December 19th, 2007 – by: CrazyLisa
Welcome to Berlin
After chilling in the meal train we went back to our compartment to knock out. I stuck my bag right next to my head against the wall and fell into a slumber, which kept getting awpken by Su. She says I was snoring. At that point I didn't care but she kept poking me. The cots were were on had blankets and all but we were just so uncomfortable. I kept tossing and turning and finally the man above me started snoring and Su refrained from poking me, cause if he was snoring then I might as well snore too. I woke up so much in the middle of the night.
The next morning we woke up and had to hurry as we were getting near our stop. Su woke up to ask wheres my bag. She also had slept with her bag next to her head. However it was nowhere to be found. She looked and seen it next to the door under her bed.
She looks through and find that $100 Euro has been taken. Everything else is fine, passport, credit cards and the like. Just the cash. Unfortunately this is not the first time this has happened to us so we try to shake it off and get a move on. We exit the train and know we will have to hop on another one but first we need to figure out where to go and how to get there. Several floors later, several badly attempted german questions and finally an english answer and we find our way over to the Pichelsberg train. We take this train forever! It keeps going and going til we get really outside of town. Then we exit and find ourselves in an empty train station. We take the elevator up and find ourselves on a street. No names, no landmarks and no way to figure out where to go.
We stood in silence for a few minutes then I seen a woman walking by. I attacked. Pointing to the street name and a "help" look on my face she proceeded to give us directions. She apologized for her bad english and we were just so happy she spoke english. Her directions were perfect, except it should have been left instead of right but Su asked someone else and we were pointed to the right way again. Hotel here we come.
We were on the 10th floor. The elevator was a trip. It was tiny and the doors weren't like we see over here. We get to the 10th floor and open the door and see a dark hallway. We're not to far down and theres buttoms on the wall to push for lights. We get inside and the room is actually very nice. We have a small fridge and a sink/kitchen area.
The beds were very flat and the pillows had been made into a design (look at the picture) and that will tell you about how good they felt. We dropped our stuff and hurried down to catch our free breakfast. Yum, eggs and sausages and toast and chocolate pudding. We took off for the main city, heaidng back to the train station using a shortcut. We waited a little bit and then hopped on. As we went along I was watching and all the buildings had grafitti on them. Some were really shitty but other were these pieces of art. I started seeing pieces of the places I wanted to go to as we went. The Tiergarten, the Kaiser Wilhelm Cathedral. I started getting excited. We hopped off at the train station and decided to go to the Brandenburg Tor to start. Well first off.
We got lost. We headed towards Museum Island. We looped around that way and thn tried to head back and we just walked and walked and walked. The skies here were so gray and it seemed so much colder than Paris was. We were really lost and our maps weren't great and our German isn't worth shit. This was a sad day for us.
Berlin was the one place we didn't study or look things up on. Berlin
was explained to us as being more spread out than Paris but with less people and we could see this to be true. Each step we took made me more uncertain. I was all turned around and backed up. Then finally Su found a hotel and we went inside not only to warm up again but also to find a tourist map.
One with a full map and then big bold letter or pictures of tourist spots so that we could check out something. Looking over the maps we found a route and tackled it. Our luck had changed dramatically and we found it. We finally felt like we had done something here. And it had just taken us the rest of morning and a few hours into afternoon to do it. The Brandenburg Tor was one of 14 that has remained. It at one time was the way you had to enter the city and were you would pay tolls and taxes. It is pretty large and impressive. On the other side of it the city had prepared a large christmas tree. We walked through it and then a bus caught our eye.
It was a sight seeing tour bus! Su said we should go for it and I agreed and off we went. Sight seeing tour buses maybe cheesy but we do love them and it is one way to see the city and see what sights interest you.
Plus its indoors. We headed to the top level and sat down to watch. The bus took about 2 hours to complete and we stopped off at the Gate that we had started at, but now with a greater understanding of Berlin and how it worked and even better A since of direction!
Walking away from the gate we stopped at the holocaust memorial. We have no idea what made it tick. It was a square and equally placed around the square was columns. Each column was taller or shorter than the next. As you walked into the square the ground actually started to slope and raise so the columns were really bigger than they appreared from the outside.
We kept walking. We were heading towards Potsdamer Platz. I had seen a christmas market there and I wanted to check it out. I was so looking forward to them and couldn't wait.
We entered from one side and almost immediatly found an alcoholic hot chocolate stand. We of course bougt a cup each. We had to pay a deposit for the cup with the promise to get it back if we returned. Then we walked around and looked at everything. It was pretty neat. But I thought it would be more. Its like stuff I can buy at farmers markets at home, whereas I thought it would be more handcrafted, more european. Stuff I could buy as presents. Oh well. I still loved the christmas market. Su had seen some food and we wanted to try it out so we shared a mixer. It had some sort of mushrooms, meat with a saue over it and potatos. All I can say is YUM!! It was so good.
I need Su to refresh my memory of what else happened this day so this will be continued later.
Su reminded me that we went to the kaiser Wilheim square again. They had a Christmas Market and we walked around it. We grabbed food and our first taste of Gluwein and we listened to the bells of the cathedral toll. Then we headed over to McDonalds and we had fries as a snack. I was getting pretty worn out by this time so we headed back to the hotel and we passed out for the night.