I don’t think it would be fair if I spent an entire semester abroad in Germany without mentioning something about Germany’s World Cup victory. Now it was especially cool because not only was I in Germany while they won the World cup, but I was in their capitol city, Berlin, for all of it.
Now I can tell you that Berlin totally changes when the World Cup comes around. Bars and restaurants that didn’t have one T.V. before now suddenly have several (sometimes around 5) televisions, you start seeing the colors of the teams that are playing on that day (especially black, red, and yellow) all over, and you see things like appointments and classes being moved around to make sure people see the game.
I was extremely lucky to watch the games at several different places. This included watching it in a one of Berlin’s soccer stadiums, public outside viewings on the street, in Kulturhaus der Welt, and then… Fan Mile.
Fan Mile is crazy, compact, and so full of energy that it is hard not to feel like a German citizen while celebrating with the rest of the country. So what is Fan Mile? Good question, Fan mile is a carnival/public viewing that is a mile long stretching from two of Berlin’s famous sites, the Brandenburger Tor and the Siegessäule. Both of theses famous attractions are connected by the same road (Straße des 17. Juni) which for the Fan Mile is completely closed.
I first discovered this a week before the World Cup started. I was riding my bike to my German Art and Architecture class, which takes me on this street, when I saw that the entire road was closed. I was, honestly, really confused as I passed several different Berliner Kindl (one of Berlin’s breweries) trailers and wondered what it was all for. Then I saw the giant Ferris Wheel in the middle and in dawned on me that it must have be something for the World Cup and indeed it did.
Throughout this mile there were several different large screen TVs (the ones that you see in football stadiums) that were spread out through the mile all leading to the biggest one at the end. This end one had a huge stage underneath it, where throughout the World Cup, bands would come and play after victories (or losses) and would play as openers for the games. These TVs were in the middle of the street while the vendors line the sides. There were drink, food, and clothing tents, the latter selling German national team clothes and other things to cheer on and support Germany with.
Now I went to Fan Mile three times throughout the World Cup. My first time was when Germany was still in the group stage, my second time was for the Final, and the third time was the day after when the German National Team came to Berlin and presented the World Cup to the city of Berlin and to the rest of Germany. This was especially cool for me because I got to see the players of the German national team (most of which play for my favorite club team Bayern München).
Now the last two times I went (for the Final and the Presentation) there was over half a million people there, that’s like 500,000 people! I got as close to the stage as I dared and proceeded to enjoy the game immensely with people I had never met before. After Germany won the Final there was about a 2 hour celebration at Fan Mile where bands came out and played music, people danced, and everyone had a smile on their face. I was even supposed to meet a friend there, but I couldn’t find him so I watched the game without him. Sure enough after the game a Congo Line passed me and I see my friend! Both ecstatic I joined the Congo Line and continued to celebrate the victory.
Hands down I can say the Fan Mile was one of my coolest experiences while being abroad. All of these strangers coming together for the love of Fußball (soccer) and of their team winning was something I had never seen in the US before, especially the effort made by the city of Berlin to show how important they thought the World Cup was. I’ll remember for the rest of my life how I was in Berlin when Germany won the World Cup and I’ll always remember Fan Mile as the place I was at for all of it.
More Blogs From This Author
<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Evan, I am a student at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, and am currently a foreign exchange student studying in Berlin, Germany. I enjoy writing, reading, and photography. I meaningful experiences and I try my best to show that meaning through my work.</span></p>