Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, when Puma invited me out to Berlin in May to celebrate the launch of their Running Book with Sneakerfreaker magazine, I was already packing before they recieved my RVSP back.
Berlin is a fantastic city if you've never been. I've been able to go a few times now on what we'll call 'business trips' for the twice annual Bread and Butter shows. Mostly these trips have been in the height of winter and being central europe Berlin gets them bad. So I've never really seen Berlin in the sunlight, this trip, timed to perfection, fixed that.
On an early flight out of Gatwick I met up with Matt, my Puma rep, Boyce 'Suffoca', all round nice guy and creative powder keg who would be filming the event for Puma UK and Jimmy, Manager of Footpatrol who, straightaway turned out to be a super nice guy. Trapped on an Easy Jet flight for an hour and a bit we soon got to know each other.
FIrst things first, we hit the streets for a Busmans holiday tour of the local stores, Wood Wood, Soto, Stab, Firmament and a few others, retail therapy Berlin style. Always amazed at how peaceful and fairly empty the streets of Berlin are. Even on a very warm Saturday in May we had no problems finding an outside table to sit down and eat and later another table for beers. Would never have had this as easy in London, defintely need to go back for a longer weekend and explore futher.
Puma Shoes covered us at Hotel Berlin which is a great base for checking the city out. Later that evening Puma laid on the transport out to the event in the Kreuzberg District of the city, an amazing venue on the waterside over 3 floors. Free cocktails, BBQ and my personal favourite, chips with rosemary flakes (small things and all that) all meant the evening went very well indeed.. Puma had laid on a exhibtion of vintage running trainers from the vaults and of course the main purpose, the 'Running Book' with Sneakerfreaker. The book itself is an interesting read and pictorial run through Puma's long history as one of the worlds foremost running shoe brands all the way up to the present day where the worlds fastest man, Usain Bolt relies on Puma to get him to the end of the track.
We hope to have a few of the books to run a competition soon, stay tuned on that.
And that was that, nice breakfast in the morning, trip back to the airport and back in the UK by 1pm, decent!
Many thanks to Laura & Matt at Puma, Nice to meet you Suffoca, Jimmy Footpatrol, Joe at Canoe & Synamatix at The Daily Street.