So we got up this morning around 5:00am, took showers,
checked out of the Elizabeth and caught the Gatwick express to the airport to
head to Berlin. It was a pretty short flight, only about an hour and a half…I
was still a bit tired so I took a little nap. We got to the airport, and sadly,
when I pulled my suitcase off the conveyer, my mom noticed that the back of it
was a bit cracked. Now, this is mostly sad because it’s not even my suitcase,
it’s a suitcase I borrowed from Peter because all of my suitcases are so huge. Also,
we had just joked the night before about how I hadn’t broken his suitcase yet.
ALTHOUGH, I guess I didn’t technically break it, it was the airline.
still feel bad about it. Anyway, after we got our luggage, we went to buy a
train ticket into town. Cool thing, we got a two day ticket and a little
discount booklet…we originally went to the wrong platform, but were quickly
corrected by a nice French girl and her boyfriend. It took about a half an hour
to get from the airport to the center of the city on the train, but it was
nice. We got a taxi from the station to our hotel: the lovely Grand Hotel
Esplanade (OMJ…totally posh…and amazing). So, it was noonish, lookin for lunch,
decided we wanted to take the City Bus tour, hopped on, and hopped off a couple
stops later. On the way we got to see tons of really awesome embassy buildings.
I just love how they’re 1. all really modern and clean and 2. really
representative of their home country aesthetically.
I don’t have any photos,
but hopefully we can stop by again tomorrow and I can get a few on camera. We
had lunch at a diner in Potsdamer Platz, it was alright. Cool though, we saw
some pieces of the old Berlin wall and took some photos. It’s just so crazy to
me that it wasn’t really that long ago that it fell down. I mean…I was ALIVE
for that…too young to remember it, but alive.
After lunch we hopped on the bus again. I guess I never
really thought about how NEW Berlin was going to be. All the buildings are
pretty much brand new, and very modern, sleek, technologically advanced…clean.
I should have realized it though, I mean, it was only the beginning of the 90s
that they were really able to start developing that area again…and there’s
still room for more new development.
I think it’s probably the most modern city
I’ve ever been in. Anyway, I got to realize this more as the tour bus went on
and we drove past all the important places, new shopping streets, stores
everywhere. It was cool to see, that’s for sure! I really hope I get to see the
palace tomorrow, it looked really cool. The plan is East Germany tomorrow…all
the key spots…but we’ll see what really happens. As for today, after the bus
tour was over, we stopped at the Hard Rock café, picked up some souvenirs, had
some ice cream and then headed off to the Jewish Museum to finish off the
night. The museum was a very good introduction to Jewish life and culture in
Germany, and there were some very impactful artistic pieces and architectural
marvels to wonder at. I highly recommend going if you’re going to be in Berlin
for a few days. Anyway, not much else to say about the excitements for