Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Danke! Berlin: Part II

So began Saturday in Deutschland. A morning full, literally full, of hotel breakfast and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Well, let's back-track a little. I completely got my days in Berlin mixed up and forgot we went to the Checkpoint Charlie museum before heading to the Turkish quarters for a first night dinner.

Upon walking up to the museum, we stopped inside a small gift shop for a post-card (I collect post-cards when I travel then hang them up on my wall in the flat) and other small items. The two women at the check-out were staring at me and speaking to one another in German. I suppose one of them sensed I knew they were talking about me and the woman in broken English asked me where I was from. I explained I was born in Germany-Bavaria- and was half Czech, half Danish but grew up in the States since I was a young girl and she replied with a laugh saying, "Oooh that is why. My friend here says you look exactly like her daughter, who is German. Welcome home!" I never really thought of it that way, but I saw it as a compliment and smiled back with a 'ahh danke!!'

At the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, I was lucky to get a discount since I am 18 and the youngest in the group of my friends. Those were are 19+ had to pay 12 euros when I only had to pay 6. Ah, the beauty of being a baby! It was pretty fascinating seeing the different objects and pictures in the museum. Reading all the various displays next to the pictures and imagining what it must have been like in that time. I think being in the country, the city especially, where such events happened just 40-50 years ago really makes the experience that much more interesting. You can read about different events in history from other countries around the world, but I think actually being physically in the place where such events happened, is much more beneficial when it comes to learning about the event and opening your mind to different opinions. Or maybe it's just me who is passionate about things/events/visuals mentioned above haha.

So, now, fast forward to Saturday. Saturday was spent walking around a snowy, cold Berlin to all the landmarks and tourists spots. We walked quite a ways until we got the Brandenburg Gate. Took some touristy pictures, did the bridge in front of the gate- people were laughing and taking pictures of me doing this- and just stared up at the enormous landmark in front of our very eyes. Afterwards, we went to the Holocaust memorial across the street, walked through and ended up at a small German cafe for a quick bite to eat. My friend had an amazing dark pink/purple colored Berlin beer that tasted almost like raspberry lemonade. I wanted to get one before the trip ended but I forgot. That's what next time is for, right?! After this, we headed over to the other side of the Gate and grabbed some Starbucks...more like free WiFi plan out our next move. Walking around the Gate afterwards, we took a few pictures with the 'Soviet soldiers' and 'Mario brothers.' Luckily, the sun came out and we had a lovely afternoon with the German sun. We made our way over to the Berlin Dom, took some pictures- I decided to do cart-wheels and ended up ass planting in the snow, defeated by gravity- then just sat and enjoyed the sun setting behind the Berlin Dom and the Berlin Radio Tower. We then stumbled upon a vintage shop and tried on some clothes and passed by a sign on the way back to the hotel advertising the Man City game that night in the pub. So, we rushed home, got ready and headed back to the pub for some beers and good old football.

Apparently, it was the night of a huge bachelor party, so we were the only girls in the whole pub...along with wasted middle-aged men. A few free beers later and a headache from the screaming men, we decided it was time for a Thai dinner. It turned out we didn't know how much beer we drank so we had a pretty interesting dinner full of noodles everywhere and red faces from laughing for an hour straight. Then came the time for the big night out in Berlin. We went into the metro with not a clue where to go and no idea how to get anywhere. We always joke that my friend has a "Norwegian radar" because whenever we are out, especially in foreign countries, she can find herself a group of Norwegians. In the metro, she walked just around the corner and found herself two Norwegian guys who had a plan for the night- a plan that would soon include us. So, we went with the two and let them navigate us throughout the Berlin night and take us to a uh, sketchy, alley-way club.

Before getting into the club, they asked for our IDs...what...a first in Europe, we laughed, handed them over and almost got denied access because we had Czech and Scandinavian, not German, IDs. Five minutes later we were inside a dark, smoky filled club that was most definitely a strip club after midnight hours. One of my friends and I weren't feeling the whole atmosphere so we gave up and decided to go home. The other two followed shortly after. In the blink of an eye, it was Sunday- the day we were heading back to reality in Prague. We quickly got ready, packed our bags and stuffed ourselves for the day with hotel breakfast.

Our last day in Berlin was spent at the Berlin Gallery (the Berlin Wall memorial) staring at the vast variety of art on the loooooooooooooong wall. We then made our way to Balzac Coffee- we thought the name was hilarious- to warm up then walked around Alexanderplatz for our last few hours in Germany before the bus headed off into the night back to Prague. We made it just about 30 minutes before the bus was due to leave and settled in our seats for the next 5 hours. I spent the entire time working on uni work and attempting to get a few minutes of shut eye.

Aaaand that concludes the Berlin, Germany weekend trip. The land of my birth couldn't have been better. I will definitely be going back. The pretzels and curry-wurst to die for. Luckily for us, they just opened a curry-wurst shop right down the street from my university. I sense curry-wurst induced obesity in the near future.

Travel on wanderlusters! I will be slipping, sliding and wiping out in the fresh snow all day!

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