Monkeying around in Berlin
Trip Start Jun 16, 2011
9Trip End Jul 21, 2011
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'Ahoj' from a really cool pub in the basement of our hostel in Prague, Czech Republic.
Before we start explaining our time in Berlin, there are some in between the line details we want to share with you first. While our traveling plans allowed us the opportunity to see a lot of cities in a short amount of time (35 days), it does come with some drawbacks. The longest we have stayed in any one hostel is 3 nights. Such short stays means we are constantly waking up early to re-pack our stuff in the dark, and relocating. Also with the short amount of time in each destination, we have felt pressure to see as much of the city as possible. This means we are always on the go, spending most of our days walking (we estimate around 8-10 miles a day). We have dealt with the mental exhaustion of trying to find our way around each new city and the physical exhaustion resulting from lack of sleep and often eating cheap/quick food
We have found that upon arriving in a new city, the hardest task is trying to determine what the ‘must-sees’ are and how we want to go about seeing them. So please bear with us as we explain our visit to Berlin, Germany.
We made it to Berlin… by the grace of God. Once again uncertain of what our tickets actually said, we weren’t sure whether we were leaving from Amsterdam Central or another station a half hour outside of the city, we went early to the central station to try to figure it out. Once we finally got some information, we had 15 minutes to find the platform of the train that took us to the station where we could catch the direct train to Berlin. Reaching the platform we noticed a train was there and the doors were closing so we frantically jumped on board, relieved to have made it in time. After we pulled away from the station we quickly realized that something wasn’t right. Getting caught up in the moment, we couldn’t bear to see our potential train leave us behind, so we pulled the trigger too soon
For the first two nights, we were staying at the Schlafmeile Hostel. We had read the night before that the reception desk closed at 11 pm. Our train didn’t arrive to Berlin until 11:30. There was a chance no one would be at the reception desk and we would be left on the streets of Berlin for the night. Thankfully we had emailed the hostel that morning letting them know that we might be late… this proved to be a very wise decision because they were waiting for us to arrive before they closed for the night. An Australian couple we shared a room with arrived at 11:10 the night before and had to rent a hotel room because no one was there to let them in. The next morning we woke up to find something we thought we had left behind in Ireland… pouring rain
After the zoo/aquarium, we went on a quest to do something German so we searched the city for some good schnitzel… and WE found it. If you are ever in Berlin, make sure you visit the mall food court near the Zoological Garden metro stop. For a very reasonable price, we had schnitzel, sour kraut, and roasted potatoes. This also included you choice of a 300ml soda or beer on tap
From there we explored Berlin’s internet, seeing what shows we were able to stream. Jersey Shore- No… Geordie Shore- Yes. This is Britain’s version …youtube it. This didn’t allow for any interesting experiences, but it was nice to be able to relax and do nothing for the first time in 16 days.
We woke up the next morning and became hopeful seeing that the rain had lightened up to a drizzle. For our last night in Berlin we would be staying at The Eastern Comfort Hostel. So we packed up our things and headed there. Eastern Comfort was a lot like the other hostels we’ve stayed at… with the exception that it was floating on a river and mobile. As you can imagine, being on a boat everything was small but it was fun. It was located on the River Spree just on the west side of the largest part of the Berlin Wall that is still standing.
With the new kind help from the front desk, we found out about a huge flee market and with no other ideas on what to do in Berlin we decided to check it out
Next, we wanted to try some more authentic German food but unfortunately the mall was closed. So we settled for a small festival that was going on in front of the mall and enjoyed some brats and riesenbouletten… they were delicious as expected. We wrapped the night up in the aft of our hostelboat playing rummy and talking with the very cool manager.
Our opinion of Berlin is probably skewed due to the horrible weather. That said, Berlin was cool and the food was delicious, but it’s not that big of a tourist destination and there is good reason behind it. Our likelihood to return to Berlin is slim at best, although we would give other areas of Germany a look.
Now on to Prague,
Patrick and Ryan
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