Berlin Dreams

IMG_3040Hello readers! Two weekends ago I went to Berlin and since then life has been a whirlwind of adventure and excitement so that I haven’t had time to post about it yet.  But never fear; today’s post will encapsulate all of the zest that was Berlin!

We left for our adventure on Friday morning after my class was over.  We went by train, because we knew it would be faster, but it was really quite expensive, so we vowed to use busses from then on.  The train ride took 4 hours and 45 minutes and made about 7 stops along the way.  We read, slept, and listened to music on the train.  When we finally arrived, we gave our couch surfing host a call and met up with him at a nearby train stop.  He took us to his place and we dropped off our stuff and got organized.  His flat was one of the most nicely decorated flats I’ve ever seen.  It looked like something straight out of an Urban Outfitters catalog, except instead of being decorated with overpriced, poorly made things, it was decorated with real vintage and creatively utilized pieces.

IMG_2978After setting our bags down, we set off to explore the neighborhood.  Our host, Marvin, lived very close to the Spree River so we followed the river bed into the city center.

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We wandered around until dark when we saw the Brandenburg Gate all lit up.

IMG_2977Then we headed back to Marvin’s place and had a delicious vegetarian meal that he had prepared for us.  We got to meet one of his flatmates, Feeli, her boyfriend Tom, and another couch surfer who was also around at that time.  We all enjoyed some wine and conversation and watched a movie together.

The next day, we woke up early and went on a walking tour around Berlin.  We got to see lots of sights – the entire tour took five hours!  Some of my favorites were the world’s largest chocolate shop, Checkpoint Charlie, a piece of the Berlin Wall, and seeing some of the city’s beautiful architecture.

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There are special bricks placed around the city where the Berlin Wall used to be as well as parts of the wall still standing.

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IMG_3017During the tour we got a break for lunch, where we went into a small cafe and had a bite to eat.  It was here that I had the best sandwich known to man kind.  It was simply refered to as a “cheese sandwich,” but to me, it was so much more.

IMG_3008My mouth is watering just looking at the beauty of it!

After the tour was over, we went to see my favorite part of Berlin, the East Side Gallery.  It is a part of the Berlin Wall that has been left up and decorated by various artists.  It was right along the river and was a beautiful remembrance of a darker time in the city’s history.

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On Sunday, we went to the Mauer Park Flea Market.  It was a huge flea market with many interesting vendors.  Even the old “crap” was interesting and beautiful to us.  It was a popular pass time on that Sunday morning.

IMG_3050I really enjoyed Berlin.  The city has a great vibe, that our host told us he recognized too.  “You can be whoever you want to be in Berlin,” he commented.  There was so much green grass and open space, we marveled at it every chance we got!

One of the best parts was the friends that we made.  Feeli, Marvin’s flatmate, and her boyfriend, came to stay with us Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week after meeting them in Berlin.  She said they had been wanting to visit Prague, but wouldn’t have been able to with the hostel prices.  It was a divine fate, and the perfect example of the meaning of Couch Surfing.  When they came to Prague, we had a great time cooking for them, grabbing drinks, and even clubbing.  You meet many great people while traveling, and we were lucky for this experience – both in Berlin and hosting back in Prague.

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