Berlin and the Rhine Valley


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June 18th 2007
Published: June 18th 2007
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the Brandenberg Gatethe Brandenberg Gatethe Brandenberg Gate

more spectacular at night, if you ignore the fact that Starbucks is behind you!

Berlin


This time we had a hostel booked!
On Tuesday we made the effort to go on the free walking tour of Berlin, it was well worth it! The guy that showed us around explained EVERYTHING there is to know about the fascinating history if Berlin, including the politics associated with the famous Iron Curtain, Hitlers death, the Jewish Memorial and the Brandenberg Gate.

In the evening we went up the Dome in parliament house to check out the city from above. We ended out getting stuck in with about 120 people when they had issues opening the doors to let everyone out. We finally got out and there was about 9 fire trucks, and other services outside.

Wednesday Neetz and I went to the Pergamon museum in the morning which I thought was great as it had stuff going back to Babylon. Neetz on the other hand was snoring in the corner wishing her free audio guide played music! (who wants to see reconstructed ancient monuments when you've walked through the authentic ones!)

In the afternoon we went back to Checkpoint Charlie. This is one opening in the wall that was a checkpoint to the West
Checkpoint CharlieCheckpoint CharlieCheckpoint Charlie

I'm standing on what use to be the Berlin Wall, however this point was opened to let people who could go through. Less than 20 years ago I would have been shot or arrested here, now it's just a pain in the butt intersection!
and the rest of the world. At the checkpoint there are walls that provide details about how people managed and didn't manage to escape, and how the wall eventually fell in 1989. An interesting read, unfortunately we didn't get to that museum.

Frankfurt/Leipzig



These two spots turned out to be mostly admin stops for us. Time taken to book hostels, do the washing etc. I'm not even sure if we took any photos while at these spots. Neetz finally bought some shoes that don't give her blisters...hooray!

The Rhine Valley and the Mossel River



From Frankfurt we headed through Mainz up the Rhine Valley. We travelled by train through some of the most beautiful countryside we have seen, before stopping in St. Goar for a few days. In St. Goar our tent was pitched right on the river, a very windy location. It rainned here for most of the time, so when we weren't making a break for it into town we were looking out the tent at the ships struggling against the current. At one point we were laughing our heads off at two people in a rubber duckie that weren't so successful at fighting
Checkpoint Charlie on the WestCheckpoint Charlie on the WestCheckpoint Charlie on the West

Tezz on the side everyone wanted to be
the current, they were going backwards rather than up river. In the end they floated away downstream.

Next stop Cochem. Which is pronounced more as a throat movement. Neetz and I managed to acheive a few things here in between rain showers: We headed up a chairlift as we were to lazy to climb a mountain. We also went to the castle at Cochem which was also stunning. We took a guided tour through it checking out hidden staircases and false doors (a real fairy-tale castle), not to mention it also had the best view in town.


Trier


This was our last town in Germany, and apparently Germany's oldest. The weather was poor to say the least and thanks to our guide book we walked over 2 kms in the wrong direction looking for our spot for the night. On our last night in Germany Neetz and I decided to to head to the circus just around the corner. It was a great way to end our time in Germany. We really loved the country and the people who we found to be the nicest in the world. We were helped no less than 8 times by
St GoarSt GoarSt Goar

the towns newer castle on the hill
strangers (mostly at train stations) without asking for any help. We'll also miss stopping and smelling the roses at everybody's garden (tezz said he'll just miss the beer gardens), they're everywhere here.


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out the tent windowout the tent window
out the tent window

ships going up the river at St Goar
Cochem Cochem
Cochem

at the top of the chairlift overlooking the town
Cochem CastleCochem Castle
Cochem Castle

notice the nice summer weather
Woah mamaWoah mama
Woah mama

swans everywhere along the river
A German BankA German Bank
A German Bank

Tezz dropping by "Sparkasse"...oh the laughs surrounding this one! Notice Tezz has had a haircut, the first one in 6 months


4th July 2007

Haircuts
NNNNNNoooooooooooooo, as the bum back packers on a budget you are trying to be.... haircuts are forebidden (that is unless of course you are trying to impress some spanish girl - but thats my story). Love the facial hair transforms as well Tez, definately sporting the backpacker 'I don't have to work, and I don't care' look well. Neetz, I am a bit disapointed, where is your attempt at the bum backpacker look? no facial hair, no dagy clothes.. no dread locks? you look as good as every. Of course if you do come home with facial hair I think we would all be worried about how much of the German beer you drank :p Enjoy - some of us are working (yep got a job) Jimmy
6th July 2007

Jimmy got a Job
oh my god someone gave Jimmy a job. Save some cash for us we could definitely use some when we get back. As for the backpacker look...I haven't cut my hair since January, it's going to be round my butt by the time I get home, and definitely no facial hair. The clothes are getting a little old too. Congrats

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