We left off in Munich, which Jen, Amanda and I left on our first overnight train bound for Berlin. Those recliner seats really weren't a conducive environment for a good night's sleep, so we arrived blearily but jumped right into a full day of seeing the sights. In fact, our first stop was Mauer Park market, which the check-in guy at our hostel was extremely impressed we knew about! High five for A+ research!
We hit all the usual tourist spots in Berlin: we saw bits of the wall, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the DDR museum, the Jewish memorial, the Reichstag, and I even suffered through a bike tour (and severely bruised my pelvis in the process, so add that to the list of injuries I racked up!). But the thing about Berlin is that none of it ever felt cliche or touristy. Berlin is such a real, authentic, ridiculously hipster city. We ate burgers at a little shack under railroad tracks, got snowed on (in the middle of our bike tour, in April), climbed an old watch tower and talked to a man whose brother was killed trying to escape to the other side of the wall, dug through bins of old Soviet-era pins and photos and documents, ate currywurst and pretzels the size of our heads, and explored the Olympic stadium that was the site of Jesse Owens' dominance...
It's kind of hard to put into words. Berlin isn't the most physically beautiful city, but it has an absolutely incredible character. Everything feels significant there, because everything is significant there. Berlin was also where our group of three became seven! We rendezvoused with Lorraine and Liz, who had taken the French countryside route, and Erin and Angela, who had wound their way through Germany. It's a strange moment when you're in a train station in a city you've never been to before and suddenly see a whole gaggle of familiar faces. So between all of that, despite being extremely tired and extremely cold, I freaking loved my few days in Berlin. It also didn't hurt that all I could think while I was there was "ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!" (and even bought a magnet with JFK and a donut on it. Heck yeah).
Also, I would apologize for the number of pictures I included, but another stadium means another half ton of stadium pictures. So, really, I'm not sorry! :)
Ah, what a glorious time. :) Amanda and I also tried those jumping selfies again!
The looks of manic laughter are due to the fact that we now had an audience to our ridiculousness. An audience that then decided they wanted in on the action.
...We weren't all that successful. But hey, round of applause for Amanda's ability to get all seven of us into a selfie without a problem!
For my original post on Berlin, see here! Unfortunately, next week is our last stop and the end of Eurotrip. :( But my broken body and I still get to hobble around Copenhagen, so stay tuned!