Sunday, September 15, 2013

Berlin, the last of it (Part 3)

So one day, we decided to go out and see the Holocaust Memorial along with the other famous buildings in the area (there were 3 tourist attractions right together-awesome). Also, everyone in Berlin rides a bike. I would if I lived there, the bike lanes are huge and built on the sidewalk.

For the entire trip, he drank only coffee or beer. Yep, true story.

Also, if you go to Berlin and then want asian food, don't expect them to speak english at all. It will be either korean/mandarin or german. It was all just pointing at pictures and nodding yes or no, and hoping you got what you wanted. It was good though. I had pho and Tony had a duck something dish. His was better.

The really neat looking Brandenburg Gate. It was the former city gate, and was pretty damaged in the war, but has since been restored.

 So many tourists. Also, I went on a day where there was a Vegan protest. People dressed up like cute animals with signs promoting veganism.

I think that guy is a panda. 

Reichstag was another stop on our exploring adventure. It used to house their parliament. Pretty neat old building. Wishing we had gone inside. 

Crappy iphone pictures, but this was breakfast every morning at the hotel. So much delicious food. I had mini bratwursts with herbed eggs, and I swear 4-5 different amazing cheeses. I think I could live on cheese and bread there.

But as you can see, I still made sure to eat fruit and stuff too.

 So one one of my explorations alone I wandered into a grocery store. Currywurst is a big thing there, its their famous street food. Its a hotdog on top of french fries with ketchup and curry powder on top. Tony had it and was not impressed. So they also sell a lot of curry ketchup. I bought some and tried it. Also, not impressed. So don't go buying the currywurst out there, its disappointing.

While shopping I bought a snack. 2 small cheeses, and I had no idea what they were given that their names were in German. Creamy and very STINKY. I tried to get past the smell, but it was too hard. I ended up buying different lunch.

 It was really hot on my adventures, so I had mango ice cream and lemon ice cream. Lemon was fantastically tart, and the mango was perfect. It was hot all week long, around 29 degrees every day. After walking all day, it was nice to have AC to come back to at the hotel and an ice cream cone.

The Holocaust Memorial. The last of the three big tourist attractions that were grouped together. If I cared more, I would have better organized this blog post, but I just needed to get it done. 

These cement blocks are not supposed to be coffins like what you'd think, they are called Stelae and they are supposed to make you feel uneasy and confused. It represents what appears to be an ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. It was quite impressive to me.

We went through the exhibit beneath the Stelae which was incredible. I went through a phase where I found the holocaust interesting (when I was 13--yep, death phase or something), but a lot of my information was not close to what this had. It was very depressing, very real, and some of the stories and photos were heartbreaking. It was a lot to take in, but we were both very glad to have gone through it. I'd totally recommend this to anyone (no kids-that would be too tough).

Now on to more happier things that I saw. I went exploring through Hackescher Markt. They have a big outdoor market once a week, and it was so cool. I enjoyed browsing all the cute stalls of handmade toys, clothing and all the food. Pretty sure Hackescher Markt is dead center of Berlin. I bought some goodies there for the kids. I also hit up another huge flea market. It was neat, but hard to communicate with the older crowd who are less likely to speak english. 

The goodies! I especially love the bear. 

 The U-Bahn! Transit there was so nice compared to what we have out here. You could take transit anywhere, and it was decently priced. So quick. Oh I wish Vancouver would take a lesson from Europe and make improvements. I took the U-bahn to Senfelderplatz where a friend from Vancouver was staying. Crazy that our trips were overlapping. We got to visit and go shopping together before they headed home.

I almost forgot one of my favourite parts of exploring, the Berlin Wall. I never knew much about why there was a giant wall and why people were trying to get over it asap, but I learned a lot about it. I really do love history, always have. So the giant pieces are still there, and all along where part of the wall used to stand was information, memorials, and really neat pictures of people and tales of their escape to West Berlin.

It took a couple hours to get all the way through all the information, but it was well worth it for me to see.

One evening we went out for dinner in the Hackescher Markt area. The restaurants pretty much just set up outside and took up a large part of the street. There were no cars going through, so just a sea of tables. We got to sit and eat outside and watch street buskers (who were hilarious, one guy was a clown who mimicked passers by). Its not like your typical homeless guy with a guitar in vancouver. We were happy to enjoy the entertainment and eat dinner. 

I loved this neighbourhood because the buildings were all rainbow coloured. We had turkish food with Tony's boss that night. Turkish food is delicious. I need more of that in my life.

Things I loved about Germany:

-Such neat history, however depressing it could be sometimes
-Food - Typical German food was very meat and potatoes, but the sausages and dishes were very homey.
-Beer, I hate beer normally, but I would have a few sips here and there without gagging or anything, so I'm sure its awesome, Tony assures me its the best ever
-I loved that most everyone spoke English. It made things way less stressful for getting around
-I loved the transit
-Loved being immersed in a different place

The Rockies! It was terrifying to look out the windows of the plane rides, but towards the end I got used to it, and less scared. It was such a good feeling seeing these. I missed my babies so much, I was overjoyed to see them come home from Grandmas house. I also missed eating as many veggies as I do. Their traditional food had very little veggies. We were not used to that, and paid for it later.

So that was Berlin. It was a whirlwind adventure that has made me want to travel back to europe again soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment