My First Weekend Trip!

Trip Start Jan 07, 2011
Trip End Aug 01, 2011

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

I know you are all eagerly awaiting the details from my lovely weekend trip to Berlin! So, starting Friday night, here we go!

I caught the last non-stop bus to the train station (there were others but I would have had to transfer) and got to the main train station and found my platform by 7:30. I went back to the entrance and popped into the bakery. I love the bakeries here. I still can't eat most of what they make, but they know exactly what is in everything. I’ve walked into several now and just asked what they had without milk products and eggs and they can think for a few seconds then tell me anything I can eat. So nice. I got a plain pretzel with salt and then went back to my platform and caught the train to Berlin. My train was seemingly the only one in the station on time, they kept making announcements about this train and that train being delayed. I found a comfy window seat on the train and browsed a magazine and played solitaire on my computer to kill time. Some long distance trains have Wi-fi now, but not mine. I think they’re implementing it bit by bit. Once I got to Berlin I caught a city train to the airport to pick up Blake. It was so amazing to see him again! We took a taxi to our hotel and had a glass of wine and a snuggle party and went to bed.

We got up at a reasonable hour Saturday and got breakfast at a little café near the hotel , then bought a day-pass for the public transportation so we could get around. First we went to the Berlin Cathedral and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the amazing architecture. We also took a tour through the crypt, which had a bunch of Prussian royalty buried it. Took tons of pictures, I posted the best ones. Unfortunately the Gallery was closed so we couldn’t go up in the dome. We’re going to go back tomorrow to see if it is open. I bought a few postcards and a small plastic holder with a piece of the wall in it (!!!!). Then we headed to the "museum island", which is a bunch of museums bunched between two branches of a river, and bought a 3 day student pass to all the museums and got a time ticket for the Neues Museum, which is always really crowded. Then we got lunch at a café, we both got Weinerschnitzel with roasted potatoes  and we got two smallish beers to try. Blake preferred the Paulaner Weissbier, so I drank the Berliner Pilsner, though I thought both were good. We did a quick walk through of the art museum because we had time to kill before our Neues Museum time slot and it was included in our pass. Then we spent two hours in the Neues Museum, which is all ancient artifacts from all over the world. They closed at 6:00 so we walked to the Brandenburg gate and took night time pictures of it lit up. We also walked up to the Reichstag, which is very close by, and took night time pictures there, too, planning to come back Sunday to take day time pictures. Afterwards we took public transportation back to the main shopping strip, where our hotel is, and got off a few stops early to wander and find dinner. We walked around a giant Kaufhaus for a while and Blake bought a new techno CD (he’s a big techno fan).  Then we went back to the hotel and dropped off our stuff and asked about a nice restaurant for a late dinner (it was almost 9:00 by then). We went to Hesir, a Turkish restaurant a few blocks from our hotel and each had a different lamb dish with potatoes, rice and a salad with oil and vinegar. I also had a cup of Turkish tea, though it needed some sugar. After dinner we went back to the hotel again and wrote postcards so we could mail them from Berlin.  Then we went to the hotel bar and had a free cocktail (we got coupons when we checked in) and lounged around and chatted for a long time, then headed back up to our room and got some sleep before another big day.

Sunday (today) we got a bit later of a start than we had hoped for, but still got a lot done. We checked out but left our bags and headed out to get the most out of the day. We went first back to Caras, the café we got breakfast at Saturday, and got a pastry and some fruit as a snack. We bought another day-pass for the public transportation and headed out.  We then went to the German Museum of Technology and spent a while wandering around. We headed up to Potsdamer Platz (the intersection of all the zones in Berlin, which now looks like it has always been whole) to look for lunch and found a cool building that has a viewing deck, which we decided to go up to after lunch. It wasn’t very busy so we asked the man selling tickets where we could get a quick lunch and he suggested we walk over to the shopping center down the road a bit and they had a lot of places. We picked a little restaurant inside and had Berliner Currywurst, which was much better than the currywurst they serve at DLR. Then we went up to the viewing deck and took a bunch of awesome pictures of the Reichstag, the Tiergarten, and everything else we could see. It was windy and a little drizzly, but very cool views. The elevator there is the fastest in Europe, going 90m in 20 seconds! Afterwards we went to see the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, although our museum passes don’t work at the wall museum, so we just wandered around outside and read the signs outside. We had a bit of trouble getting back to the Brandenburger Tor,( the public transportation is confusing sometimes, there’s so many lines) but made it and took a few daytime pictures and walked through the Tiergarten to the Victory Column, which was a very long walk, but a cool one. We went to the station to catch a subway back to the hotel and found a Doener stand, so we got some to go and hopped on the next U-Bahn (subway). We picked up our bags from the hotel and asked for the best route via public transport to the airport to drop Blake off. We ended up taking the regional train from the Zoo bus station and getting to the airport just on time. We ate our Doener on the train to the airport. Thankfully Copenhagen isn’t a popular destination, so there was no line at security. With Blake taken care of, I walked back to the airport train station and got a fanta and sat at a café. They were playing an old western film dubbed in German and it was quite amusing. I caught the next “Airport Express” train back into the city and then got on my train to Braunschweig. I found a “quiet room” on the train (so much nicer than hearing people gabbing) and wrote this blog on the train to stay awake so I didn’t miss my stop. When I got back to Braunschweig I took two busses to get back to my apartment and was thoroughly exhausted.  

I'm pretty sure this has been my longest blog post, and it certainly has the most pictures. I took 201 pictures total this weekend (that's just the good ones!) so if you wanna see something in particular, post a comment, I probably have more. These were just my favorites :)

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