Saturday, April 30, 2011


Berlin has officially made its way onto the list of places I need to go back to. I. Love. Berlin. I really don't think I can emphasize this enough. It was sunny and warm, and the city just has its own personality. So often when you visit a city, it's cool but looking back, it could really be any city around the world. Not Berlin. When you are there, you are constantly aware that you are in Berlin, because it has such a unique, all-encompassing culture and style. Plus, there's just so much to see! I need to go back and see all the museums on Museum Island, go into Parliament, see the concentration camp, and check out some of the more...unique museums, the Currywurst Museum for example (currywurst is a Berlin speciality; basically, it's sausage in a ketchup/curry sauce).

I went to Berlin over Easter weekend, which meant that for a good portion of my trip, I was following lent rules, which included the fact that I had given up meat. I do not, repeat DO NOT recommend attempting to be vegetarian in Berlin. Basically every specialty is meat based, and when the food smells and looks as good as it does, it's painful to not be able to have it. Fortunately, they're also really good at making soft-serve ice cream :)

The first day I got there, I went on an alternative city tour, where we saw tons of street art (aka graffiti). We also learned about squats and about the techno music in Berlin. It was a great tour and it was really neat to hear the stories behind the art that basically takes over the entire city.

The next day, I visited Potsdamer Platz, went to the Panorama for a great view of the entire city, Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate, and Tiergarten. It sounds like a lot, but they're all really close to each other, so it was reasonable to see all of them. Pariser Platz was soooo touristy, but it was really funny with star wars characters, and actors dressed as soldiers (and a gorilla at one point). I also got my "passport" stamped by a border guard.

The next day Lizzy showed up! We went to a traditional German market for lunch, followed by the DDR museum exhibiting life in socialist Germany. We ended the day with a trip to a carnival I had seen being set up outside the Brandenburg Gates and a walk through Tiergarten.

 Riding in a trabi, a typical East German car :)

 The last day was Easter, and also the day of our free tour! Along with seeing a ton of other things, we stopped by the Holocaust Memorial and got a chance to walk through it. The artist specifically refused to say what it was supposed to mean, so that the viewer could interpret it for themselves. In honor of that, I'm not going to say anything further about it, and just put up some photos.

We then went to mass at St. Hedwig's Cathedral. At about 45 minutes, it was definitely the quickest Easter mass I've been to. Those Germans are efficient! We then went to dinner, where I finally got my wienerschnitzel! I'm going to finish this post with a photo of the most amazing beer I've ever had, Berliner Weisse, which is light beer with raspberry syrup. Soooo good.
Now I just need to make some plans to get back there! First, though, study Oscar Wilde in preparation for my Modern Period I final on Friday. It's coming up fast!


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