Kennedy may have said it wrong, but Dan and I made sure we wouldn’t make the same mistake. To even call it a mistake is slighting Kennedy. We were able to see the history and the city where he made one of his most iconic speeches.
Berlin is a dynamic location, it is full of history but manages to stay current as well. The first thing you’ll realize about Berlin is that it isn’t built the same way our cities are in the US. You won’t find Sky Scrapers or many buildings with more than 10 floors. The highest points are either church steeples or TV towers. However, just because there aren’t many tall buildings does not mean the buildings lack grandeur. The architecture and attention to detail is beautiful. These buildings weren’t constructed in a few years, they are works of art in themselves.
My journey to Berlin started on Wednesdays night, when I made my way to Dan’s apartment to spend the night. Their apartments are only a ten minute walk to the train station, so it makes sense to stay with them when I’m travelling. My plan for the weekend was to board a train on Thursday morning, arrive in Berlin, find my hostel, and then explore. Dan and Julio were planning to meet me Friday night since they didn’t have the same regional holiday I did.
Thursday and Friday were essentially days that I was on my own. So naturally, I made sure to use the most of them! I travelled everywhere by foot and had my bearings by the end of the first night. On Thursday, I took a lot of pictures and visited a lot of stores. Since Berlin was the first big city I had visited in Germany, it was my first opportunity to see what the stores were like.
I walked throughout a mall or two and was quite impressed by the selections that they had in Germany. Most of the companies I had never head of, but they also had some of the bigger brands that I’d image you’d find anywhere. Within a H&M store, I found two shirts that I purchased. One was a white boating shirt and the other was a long sleeve pullover. I liked the styles and imagine it would be hard to find them in the US.
After I was bored walking through malls, I decided I wanted to see some history. When I had walked from the train station to my hostel I had passed a few museums that interested me. One in particular was the Pergamon Museum. Fall semester of my junior year, I took an Art History class that detailed some of the art work within this museum. I had remembered the name and instantly knew that the Ishtar gate was inside. I made my way from the mall to the museum and paid entry (It was cheaper for me since I’m a student). There were various friezes and mosaic tiled floor arrangements. However, for me, seeing the Ishtar gate was the highlight. The craftsmanship involved in created that, literally blows my mind. You can easily see with your eyes the detail and time that was spent creating it. I find it harder to see such craftsmanship in today’s society … but I have also yet to travel to Dubai.
After I finished touring the Pergamon Museum, I travelled to the Berliner Döm. This building alone made my trip to Berlin worth it for me. I sat in front of the Berliner Döm for about an hour just appreciating it. It has a fountain directly in front of it that makes the environment soothing. You are able to see the Berliner Döm from most places near the Alexander Platz. Colin Lynch would be proud because I used this location to read the book he gave me, The Rising Sun. I wish that I had a place like the Berliner Döm in Blomberg so that I could go there everyday to read and relax. I suppose I’ll just have to find a place of my own.
After reading for about an hour, I decided that it was time to meet some other travellers. So, naturally I headed to the bar in my hostel. I managed to meet someone from Liverpool that was also travelling alone. He had travelled for about a week but was going to continue travelling for what seemed like months. We both decided that we would meet up the next day and tour some more sights. The same night at the bar I met 3 girls from Ireland, 3 guys from Switzerland, and a group of people from Poland. The hostel was a trendy establishment and not quite what I had pictured. I might have just been lucky with the weekend I was there, but all the people were friendly and open-minded.
The next morning, Ian and I grabbed breakfast at 10:00 and then hit the city. We navigated our way to the Brandenburg Gate, British Consulate, and a few stores for shopping. The previous day, Ian had dropped his phone in the elevator and his battery had fallen down the shaft… now that is bad luck. Luckily, we were able to find him a replacement in the electronics store Saturn.
All I’m going to say about Saturn is that it was Geek heaven. There were 4 floors worth of electronics and they literally had everything you could imagine..
After Ian and I toured the sites and grabbed some food, we made our way back to the hostel. I had told Dan and Julio that I would meet him there that night and since I had no way of contacting them, it was important that I stayed true to my word.
When you saw part one in the title, you knew that this blog post was eventually going to split up … and that point is now. Part two will encompass the point when I met my guest(s) later on that night…
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