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Hey family and friends :) hope all is well! I'm presently in Grindelwald, Switzerland, but I'm going to write about Berlin, Germany today...and if I'm feeling up to it, I'll start Switzerland.

Berlin wasn't as great as I thought it should have been. The history there is amazing, but something just seemed to be missing. Oh well, that's part of what traveling is for right?

I arrived in Berlin around mid-afternoon. And it took me awhile to figure out where I needed to go, because, well, everything's in German. And when the Information people tried helping me, I still ha no idea what they were saying. It was one of those things, where I just nodded, and said thank you, walked outside and just looked around until I found something that vaguely looked like what the info. People said... Well after an hour and a half, I finally figured it out and reached my hostel. This one was called "Heart of Gold hostel" and it had a really cool set up, with a big lounge/eating area. After checking in, I headed to my room, and there was an ELEVaTOR!! I couldn't believe it, because in every hostel I've been in, it's been a hike up to my room. I seem to be getting the 3rd and 4th floor quite often. I really don't mind that much; I look at it as, not quite a workout, but still burning more calories than I would have if I were in the first floor. Which btw, I've seriously not been worried about calories at all. In fact, I've gained weight, lost muscle, look mushy, and for the time being, I'm happy with it:) maybe even a little proud. I think it has something to do with this is the first time in my life, I'm not working out. Not that I didn't enjoy it by any means; I'm just enjoying this side of life too, even though its very unhealthy for the long run, but I'm very confident in the idea ill get my ass back in shape when I get home. Okay sorry for the side track, it's just been on my mind.

So my hostel room... 4th floor, open door, ohhhh more stairs, surprise, not many though, and it's a huge room, with two sides all windows from the floor to the ground, with curtains covering a third of them. Oh and a sweltering 85 degrees (F). It was really nice and roomy, but just too hot. And the window only cracked a few inches. I guess they didn't want drunk back packers going out on the balcony and falling off. I don't know, just a guess :) anyways I put all my stuff down, and went downstairs to plan what I was going to do for the next couple of days. There's also usually wifi ONLY in the lounge areas, which is fine because it does make you meet more people. I was actually extremely tired from traveling all day so I called it a bit early. I think it was 10ish. The next morning when I was checking out some maps, I talked to a few people, a guy named Dan, from the east coast, Rochester, New York I believe. And I met another girl who was from Australia, her and her cousin were traveling together. They had been there for awhile, and recommended a few things. So I set out after breakfast. I headed out on the S-bahn, ( there are two ways of using the underground stations here, one is the s-bahn and the other is the u-bahn) I always used the s-bahn. I came out by the Brandenburg gate, and then went to see the Holocaust memorial. The holocaust memorial was really cool. It's literally one block full of grey concrete blocks, all different sizes. You can sit on them, but not stand. I know This only because I saw a walking tour by me, and pretended to be taking pictures while the guide talked. Tehe:) he also said that there are many memorials to all different groups of people who were murdered and tortured during this time, mostly because each group felt secluded and wanted a memorial in each of their names. For example, homosexuals, mentally retarded and physically handicapped people, and so forth. After this, I then walked around until I found the Topography of Terror, which is a museum explaining how the holocaust came about and what happened. This was really neat as well. I teared up several times, and it was surreal that I was actually in historical spots that were such a big part of history. It was neat. I was starving by this point. Walking around aimlessly (what it feels like sometimes) is hard work. Haha just kidding, it's fun too! But I found a little local food vendor where I got bratwurst sausage and chips (our French fries) and chowed down. I think this bird was really jealous of me, because next things know, he pooped in my hair, and then started chirping. I was okay because it wasn't a nasty poop. I think I got lucky. Always I walked around for a bit more, and then got some Haagen daz ice cream and headed to the hostel. By the way, Germans realllllly love their ice cream. I don't know what it is, but everyone was eating ice cream. So of course I jumped on the bandwagon. So I hung out at the hostel for a bit, met this girl from Honduras, and we talked about more stuff to do. She was too cute. She just talked and giggled and talked some more, and I couldn't understand her all the time because of the accent thing. Haha but she had been traveling for awhile, and gave me some good advice. Oh !! I totally forgot, in the morning of this day, I saw my friend, Rodrigo, who was my roommate in Amsterdam! We were totally surprised. I wish I would have gotten a picture with him, because he's one of my favorite people I've met thus far. He's from brazil, and he thinks soccer is incredibly boring. How we get along ? I've no idea. Haha I'm kidding, he's a sweetheart and just a really genuine person. He has been traveling for a few weeks, without telling his dad. Lol idk how that's worked out, but he's studying in Madrid, so that's part of his cover story I believe. Anyways we hung out for awhile, just talking and uploading social medias. We called it a night and went to bed. So the second day, I went to the zoo. I know it's not very european of me, but I heard all kinds of good things about it, and I really wanted to see the animals and everything ! So I literally spent 5 hours walking around the zoo, aquarium, reptile and insect sections, and I don't think I waked through it all. It was ENORMOUS !! And I loved it all. Except for I was sad for the lion. I got a really soulful picture of the lion looking right at me, and it just made me sad. Anyways the aquarium was really cool. And the reptiles were neat, they had a chameleon so I was happy:) and the insects freaked me out, and I got goosebumps. Some things should just NOT be that large. I also got a really good meal at the zoo. They had this awesome cafeteria. I didn't have time to do much more, as far as tours or going to see a concentration camp, when I got back so I just hung out in the lounge and planned my Switzerland trip. Oh and this is when I met Dan, and we went to find his friends who went to dinner, but we couldn't find them so we sat out on the grass In Front of a restaurant and the canals and had coffee and talked. His story of why he was doing this: he didn't want to become like his parents ... I thought that was a little sad, but to each their own. So we grabbed some Indian before heading back. It was really funny because the Irish band were trying to decide if they where going to catch their flight back home and go back to work, to just say screw it, and go to Budapest. I of course encouraged the latter. They left at midnight to catch the bus but I saw them the next morning heading off for their flight. Oh and this is when Rodrigo and I really bonded over a couple German beers and our screwed up love lives. Haha :) so I headed to bed soon and this is when I met Nick. Now Nick has a really neat story. Well to me at least. It's a semi-love story, and bit sad too. He had been planning this trip for over a year, and he had a couple reasons for going. 1. His grandfather had been a huge fan of traveling, and Nick had always been too. So before he left his dad gave him a token what was his grandfathers and what was a prized memento as he traveled. I really wish I could remember what it was but I can't :/ reason 2: he had a really messed up experience back home with a girl who lied about her identity. We know it as cat fishing. So the picture of the girl that this interloper stole was from Berlin. So he was now resolved to make Berlin part of his trip, not so he could meet this particular girl, but because he knew in his heart that Berlin hadn't something in store for him. He arrives and met up with this german girl who he had been in contact with via couch surfing. And she showed him around Germany the first day, and he said they just hit it off. It was one of those things where it's in the first 20 minutes of talking, and there's this instant connection. And I understood what he meant because I'd been there before and I believed those encounters are very real. He pretty much described it as magical, and they had the cutest first kiss, but I can't tell the story because I'd butcher it. Just know that it was smooth and it happened naturally, and there was some Spanish speaking in there. Lol so I know all of this because he was my roommate. And he told me this the entire day we hung out. We walked all over town and took pictures, and he was just so excited to see her again that night. And he was so excited, that I I got really excited for him! So he left and I went on and had dinner with some German friends that were extended family members of my mother and her ex husband, Stephan. That was an interesting and very nice dinner. They were incredibly, sweet and it was a pleasure to finally have met them. I didn't do much tonight besides head back and visit with Rodrigo and little before I headed to bed. I had to get up pretty early because it was going to be a long day of traveling.
So this is the end of Berlin. Again, cool history, but something was missing. The people I met, and their stories were definitely the best part of this city.
So I'm pretty tired of typing this all up so I'm gna call it a night.

I go cave jumping tomorrow !!!! Ahhhh I'm so excited ! Lol Lynn's a but worried I think :) but ill be fine !
Anyways love you all:)

Posted by dmward22 09:34 Archived in Germany

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