berlin était cool

9 April 2009 at 6:29 am Leave a comment

Berlin was cool.

After a train and a metro ride, Baird and I checked into our hostel, the Wombat Hostel. Coolest hostel EVER. We were in a dorm, and of course our roomies were sleeping, so we tiptoed in and dropped off our things before heading out for a cappuccino and a snack. (yes, I have taken a liking to cappuccinos. They seem to taste better in Europe.) The cafe we went to came recommended by the awesome receptionist at the hostel who never steered us wrong.

Berliner Dome

Berliner Dome

Our first evening included a bit of exploring, as per usual. We came across the beautiful Berliner Dome, and heard the bells clanging away as we rested on the inviting grass in front of it. Next, we walked along the street called Untden Linden (or something like that?), otherwise known as the Idiot’s Mile. It’s a beautiful street that was built to show how great East Berlin was, yet it didn’t reflect must of the rest of the east. We ended up in the Marx/Engles Park where we relaxed as the sun set upon this new and fabulous city.

Our receptionist buddy sent us to this fabulous brewery for dinner, where I ordered “pork fresh out of the oven” (literal english translation.) Which, was SO GOOD. German food, though it included a lot of meat, was really great! After dinner, we bonded with our roomies, Phil and Lewis, who are from New finland. We found a bar called “White Trash”… which was actually quite hip. The night ended at the “Wombar” in our hostel, where we encountered a very friendly Malaysian gentleman named Ken, and were subsequently owned at a game of pool vs. our new Canadian buddies.

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery

Thursday was JAM-PACKED with walking around. So many sights to see! East Side Gallery was one of my favorite sights, and that’s where we began. It is the largest remaining portion of the Berlin Wall, and is covered with grafitti, much like the Lennon Wall, but larger, and more interesting. Other sights that day included Brandenburg gate and the Holocaust memorial. The memorial was very moving — simple large rectangular blocks of stone stretching across a large area, organized in rows and columns. It reminded me vaguely of a graveyard, moreso of isolation… it was definitely a sight worth seeing and contemplating.

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

From there we saw the Reichstag (parliament) and headed towards the Hamburger Bahnof Muesum which was a modern art museum that my guidebook recommended that happened to be free on Thursday afternoons! I was excited about the opportunity, but the museum ended up being SO peculiar (modern art is that way, so often) that it wasn’t worth our time. At that point, we were exhausted (I forgot to mention that all of this sight seeing involved walking something like 10 km) so we headed back to the Wombat for a rejuvinating nap before our dinner at a local Thai place. Why are we eating Thai in Germany, you wonder? Well, we were told Berlin was known for it’s good asian cuisine, and well, Baird and I also just love Pad Thai.

Our evening activities commenced at the “Volksbar” down the street, which had a great atmosphere but was unfortunately lacking very many “volks” (german for “people”), so we didn’t stay very long. As our feet were throbbing and our legs were aching, we opted again to simple stay at the “Wombar” in our hostel for the evening, so as to avoid walking back late at night. I sampled a variety of mixed drinks including a swimming pool, planters punch, and a slippery nipple, all of which were quite tasty.

The following morning, we had to check out from our hostel, and we ended up back at the first cafe which the receoptionist recommended for a magnificent breakfast with possibly the best french toast I’ve ever tasted. With a little bit of extra time after breakfast, we walked to the famous T.V. tower to go to the top and see the view of the entire city. It wasn’t quite as breathtaking as seeing Florence from the top of the Duomo, but it was a great view nonetheless. Berlin isn’t particularly a “beautiful” city, but it’s modern vibe really made it easy to love. In fact, it kind of reminded me a bit of Boston for some reason… so maybe that’s why I loved it so much.

Baird and I enjoying Berlin

Baird and I enjoying Berlin

We headed to the airport midafternoon to catch our Easy Jet flight to Paris…

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un voyage à prague paris, avec mon chéri

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Sarah in Cannes

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