Trip Start Jan 01, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2011

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Flag of Germany  ,
Monday, January 24, 2011

The drive to Berlin was a long one after the pub crawl the night before, with an unexpected stop in Dresden.  Most everyone forgot this was a stop on our trip, and many were unprepared.  The bus is usually really hot, especially the window seats so a few people had worn flip-flops for the journey.  The layover is Dresden was two hours, with snow on the ground, so there were some cold toes!  Dresden was a beautiful city, and seemed to be deserted at the time we were there.  We took a walk along the river, then up through the town.  Most of the group spent the rest of the time at McDonald's, eating and warming up.  From Dresden we continued on to Berlin and checked into our hotel.  For dinner we walked to a local shopping center and had a German meal in a restaurant.  The highlight of the dinner was when my friend Cassie was leaning over the table talking, and the waitress came up behind her with a bowl of carrot soup and they collided, spilling the soup everywhere.  We couldn't stop laughing about it.  After dinner we had free time, which I spent in the lobby of the hotel using the wireless.  The next day consisted of a city tour from the bus, then a 3 hour walking tour.  We were able to get out of the bus during the tour to take photographs of the remaining Berlin Wall.  It is covered in artwork, and holds so much history.  After the stop, we were dropped off to meet our tour guide Jim, from America.  As soon as he started talking I knew he was from Minnesota.  I was right.  He was a great guide, and was very knowledgeable about the history of Berlin.  We saw Tiergarten, Alexanderplatz, the Russian War Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, the historic Reichstag building, and Checkpoint Charlie.  Halfway through the tour, at the Brandenburg Gate, we were able to take a break and grab a coffee or a snack.  This was much welcomed, considering it was raining and we were all chilled.  I had on tights, leggings, two pairs of socks, a thermal, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, a down jacket, hat, gloves, and boots and was still cold!  I got a large latte from Starbucks, and was very happy!  The coffee in the hotel that morning for breakfast was instant, so I was craving a good cup of coffee.  We continued on with the tour, ending at Checkpoint Charlie.  My roommate Christi and I went to do some souvenir shopping after the tour, then found our way back to the hotel on the metro.  We were craving a good sandwich, so we had Subway for dinner and then got ready for the Eye Spy Pub Crawl.  We left the hotel at 7:30 and went to meet Jim, our tour guide from earlier in the day.  He took us on a half hour tour, to a point where you could see between the two walls and told us stories of attempted escapes.  From here we made our way to the first bar, where our first drink was included.  After this we went to a nightclub, which we had to take a metro to get to.  Before we boarded, Jim handed us each big pretzels to munch on during the ride.  We ended the night dancing away, and ready to head to Amsterdam in the morning.
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