alright, first, i have this "Untitled" because well while i was there i came up with lots of titles....
Here are a few that i came up with:
"Berlin: Land Where Dogs Ride the Tram"
"A Native American walked into the ice cream store"
"you ALWAYS have to push the button"
"Why is it ALWAYS a deal with the button!"
"This doesn't sound good, but I cant find us on the map"
"Dogs are just like people! Awwww!"
"Real food!!!! Not this Cavendish Shit" (excuse my language)
"Wait...it cant be....its the SUN!"
"Its a meteor, its a UFO...its the SUN!"
"Dogs = People"
alright those were a few i came up. as i write you'll understand why i thought of those titles, haha. personally my favorite one is "Why is it ALWAYS a deal with the button!" because its true. its ALWAYS the button. everywhere. its the button. what i mean is that on public transportation you HAVE TO PUSH the (dang!) button! i cant escape the button, haha. least i know now. push the button. always. haha......anyways!
Im sure you want to hear about my trip now :)
(Also, there are lots of pictures in this blog with a small caption but if you click on them then you can see a bigger description of most of them!)
(pps. i have more pictures that i will upload to facebook in the next few days so stay tuned on there too!!)
Well....IT WAS AMAZING!!! I love Berlin! I wasnt sure what to expect and i didnt know much about the city, but as it turned out my 3 1/2 days there was sooooo much fun!! it started out like this....
I woke up at 6:30 AM to leave by 7 AM to catch a bus into Nottingham by 7:15 AM to get into the city by 7:30 AM to catch a bus from the city to the nearby airport by 7:45 AM to be at the airport by 8:30 AM to be ready to board by 9 AM
. *whew!* so yea. as you can see, im gettin better at this public transportation thing :) i love it! only thing is you cant be late....which im bad at :/ haha. anyways, the bus from the city to the airport left 15 min than what the schedule on the internet said so i was cutting it close a bit. when i got to the gate everyone was already lined up to board. least then i didnt have to wait! boarded the plane, fell asleep, next thing i know a flight attendant is shaking me awake and to open the window cover thing....then i see Berlin! oh it was sooo cool! Landed, i had carry on luggage so i got off quick, went thru immigration, ha, and then headed to look for the tram. or what they call here, the U-bahn (underground) or S-bahn (above ground). i knew which one i was looking for because the hostel in an email had told me which one to take so that was good. what wasnt good was that the station i needed and two stations before that they were doing construction. so i got to two stops before the one i needed and had to wait for my friend, Alice, to come get me to bring me back to the hostel. except because of the construction she had to go like wayyyy out of her way to get there. FINALLY we found each other and got some lunch and headed back to the hostel. i dropped my stuff off and we met up with Ziggy.
to not confuse you, my friends Alice, Ziggy and Sav (all australian) left for Berlin on wednesday, i was joining them on Saturday. They were leaving on Monday, i was leaving on Tuesday. The reason being that i had to join after thursday because i had classes that day i couldnt miss and when i checked flights for Friday-Monday it was a difference of 23 Pounds each way for that or leave a day later and pay only 9 pounds each way. a wayyy better deal, haha. so thats why i was there later and why i left later and who i was with.
Ok, so we met up with Ziggy and this is where i explain the dogs
. easy explanation: Dogs are pretty much exactly like people in Berlin.....description with more detail: everywhere you went you saw a dog, BUT it wasnt a dog that was homeless, there werent that many on the street like that but you would see them walking right with a person and others had theirs on a leash and it was like having a kid. like, seriously, the dog would go on the tram with them!!! (see picture) it wasnt a deal. dogs here and there and everywhere as pets, going with their humans everywhere! like, in stores through the window you could see either a dog in there (like a nail store) or at least a dog bed. it was crazy! awesome because me and alice love dogs (especially our own dogs) but it annoyed Ziggy (not much of an animal/dog person, haha) but yea, thats that story. they were like another little person. it was pretty cool. Bonnie Boo Boo would have liked it :)
ok, so we met up with Ziggy, and by this point it was close to 6 pm, so it was getting dark, not good for doing anything touristy. but we met up with him at the shopping district area, hes into fashion and such, and went around to a few stores, got some dinner and then headed back to the hostel. once we got back, Sav joined us there (she had been doing some other things herself). Ok, mom and dad and nana and other adults, youre my family but dont freak out with this next part im an adult and live my own life. we had been invited on a bar crawl. specifically for tourists, to get a taste of night life. and yes mom, i did have some drinks. BUT it was a lot of fun. me, ziggy and sav did it and we met lots of other people. ACTUALLY, it was quite funny, i met a peruvian! (a white girl, i didnt exactly get her story but she grew up in peru and was attending NYU and was on spring break wit friends in Berlin - but cool huh?) and then i met another Minnesotan! it was a brief meeting but i remember her saying she was from MN. so woot! we also met a girl from Perth, Australia; our guide is from New Zealand; a guy from Canada; some people from the US: Kansas, Oregon, NY; annnd i think thats all we met
. so all in all it was a good night, i had fun. we returned that night around 2-ish and went to bed.
The next morning Alice, Ziggy and I wanted to go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum so we woke up and left for it. Sav was gonna go do another museum. The memorial was really cool, (see pictures). REALLY interesting, i would totally recommend it to anyone who visited Berlin, and hey, it was free! haha. thats my kind of place to go! haha. fits my budget ;) anyways, it was reallly really a good museum. it focused in all kinds of families that were victims to the Holocaust. There were a few rooms: one where it was dark and there were some benches in the middle of the room and projectors onto the white walls that would have a name and their dates. then there was a voice that would come over the speakers, first in german and then in english and explain that persons story. where they were born, whether they had a family, where they were and what happened to them. it showcased all kinds of people, from little 5 year olds to 80 year olds. such an experience. another room focused in on about 10 different families from all over europe and their whole story. there were pictures of them and information about their lives before being sent to a camp or being killed. another room, that was dark as well had like screens on the floor, big screens, about 20 of them, and each screen had a letter or writing from someone during that time. like one was from a mom to her daughter in another camp and how she was telling her daughter that this was it, they were going to die and to take care of her younger brother, that she and their dad love them both and such
. really like, heart wrenching but a super amazing experience. and then the last room had a timeline of the whole time period of the Holocaust. like i said, a super awesome museum and i would tell anyone to go see it if they were in Berlin. the museum was underground and on top of it there is a memorial, which was equally cool. (see pictures). alright, afterwards we headed right across the street to Brandenburg Gate! :) in the square right there there were all kinds of things going on. Men dressed up in like army dress and one in a chicken costume (??) and a robot costume (you give them money and he'll dance) and there was a protest going on, im not sure what it was about because the info was in german but it was peaceful, jus some people sitting on the ground with some signs. we got some ice cream instead of a good lunch, haha and then alice and ziggy headed back to shopping at H & M and i was still low on sleep so i headed back to the hostel and took a nap. around about 6 pm everyone returned home and about an hour or so later we went to a German restaurant called Beer Garden. and actually, the girl from perth (Ellie) and the guy from canada (Travis) from the bar crawl the night before were staying in our hostel! so we invited them as well as a friend we had met from Oregon, named Lucien. so we get to the restaurant and it was gooood! i got dumplings and potatoes with a sauce over it, it was soooo good! i was a little nervous about it because i can be a picky eater but it was really good! haha. we had good company, they were really nice people. overall we all had a good night. after dinner we all jus headed back to the hostel and hung out some more there, talking, playing guitar, listening to music. living the good life :)
the next morning me, ziggy, alice and sav got some breakfast at the cutest little cafe down the street. i got a croissant (it was sooooo good) and orange juice (of course, haha)
. then they had to leave to catch their plane! so we said goodbye and i went back to the hostel to change rooms because now it was only me (us four had shared a room and so i was moving to another room that i would share with like 6 other people). after i checked myself in and switched rooms i headed back to the square where Brandenburg gate was because one thing the other three told me to do was the free walking tour and thats where it started. there were ones at 11 am and 1 pm, so i tried making it to the 11 am one...unfortunately i missed it by like 15 min. so i walked around a bit, went next door to the Reichstag and sat on the grass in front of it (It was closed due to a terror threat) and jus kind of relaxed for about an hour. then i headed back to the square around 12:15, got some coffee and wait for the people for the walking tour to be there. soon enough they were and i went, got in line and got put into a group.
My guide was named Taylor from Australia. he was great, a very good tour guide. We started at the Brandenburg Gate, which has lots of history behind it...(im going to post pictures with this so if you want to know more info about the places i saw on the walking tour click on the picture and the caption will explain all that i was told)....we moved on to the Reichstag, but we could only look at it from outside because as i said its under a terror threat right now so its closed. but it was pretty cool from the outside. we then moved down the street to the Holocaust Memorial and spend a few minutes there
. Afterwards we crossed the street to some apartment buildings and open small piece of land which is where Hitlers Bunker had been during that time. it was like 8 feet underground and full of water now and there is no way into there, but if the tour guide hadnt told you it would have looked like a piece of land with dirt on it. pretty interesting. as we moved on we saw the SS and Gestapo Headquarters. it was funny because the guide said that back when it was used as that it was a feared building and it still is today....because its like the financial building, like the tax building or something, haha. we then went around the building and saw a part of the Berlin wall! as i say though, jus a part. there was some construction going on near that street or something, but we saw it! we then moved on to Checkpoint Charlie, to go between east and west Berlin. see picture for an interesting escape story into east berlin. pretty interesting. we then saw the line where the wall had been. we then took a half hour break at a cafe, got some food and coffee, rested a bit and moved on. we next saw Gendarmenmarkt, a square that held Berlin's Concert Hall, the French Cathedral and German Cathedral. The reason for two cathedrals is because back in the 17th century i think the ruler at that time wanted more people in Berlin and so a certain group of people in France were not being treated very well so he invited them to Berlin and for them built a French Cathedral, and to keep the Germans happy he build one for them too. We then moved on to Bebelplatz, where the site of the book burning by the Nazi's happened. Also next to Berlins Opera house (currently under lots of construction) and Humboldt University where Albert Einstein taught. We saw a statue of Frederick the Great and moved on to a memorial, unfortunately i cant remember what for. I think it had something to do with victims of the Nazi's, but im not completely sure. we then walked right next door and saw the old nazi armoury.
We then walked over to Museum Island and saw where the old palace had been before it got destroyed, we walked by about 3 different museums (hence why its called Museum Island) and lastly the Royal Berlin Cathedral. This is where the tour ended, but it was sooo good. i really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone to do in Berlin. afterwards i walked around a bit more on that street, it was a pretty popular street, looking in at the shops and such. then i headed back home to the hostel. once back i did some reading for school and then out to dinner. when i got back i started chatting with one of my roommates, named Burak, he was from Turkey coming to Berlin to go to school for his masters. we chatted until the common room closed then as i was going to bed i saw Lucien, up and i sat and chatted with him for a bit. he jus finished his thesis in engineering so now hes waiting to hear back about it. i then headed to bed.
The next morning i woke up, had some breakfast with Burak and checked out of my room and i said goodbye to Lucien and Burak was leaving to look for apartments so we walked to my tram station and said goobye and i got on the tram and started the semi-long journey back to nottingham....tram to the airport, plane to england, bus from airport to city center in nottingham, bus from city center to bus stop outside of campus, then walking to my dorm. i got back and started on my essays. it was long but i got them done.
and that was my trip to Berlin!! a really amazing city with SO MUCH history to it, i really was glad i went even if it wasnt the best of timing for school.
Next is spring break! a whole month of april! one more week then it starts! stay tuned! :)
love and miss you all!!