Photographers, instagrammers and hipsters alike might know that Grunewald Forest is the home of the abandoned NSA listening station on Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountian). I’ll admit I’m guilty of journeying out to Grunewald to find said listening station without realising the forest might have been what makes this area of Berlin so magical.
I’ll probably do an entire blog post dedicated to Teufelsberg at a later date but before that, here’s my experience trying to get there.It was late afternoon in the summer and we were on the train to Berlin Messe Sud (Eichkamp) station. From there, we journeyed along the path closest to the station, assuming it would lead us where we wanted to go. Spoiler alert: It didn’t.The forest itself was beautiful, especially in the summer. At all times we were surrounded by trees, wildlife and hazy orange sunlight leaking through the branches. There were just enough holiday makers so we didn’t feel alone but not too many to feel like we’d accidentally stumbled on a tourist trap. The majority of the holidayers were locals and, to our surprise, completely naked.Apparently Grunewald Forest is a spot where nudists like to hang out. We saw naked sunbathers, naked joggers, naked hikers. There was a lot of nudity. Luckily there was an equal amount clothed people so at least we weren’t the odd ones out.We wandered for about an hour before deciding to turn back, having lost all hope of finding the listening station. On the way back, I saw familiar white domes on the other side of the lake. Surprisingly, there were pretty close to where the train station was. If it weren’t for some hipsters up ahead, I doubt I would have seen them at all. One motto I like to keep in mind when travelling is to follow the hipsters. They usually know what’s up.So we followed the hipsters and finally made it to Teufelsberg, a rather anti-climactic end to the trip. Having broken into Spreepark only days earlier, Teufelsberg was a major disappointment. Not only did we have to pay to enter (€7!!!), we walked around twice trying to find a way to get up to those dome-things I saw on instagram. Obviously it’s just me being daft, but I’m not sure it can even be done. Maybe when I return to Berlin, I’ll re-attempt to climb the Teufelsberg listening station but until then, the view from the ground was as good as it got.