bear?) and were lured into a shopping centre with the promise of 'The Best Toilet In Town!', were hugely disappointed and in protest John used the free disabled loo instead. After having been walking for 7 hours we walked homeward along our favourite street, Karl-Marx-Allee, seeing what looked like a wizard who had fallen on hard times asleep in a bush.
Dinner was trusty falafel again and for pudding John had a Nogger ice cream, which was very much like a Feast but with vanilla ice cream rather than chocolate. Back at the hostel I dozed while reading. I think our bodies are finally telling us to slow down, which we will be doing very very soon! Refreshed from naps we went to the common room where we sat on a comfy sofa, ate biscuits and laughed at some American girls "rocking out" to the rubbish metal music being played. After a (messy) pint of wheat beer, John's new favourite, we went for a nighttime wander, taking photos of fun stuff and passing some interesting clothes shops, one with a t-shirt depicting Darth Vader with a medallion and a boombox. We discussed art and ethical value systems, then after being briefly locked out of our dorm, bedded it up.