Berlin Travel Blog

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We´re just about to leave Berlin for Prague (sadly), but we´ve enjoyed it so much that we´re going to return for two nights on our way to Copenhagen!  We got a great sleep in our hostel (with obscenely colorful rooms) and woke up to a decent breakfast, complete with a heavy metal soundtrack and a sweet grim reaper statue in the lobby!!!  We took the train (between the S-Bahn (above ground trains), U-Bahn (underground trains) and trams, Berlin Transit rocks) to downtown berlin, and went to Checkpoint Charlie, the American border crossing from East to West Berlin and viewed the museum (and bought a small chunk of the berlin Wall for €3).  The museum was packed, but was interesting in that it told a bunch of stories of escapees from East Berlin to west..  We were basically just wasting time before we went on the Free Walking tour (run by the same company that did the London tour) and got a really interesting look at the city of Berlin, with a good history lesson on top of it all..  We got to see the Luftwaffe headquarters, hitlers bunker, the holocaust memorial, a remaining section of the wall (which is funny because there´s a fence around it to protect it from being further torn down), the Reichstag...  A lot of really neat stuff..  It took about 3.5 hours...  This city, despite being practically leveled in the second world war, really has a lot of interesting and beautiful sights.. The holocaust memorial was especially trippy... Just a bunch of huge faceless, institutional cement blocks of varying heights and orientations that cover an entire city block..  There is some controversy over it´s apparent meaninglessness, but walking through it was definately a thought provoking experience, to say the least..  The tour ended with the story of the final days of the Berlin wall, which I´ve never actually heard before...  Apparently, it was all the result of an inept party member giving a press conference...  he slept through an emergency meeting, and misunderstood the meaning of the memo he got, and said that travel would be permitted between east and west effective immediately, and so the dominoes started falling immediately..  It was an extraordinarly moving story, truth be told..

After the tour, we decided to go on a Pub Crawl (run by the same company).  Included in the €10 price were a free keg of beer tapped (which only lasted about 45 minutes) and free vodka shots all night (which turned out to be a small amount of vodka, with orange juice, which was probably fine considering everyone got roundly plastered nonetheless). The nice thing about it was that pretty much everythign was in walking distance, so there were countless ridiculous scenes of a huge drunken mob stumbling down the street hounding the drink-pourers constantly for more shots..  We managed to meet a couple of really cool people, mostly scandinavian for some odd reason.. We spent most of our time talking to these Norwegian and Danish girls (and one guy) and having hockey-related arguments with some swedes..  One of the swedes was living in North Carolina, and was at the infamous game seven of last year´s stanley cup final (cheering for the wrong side......)..  Oddly, none of the swedes cared about swedish death metal...  Luckily, though, I met a Minnesotan who did, and who also was of Danish Descent, like myself, so we had some interesting conversations about being north american danes in a group of actual scandinavians..  That and science fiction (he approached me because of my klingon t-shirt, hehehe)...  We made it to four bars before kalin got so sick (likely from the €1 Jagermeister shots at bar number 3) that we had to call her quits...  I managed to convince her that our best chance of getting back home would be to follow the group, since the last bar was only a couple of blocks from our hostel, but the group was a little on the slow side and the subway was closed, so we ended up stranded in downtown berlin when our hostel is way out on the east side..  We walked for about 2 hours to get home, by which time kalin had sobered up substantially, (as had I) and we had a Donair before retiring for the evening...

The next morning, we slept in until past noon.. :)  I really felt as if we were wasting our time, but..   A hangover is a hangover, I suppose..  We were still too sick and tired to feel like trucking around doing tourist things, so we just did some laundry and ate some (super cheap) noodles and went to a nearby bookstore and whatnot..  Hilariously, there was a sign on the hostel door that we noticed as we were leaving warning us not to, under ANY circumstances, eat the Donairs from the place where we ate the donairs the night before, with a picture of a donair-stand with the words "poison" written accross it.. We laughed pretty hard at that, but our drunken bellies didn´t notice anything out of the ordinary, at the time..  :)  Later in the evening, when we actually felt better, it was too late to actually do anything, so we went to see a movie at an english-language movie theatre in Potsdamer Platz, the big high-end shopping center in the new downtown berlin..   The malls and buildings down there were awe-inspiringly new-fangled and high tech..  And the best thing about it was that you could buy beer in the movie theatre!!!  It was awesome.. :)

Now we´re just wasting time before our train to Prague..  Kalin just booked two more nights in berlin on our return..  I dont really know what else to say at the moment, but I´ll let kalin make the next berlin entry when we return in case i missed anything!! 

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photo by: CFD