I went to Berlin this past weekend and it was cold. Everywhere I went I felt like I had a constant brain freeze. However, despite the cold Berlin turned out to one of my best trips yet. It was a 5 day, 4 night trip to one of the best countries on Earth-- by myself.
Thursday night I had made the unfortunate decision to stay up all night to catch my 6am train to Dublin for my noon flight. Mark said that I was welcome to sit with him at his place and he would accompany me to the train station in the morning. Needless to say, this was the worst decision making we had ever had, together and separately. I managed to make my train, but I was so tired. I got to the airport, feeling like death, to board my plane to Berlin. I knew my exhaustion had hit an all-time high when I don't remember take-off because I was already passed out. Exciting, right?
I landed in Berlin and I was required to take the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn (the train system in Berlin) to get to my hostel. Let me tell you that the travel was worth it. My hostel was wonderful. The staff was so friendly, the beds were comfy, and my 8 bed mixed dorm did not smell like sweaty balls. I'm pretty certain that this was heaven. I ended up staying in for the night, reading. It was too late for me to go anywhere by myself and besides, I was still exhausted. I needed all my energy for the weekend ahead of me.
|Inside the Berliner Dom|
After the Berliner Dom, I went over to the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German History Museum). It had soooo much interesting stuff in there. I can't even go into detail about it. The Museum essentially outlined all of German history from something like the 8th Century to the early 1990s. It's an incredibly collection of artifacts and information. Long story short, I took too many pictures and looked at too many things.
|Me at the Berlin Wall|
The next day, I woke up early to head over to Alexanderplatz to meet a tour for Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Unfortunately, the tour guides never showed up, so being my pro-active self, I went by myself. They gave instructions to go by yourself on the brochure. It was only an hour train ride to Oranienburg up north and a short walk from the train station, so why not?
|Washroom in Bunk 38|
|Sachsenhausen Memorial inside the crematorium walls|
After Sachsenhausen, I made it back to the city with a little time to be able to get over to the Neues National Galerie for some modern art. Sadly, the permanent exhibit was closed, so I instead walked over to the Topographie des Terrors, a free museum dedicated to the Nazi occupation of Berlin. I didn't stay long since my brain had had enough of the Nazis for the day (not to mention I was starving). Checkpoint Charlie wasn't too far away, so I went over there to take a look at what Sarah deemed an overrated tourist spot. It was, but that was okay. The history behind it is really interesting, so make sure you look it up. I grabbed some disappointing gnocchi for dinner and went back to the hostel for the night.
|From the TV Tower|
My second planned destination of the day was a comic book shop I had seen an advertisement for at an U-Bahn station. It had some German comic books that I had read before and loved, so naturally, I bought them and added them to my souvenirs' bags from earlier that day.
|From the East Side Gallery|
That night, I ate a free dinner made at my hostel and met a few American students who were studying in England. We hung out for the night and I gave them information for their next few days in Berlin. It was nice to have some people to talk to after three days of near-solitude.
|At the train station |
and incredibly disgruntled.
This weekend I'm hanging out in Cork and spending some time with Mark. Currently, I'm doing loads #3 & #4 of laundry that desperately needed to be done. Oh boy.
In the works:
- planning a trip to Edinburgh with Lynda
- planning our week-long excursion to Eastern Europe with Gabby
Well, kmagz over and out.