Saturday, August 9, 2014

Last Stop - Berlin!

Berlin was definitely a very different experience compared to the other cities I visited on my trip. It was the first time that I really felt lost, alone, and freaked out - but at the same time, I learned quickly how to react to problems and, overall, really enjoyed my time in Berlin.

Exhausted from four nights of dancing, I left Pacha Club in Ibiza at 5 am to catch my 7:45 flight to Barcelona. A short nap later, I touched ground in that beautiful city, but I only had a few hours to collect my luggage from a friend before I was on a plane again. The flight was comfortable and I got a free lunch, but I only managed to catch a few precious hours of sleep. Upon arriving in Berlin, I was given the wrong bus directions by the tourist office and spent 10 minutes running around in the rain before I gave up and called a taxi. THEN a torrent of traffic came and I was locked out of my hotel. I honestly thought at that point I would have to sleep on a park bench because I was just completely at a loss. Luckily, I found another cheap hostel down the street that had 24 hr desk service (thank God!) and settled down. These were probably the most stressful and intense few hours I've ever experienced in my life...

Friedrichschain, where I was staying, was a gray and rather intimidating place at first. The rain didn't really help, and I felt a little on edge as I walked down the empty streets. I happened upon a cafe with open doors, and the manager was kind enough to let me order a "German pizza" even though the cafe was actually closed due to the weather. I had a candlelit pizza dinner in a beautiful cafe, all to myself! I think that's a pretty good deal in any case.

The manager recommended that I walk down the street to see the East Side Gallery, a section of the Berlin Wall that has been transformed by street artists into a constantly changing collection of murals. This unofficial "gallery" was an incredible sight to see.

The next day, I took a whirlwind 2.5 hour walking tour of Berlin. I wish I had gone on more walking tours because this really allowed me to understand the history behind the landmarks and the remarkable story behind Berlin.

The iconic Brandenburg Gate

Holocaust Memorial

Currywurst in Berlin! :)

Bustling city center

Berlin TV Tower!
 As the sun was setting, I ventured out to the Topography of Terror/ Berlin Wall one last time to take a picture before running back in the rain to my hotel.

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