Depart Dallas - Arrive Berlin!

Trip Start Jun 19, 2004
Trip End Jul 27, 2004

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Flag of Germany  , Berlin,
Sunday, June 20, 2004

This was my first time to travel by myself over the Atlantic. I had been previously to France, but back then we had escorts and there was a group of us traveling together. THIS was my first time to go alone. I was so excited.
My family drove me to the airport to see me off. It was hard to hold back the tears as I said goodbye to them. Once I got through security and started to head toward my gate I lost them from my view. At that point my heart started pounding. The reality of doing this by myself had just hit like a ton of bricks. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, but also one of the most thrilling. I was so excited to be studying abroad.

I was seated next to a French girl on the plane who was about my age. She was very nice and agreed to help me find my gate once we got to Paris for my stopover. That was a tremendous relief to me. She was so kind to that. Once we got to Charles De Gaul, she pointed me in the right direction and we parted ways. I had a while to wait, so I got a snack and a French post card. As I was waiting at my gate I met Faune and Ben, two fellow USAC students from Boise and Houston. We were all on the connecting flight together.

We finally arrived in Berlin at about 2pm German time and Iris (one of our professors) met us at baggage claim to take us to our hotel, but to my horror, my bags had been sent on to Nice (thanks to Air France). I was pretty stressed out about that, but Iris said it happened all the time and they had never had a student who didn't get their bags back within a day or two. Luckily I had one change of clothes in my carry-on for just such an emergency.

We took a taxi to our hostel where Faune became my roommate for the week. After unpacking we met up with the entire group from USAC and had dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant. Jet lag had definitely set in.

During the course of the week in Berlin, we saw the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and visited the Jewish Museum. One girl and I went to the Berlin Opera and saw Verdi's Don Carlo. We also went on a walking tour of the former East Berlin and saw the place where Hitler committed suicide. Throughout the week we had lots of free time to roam around the city and shop. I befriended Meredith and Von and mostly hung out with them. We did a lot of shopping and eating, too.

Berlin is a very metropolitan city, but still has quite a bit of history. It was a fabulous time. I was thrilled.

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