Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blog 23: Who built the Berlin Wall?

As our time with Jay and JD was nearing an end (they have to go back and finish law school hahah), they convinced us to prolong our time together and take an impromptu trip with them to Berlin. They were headed there on their way out (Berlin, then Switzerland, then home) and decided we should join them. Seeing as it was only a 4 hour train trip (and Ash and I have absolutely nothing else to do since we don’t start working until September…) we decided to go!

We woke up Thursday and booked it to the train station. After a slow moving morning (thanks to JD…) we got to the train station just in time. We were so lucky that there was not a line to buy tickets; otherwise we may have missed our train! So we sped through the line, got our tickets, and LITERALLY ran to make our train, suitcases behind us and all (sidenote: why do all of my “adventures” here include me running?!)

We make it on time and jump onto the train just moments before it pulls away. However, due to our late arrival, there were not four seats together, of course. I don’t think there were even four seats available. So what did we do? Parked it on the floor of the luggage room. Yes, we sat on the FLOOR with all the bicycles and luggage. Hahahahhaa. Luckily, after a few stops, the train emptied out and we were not only able to find seats, but we had an entire compartment to ourselves, and it was air-conditioned!! (because let me tell you, the luggage room was definitely NOT air-conditioned). Lucky us! We enjoyed the rest of our travels to Germany in utmost comfort. (It was at this point that Ash and I decided to call our parents and tell them that we had left the country…) Once we got there, we looked for a hostel and found one that was recommended by the guide book as being safe and in a good location.

We tried to get a four person room, but seeing as we were late in the game, they were all taken. So we had to settle for a six person room and share with two randos. We were less than thrilled about this idea. As we trek our suitcases up to our room, we unlock to door to find this room to already be occupied by six people…awkward. As we turn to go back down to the lobby the receptionist comes running up the stairs exclaiming that that room was already full, umm I think we got that, thanks. So as the sincerely apologized, she set us up in a six person room for just the four of us! Score!

Although our hostel was lovely (as much as a hostel can be I suppose…) I don’t think the hostel life is for me. I’d much rather stay in a nice penthouse suite :) So we spent the rest of the night exploring Berlin and its nightlife. Boy did we meet some characters.

The next morning we got up and at them and decided to head out and see the sights of Berlin. Because we were really tired ((ahem, hungover)) and couldn’t see ourselves walking around the largest city in Germany, we opted to take the tourist way out and pay to ride a double-decker tour bus. How cliché. But it ended up working out very nicely, our tour guide (of what we could understand) was very nice, and it was a thorough tour. There are a lot of historical sites to see in Berlin, and Im glad we had the opportunity to see them. As it turns out, Berlin is so spread out that it would have been nearly impossible to walk and see all the sights, so the bus was the better choice anyways!

Overall we had a great time, it was fun to just say “I think id like to go to Germany today” and hop on a train and go with no hesitation. Berlin was fine, not the most beautiful city I have seen by far (I know, I know, I live in Prague, so little lives up…), but Germany was nice. The people speak English much better than the Czechs do, and they were MUCH friendlier!

As we parted ways with Jay and JD (our little group was named the Prague Frogs, don’t ask. And yes, you can judge) we said it wasn’t goodbye; it was simply see you later. Good luck with your second year of law school guys!

P.S. it was extremely interesting to hear how the German tour guide explained (aka glossed over) some of their history. Example, "Here is a governmental building where Hitler held most of his meetings while he was in power. Oh, look! Next door is the chocolate shop that makes the best chocolate in Germany..." and others like "Here is an old housing district, um, i think a lot of people lived here, um, like the Jews. Okay, moving on, look how pretty these flowers are!"

After those explanations Ash and I thought it would be incredibly interesting to take a history class from the German's perspective!

Love love love from Prague!!

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