Trip Start Jan 03, 2009
Trip End Jun 18, 2009

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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We arrives in Berlin and found our hostel where we shared a room with four boys of ranging ages, occupations and nationalities. The reception charged us too little for our room and told us later that we had to pay more but gave us free breakfast coupons. This was great because they had the most expensive breakfast so far and I even got free espresso (you have to enjoy the little free things when traveling on a budget).

We rested at the hostel until one when we joined a free walking tour of Berlin. I recommend this tour to anyone who ever goes to Berlin because the guides are great, they tell you things that you would have never known just walking around by yourself and show you things that aren't even on tourist maps because the residents don't want people going there. Also, it was free! I gave the guide a good tip though. He deserved it and seemed kinda poor. I learned a ton of history on this tour and really enjoyed seeing things like the Berlin wall, Checkpoint Charlie and a memorial for all of the Jews killed in WW2.

The guide even showed us a parking lot that was built over the spot where Hitler's bunker was and where he killed himself. This is not on any guide maps because the residents don't want people going to the site for the wrong reasons like worshiping his death place. On a lighter note, we also saw the hotel and the balcony where Michael Jackson held his baby, Blanket, over the railing. After seeing a lot of sites and walking a lot, we rested at the hostel and got a kebab for dinner which was invented in Berlin.

The next day we woke up at 8 and did more sightseeing. We started with the Topography of Terror, which is an outdoor informational and photographic museum of WW2 on the grounds of where important Nazi buildings used to be. It was freezing (brrr), so we headed to the Reichstag, the Parliament building. We wanted to go to the top of its glass dome where we heard there are some great views, but it was closed for construction. Next we went to Kaufhaus des Westens, or Ka De We, which is a huge a spectuacular department store. My favorite part was the whole floor of gourmet food. After lunch at a cafe, we went to Schloss Charlottenburg, which is really fun to say, a pretty palace. Then to the East Side Gallery, which is the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall still standing with professionally painted graffiti. Finally, we went to a square called Alexanderplatz where I saw a cool fountain with Zeus and the TV tower (a symbol of Berlin).

Our last dinner on vacation was an Italian restaurant where the waiters spoke a weird combination of German and Italian, but absolutely no English. They didn't even understand the word water. It was fun though, because it was the end of the trip and we were already used to the language barriers and we had had a really great time.
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