Days twenty one to twenty four: Berlin has GRIT

My brother and I had the pleasure of traveling through Berlin on this beautiful weekend and are currently enroute to Munich. It wasn’t cute, but I completely understand why it was so highly recommended to me for my summer travels.

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Quick hits:

  • train travel is fun (especially from Berlin to Munich)
  • $48 can get you a massive rooftop room in the center of Berlin
  • Berlin has been destroyed like 5 times (ouch)
  • Not all cities can keep their parks as pretty as Copenhagen
  • Berlin smells like trash
  • Germany is all about cash
  • Investing $10 in groceries can get you four days of lunch for 2 people
  • eating big carrots whole is the best
  • trains can go on ferries and cross the ocean
  • I had an iced cappuccino that changed my life

Details:

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Berlin is gritty. I understood why Berlin looks the way it does a lot better after our full day walking tour on Sunday and I am not going to do the city the injustice of trying to summarize what I learned. I can boil it down to a couple things: you should learn about the history of Berlin, the city has changed so much in the past 30 years its hard to imagine that so much has happened there in recent history, and Berlin is the master of the bounce back.

We spent Friday traveling by train from Copenhagen to Berlin. We were delayed and it took about 9 hours in total, but I had a great time! Our airbnb was crazy cheap, and I am so glad that I was able to snag it. We had a really beautiful view of the city and on the second night I figured out that there were multiple ways to open the window, and we could sit on the roof and admire the sunset.

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Scared from the prices of eating out in Denmark, we got some groceries and made sandwiches for the rest of our lunches while we were there. Turns out Germany has normally priced food (yay) and money was no where near an issue like we thought it was going to be.

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Saturday, with our lunches packed and spirits high, we headed west of the victory tower to Charlottenburg palace. Any palace is hard to follow after some of the ones I have seen in Denmark, so I am trying not to be too bias. Virtually everything in Berlin was destroyed in WWII so its amazing that they could even preserve and of the structure, style or furniture. The gardens weren’t well kept (but I totally get it, Berlin has bigger fish to fry) but the tour was cool! Easily the coolest part of the tour was NAPOLEAN CROSSING THE ALPS (You know this picture, anyone that has read a history book in their life has seen this picture) Neither Grant nor I were expecting that and to be honest I am still pretty shocked that we were able to see a piece of art that famous that close for like $9

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For dinner we headed to a beer-garden along the river spree and had a grand old time people watching. To get ourselves in the mood for our Sunday tour we watched Indiana Jones after dinner.

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Sunday was our walking tour. Berlin is gritty. I understood why Berlin looks the way it does a lot better after our full day walking tour and I am not going to do the city the injustice of trying to summarize any facts or historical movements. I can boil the meat of what I learned down to a couple things: you should learn about the history of Berlin, the city has changed so much in the past 30 years its hard to imagine that so much has happened there in recent history, and Berlin is the master of the bounce back.

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DSC_0229.jpgWe had a great tour guide and again enjoyed the bounty of our pre packed lunches. The holocaust memorial and Berlin wall were extremely powerful and easily my favorite parts of the tour. After, Grant and I stopped into a cafe and got some coffee. I got the iced cappuccino and it was the BEST COFFEE IVE EVER HAD. I attempted to make it to a flea market at 5pm, but most people were packing up and to be honest I don’t really need antique spoons or old soviet money.

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Dinner was again along the river spree. My brother and I have had some great conversations on this trip but one of the best was at dinner when we were predicting what kind of person each-other will marry. Grant called me out on my udder fear of being an inconvenience or causing confrontation when I was having a nervous breakdown trying to ask for the check, and made me do a spit take because I laughed so hard. (really wish I had it on video)

The sunsets both nights were absolutely insane. Totally hot pink and fluffy and beautiful.

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Currently its Monday. Grant and I are on a U-Bahn from Berlin to Munich and were passing through Lictenfels as I type this. This train through the north of Bavaria has been so beautiful. There are castles tucked into hills, green trees everywhere, sheep, fields of sunflowers, and charming little postcard towns. Its raining on and off and its really making this whole trip appropriately magical and melancholy.

Grant and I realized we actually have first class access with our Eurail passes (score) but I would feel a little guilty now whipping out my full sized carrots and tub of remaining hummus around this crowd…

Hope you all had a great weekend! Auf wiedersehen!

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