Trip Start Feb 26, 2009
Trip End Mar 13, 2009

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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

   We got a decently early start from Hamburg - got some gas and then finally got on the Autobahn.  There was a lot of construction this way, but I decided to test my mettle and give the Autobahn a try - since it was Claudia's car and a manual transmission, I decided not to go ridiculously fast, but I did get it up to 180 km/h for a little bit.  Well, maybe for about two seconds.  I figured being a bit safer was the best bet for my first jaunt down the road and the first time I've driven stick since a beefed up maintenance vehicle at a golf course in 2002 . . . I fumbled around a bit in a parking lot where we stopped for some lunch, but I did finally manage to stop the car somewhere in the vicinity of a couple of spots.  We had some McD's and Claudia drove the rest of the way.
   The Tom-Tom took us to a place that was not in Berlin where we were trying to go, turns out that there are places with the same exact address - not very intelligent in my opinion - must've been the Russians that did that.  Claudia called the hostel and we managed to find the hotel after a little delay (now that Tom-Tom had a better idea of where we wanted to go).  On the way I realized that I left my camera in Hamburg in Sven's car - what a dumbass I am.  At least I would save money on batteries, and Claudia still had her camera.  The hostel was in old East Berlin, and there are still some spots that looked a little sketchy.
   Once we got settled, we walked a few minutes to the U-Bahn station to get into the central part of Berlin.  Then we stood there for about 15 minutes trying to figure out which way to go and which Bahn to take.  After all the travel and driving, my brain didn't really work.  It was wrapping itself around the whole Bahn thing, and I was staying quiet after I heard a few German words that at least sounding like swears - didn't want to get in the way of that Swear-Bahn.  We managed to get to a nice street in West Berlin with lots of shops and restaurants, and then after jumping a few U and S Bahns we arrived at the Brandenburg Gate.  From there we walked under the gate and over to the Reichstag, which was amazing at nighttime.  In between those two landmarks we got some dinner - Claudia had currywurst and I had Nuernberger sausage and sauerkraut.  And beer.  Yum.  I finished it off with some chocolate mousse and we were off.  Tomorrow will be Berlin all day!
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