Saturday, 26 July 2014

Day the Twenty Second

Our day started at 4:30 am when the train arrived at main station in Berlin. I can sleep on any form of transportation, I have never stayed awake for a whole train ride in Europe because I am not physically capable of it. It must be a genetic think because Graham goes comatose on trains too. Anyways, I did not get a wink of sleep on the overnight train. The cabin was noisy and cramped, I kept getting stepped on or kicked. It was awful. Steph managed to get about an hour out in the hallway sucking the popcorn juice (this is a term my father uses that describes someone being face down on a carpet, much like my younger brother when he tantrumed at a movie theatre once...). Needless to say, when we arrived in Berlin we were not happy campers. Still, we only had 49 hours before our flight departed for Barcelona so we intended to make the most of it. 
First thing I did was step on glass and have to remove it from my big toe with no first aid supplies whatsoever. Fantastic start.
We locked up our packs and went on a Lonely Planet walking tour from the guide books Steph and I had bought. It took us first past the Reichstag, then to Brandenburg Gate, up,to the University and Museum Island, then the Jewish district. The coolest thing about this was being at Brandenburg Gate at 5:30 before anyone else was there. I did my very best Ronald Regan impression, as any Historian would.
After the walk we had a quick snooze at the train station until the German Police came, yelled at us, and made us leave. 
We decided it was best to cut our losses, go to the hostel, nap, and rally for the afternoon. So that's what we did. 
After napping for a couple of hours we all split up for some personal time exploring Berlin. Steph and I eventually met up but Dani didn't have much interest in Berlin so she found a museum to check out. For the afternoon I did two more Lonely Planet guided walks, one through the Teirgarten and another called Walking the Wall that followed the Berlin Wall. The Tiergarten walk was beautiful. It was a bit rainy so there weren't very many people around and it was very peaceful. I could happily spend days wandering through it. The Wall walk was very cool. It started just at the end of the Tiergarten and went through the Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the Soviet Memorial, and past some sections of still standing wall. It was great. The Holocaust Memorial is so well done, very moving.
Steph and I ended our busy day of three walking tours on only 2 hours of sleep with some well deserved currywurst, beer, and apple strudel.
This day was very overwhelming. We were exhausted, dehydrated, usually hungry, and generally grumpy but we agreed it wasn't a bad day, just not a happy day. Berlin is a big stop for Steph and I but is actually our shortest visit of the trip so we expected it to be a little intense.

Things I ate:
     - Pain au chocolat
     - Doner Kebap
     - curry wurst and fries
     - Big Beer
     - Applestrudel

Highlight of the day:
     - tie between the Tiergarten, Holocaust Memorial, and finally going to sleep.