As you may know, yesterday was officially the first day of summer, and whilst it has pretty much been summer here for the past couple of months, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on how much Berlin shines when the sun is out, as the locals shed their black leather coats and begin to perk up, and every available public space is colonised by DJ decks, beer stalls and street food stands. The remarkable, Jekyll & Hyde-style transformation that the city undergoes as the seasons change really requires mentioning (although much of the literature on Berlin also focuses heavily on this theme). Whilst I did enjoy my time here in the winter, I would never choose to visit here at that time again; the streets are mercilessly cold and eerily empty, as all the locals choose to lock themselves away at home, emerging only for a hot cup of Gluhwein and a cigarette. Everyone is also in a terrible mood most of the time, probably because whoever you’re talking to is likely to have recently spent 30 minutes waiting for a broken U-bahn in minus 10 degree weather, whilst trying to explain to their boss/teacher/friend through blue lips that the reason they’re late for the 4th time this week is because the U8 broke down again due to ice on the tracks. There is also not very much to do, as many of the the best establishments in town simply close their doors for the winter, before promptly reopening again sometime in May. In contrast to this, Berlin in the summer feels like a paradise, as the blazing sunshine induces a sea-change in many of the locals, who can now be seen skipping down the street, stopping only to hug bunnies and kiss children (I exaggerate, but this is how stark the contrast is between summer and winter Berliners). As I alluded to, this is very much an outdoor city, one third of which is covered in parkland, much of which simply lies deserted in the winter months, so to make up for it all the big party planners descend en-masse onto these spaces once the sun emerges, throwing free festivals and carnivals almost every day of the week (also all the the clubs have opened their extravagant outdoor ‘garten’ spaces). So now i am never short of something to do, and i’m spending much less money on social activities, as all you need for a day out is a cool outdoor spot and a couple of beers, all of which is going to make me miss Berlin (and probably resent the UK) all the more when I return.