Culture & Art / Travel & Food

Safari in Berlin

There is already plenty of information to read about the pollution, the materials used to build the body (cotton waste and resin), and the uncomfortability. We know all that, or most of us would easily assume those three things when seeing a Trabi for the first time in person.

However, to some, this car is also a beloved symbol. For those who feel a particular “Ostalgie” for the old days, the Trabi remains one of the main ties to the not so distant past (30 years ago you’d see them everywhere in the DDR). The car, in the years since the DDR opened up to West, has taken on somewhat of a cult mystique, with auto collectors going to lengths to get their hands on one.

Sure, at first glance most people would be amazed that anybody would pay a large amount of money to get their hands on a Trabi, but people have collected far more peculiar things for large amounts of money throughout history.

Today, the Trabi has also taken on a new life as a racing car.

Yes, the car whose early models were built without fuel gauges (only a dipstick to see how much petrol you had left), has found a niche in the racing community, with a devoted base of enthusiasts and fans.

There are also tons of Trabi clubs I found on the Internet researching for this post, where former East Germans and others who own Trabis today can exchange tips, share photos, and communicate with one another about their beloved cars.

If you happen to make your way to Berlin this summer, be sure to be on the lookout for the “Trabi Safari” rumbling and bumbling along Unter den Linden during the day time. While I wouldn’t say it’s something you need to try as a tourist, just try and snap a picture in front of one.

About The Author

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Nathan Shuftan

Nathan Shuftan is a long-time adventurer and first time blogger. Originally from Chicago but now based out of Berlin, he has worked the past few years as an across Europe, Asia, and Africa. He likes to keep moving because he believes you can't hit a moving target. His main interests are international relations, public policy, local political movements, sport, music, and food.

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