Sunday, October 4, 2009

Life is good in Berlin!

Even the trip to Berlin was quite an interesting adventure. We had some troubles with police on the railway station in Jelenia Góra. At the beginning it seemed that the reason was the mess of trash around us. We explained politely it was not our mess, and we put all the trash to dumpster. Next argument of the police was that we could not sit there if we didn't have tickets. We had our train in the evening, but probably to them sitting there should be for us a big privilege. They couldn't stop asking us questions about everything. Finally they asked Tomek: "Where you met? What is your profession?". After Tomek's explanation, which was also presentation of polish slackline and highline history, they left us alone. Probably these officers didn't want to admit they did not know what slackline and highline is.
We reached Zgorzelec late at the night, or maybe it was early in the morning already. Totally tired we jumped to the train going to Berlin. Tomek and I decided that we would not buy a ticket. Anyway I thought nobody would have the courage to wake us up and check our tickets, because we were so dirty and sleepy. Steeling a ride was a success, and on 6th of July 2009 we turned up "Warschauer Strasse" station in Berlin. From there we had really short distance to the climbing wall "Kegel", where Tomek is working. Soon it appeared that I would be there almost all the time, also a couple of nights. I could describe this four days I spent in Berlin as one big chill-out time. Together with Tomek I planned to set up a new waterline somewhere in a city centre. Last time when I was there, together with Tomek aka "Soya" I set up 30-40m meters length slackline above "Spree" river. That line was walked by Tomek, Matthias and I.

Slackline above "Spree" river (20th of June 2007)

Tomek aka "Soya"


We found a couple of really good spots, but at the end we decided to set up highline ... above big half-pipe in skatepark ("Skatehalle-Berlin"). It turned out that Tomek had some connections, specifically with Jana which is co-owner of this skatepark. After a short talk our project on the highline was confirmed. On 7th of July, at night we began our 'action'. We placed two bolts in concrete pillars on both sides, and then we connected them into one anchor. We placed crash-pads (borrowed from climbing wall) under the webbing on the ledge.

Drilling ...

Tomek has walked new highline as the first person. This was probably his first OS & full-man style ascent on a highline.

Tomek on the highline above half-pipe (1st ascent, OS & full-man)

I walked it after him in a swami-belt. I walked it many times this night, also free-solo at the end.

Free-Solo ascent

When we had enough highlining we tried skateboarding. Tomek was practising a little bit before this night. We borrowed skateboards and knee protectors and under Jana's supervision we were learning riding on a small half-pipe. This was totally fun and so addicting that last three days I spent riding on a half-pipe, and the rest of time I worked on slacklining and climbing on "Kegel" climbing wall.

Tomek un-rigging the highline. In the background "beginners rider team" ;)

Next day I moved to the big half-pipe. Riding on it is way more fun! It also makes your body really fucked up ... I think never before my leg muscles were so sore. Despite this obstacle I was riding till late night and total exhaustion.

First lessons on the small half-pipe ...

... and riding almost under a rail on the big half-pipe :)

All in all this four days I spent in Berlin was great in every respect. We set up the highline over the half-pipe two times. I almost forgot that during the second night highline session some Spanish friend of Tomek also walked this line (I don't remember his name, but this was his first highline).
At the end of my stay in Berlin Jana gave me a new skateboard as a gift (fuckin' niiice!)! BTW I recommend "Skatehalle-Berlin" to everyone. It's a really nice place even just to sit and drink some coffee with nice people.
Thanks for ton of fun and all help especially from Tomek and Jana! I think I'll be in Berlin more then one more time. It is definitely my favourite city right now.
That Friday I went by train to Radolfzell to take part in "Walk the Line 3" slackline festival as the 'special guest' ;). More to come ...

P.S. Thanks Faith for all help with my poor english ;)!

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