Published: February 16th 2011February 16th 2011
So this morning I returned from a four day trip to Berlin. Before I went everyone told me how fabulous Berlin is but I didnt fully understand why everyone felt so strongly. We stayed in the most amazing Hostel- The Grand Hostel. I definitely recommend it to anyone planning to take a trip to Berlin. So clean and amazing. We had to leave sweden at 4am to catch our very early flight and when we arrived at the hostel they offered us free coffee and German pastries. I was pretty happy about it even if it was just softening the blow of the paperwork they made us fill out at an ungodly hour. Pretty sure I wrote my address where it asked for my last name. Once we got that all sorted we couldnt actually check in because we were way early, so we left our bags and set off.
Im actually pretty proud of us. Three cups of coffee later we found a four hour city tour and joined right in. We saw everything from historical monuments to memorial sites to the spot where they discovered Hitler's bunker. We visited the Berlin Cathedral which was actually my personal favourite.
We turned the corner and it literally took my breath away. What I loved about Berlin was that it has preserved so much of its history with lots of buildings and sites from WWII as well as the Berlin Wall and Cold War. It is so incredibly rich with history.
Once we completed our massive walking tour we headed back to the hostel for dinner (another hour walk) at this adorable Greek restaurant. We ordered a bunch of yummy cocktails and the food was absolutely out of this world. There was a bit of a language barrier...as in..my friend asked for olive oil to dip bread in and instead we got pepper....haha we thought it was pretty funny. We also got free shots of ouzo with dinner. Gotta love the greek! We slept like babies at the hostel that night. Alcohol + lack of sleep = out cold.
Day 2 is getting its own blog post because it’s the day we went to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
Day 3- Valentines Day! My friend Gill and I had a whole day of great things planned for ourselves. Actually, if I’m honest she planned everything and I just though it
all sounded pretty fantastic. She found us tickets for a film playing at the Berlin Film Festival called “Sing Your Song” about the singer and performer Harry Belefonte. We had absolutely no idea what to expect but it was totally amazing. The producer was actually his daughter so they had a whole Q&A period afterward with her and people got really emotional. It was really cool to see people get so passionate.
After the film we had lunch and then went for massages. I’ve never actually had a massage before so it was certainly an interesting experience. They handed us towels and told us to undress and go on through. When we got to the change room we realized it was unisex and that everyone was just naked. We giggled like little girls as we attempted to undress while holding up towels and be as conservative as possible. When we got into the main lobby some people had towels on but others didn’t and it was just...totally normal.
At least the massage room was private because when the girl told me to drop my towel I almost choked. I think I looked down and said “this towel?” Like
there could be another. She must have thought I was insane. The massage itself was incredible and they gave us the most delicious complimentary tea afterward and I was all relaxed and feeling great. There really was only so much naked we could take so we didn’t stick around long after that.
We had a nice nap at the hostel and then dinner at a Mexican place in the city before we continued on to the pub crawl. I don’t know if I could ever get used to being allowed to drink on the street. If we didn’t finish a drink in the bar we could carry it with us and drink it on the way to the next one. Awesome but weird. With this tour we also got free shots of jagermeister with every drink we purchased. Bad news. By the last club I found some really flamboyant gay men and my goodness can they dance. My body still hurts today. I feel like I did some really intense workout. Such a good night!!
Day 4- Our last full day there...my friend had a bit too much fun the night before and couldn’t make it out of
bed. I was up at noon and ready to go so I went into the city to buy souvenirs and see the last of the sites. We walked around Berlin so much by that point I actually felt okay going out on my own. I walked around for three solid hours (did i mention that my body hates me?) and then went back for dinner. We ate at this really amazing Italian restaurant where the waiter spoke absolutely no English. It was an experience. Everything was done with pointing and hand gesturing. My friend got brave at one point and decided to get us waters and the waiter returned with a bowl of olives. We laughed pretty hard at that one. The food was really really amazing though.
So, early this morning we got up and mastered the public transit system and got ourselves to the airport for an 8am flight. Thank goodness for strong European coffee and naps on planes and busses. Friday I’m flying to Scotland for another adventure! Stay tuned!!
There are more photos below