MOM.....MAKE SURE YOU SCROLL DOWN, THIS IS THE LAST DAYS OF THE TRIP.....I HAVE FAITH IN YOU, I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!
I'm probably going to squeeze all of Berlin into this one blog because I can't find the ambition to write it in two. ha. ha. ha.
So we rolled into Berlin around 8:30 or so and figured out how to get on the train to get to our hostel. Since this is the last place we booked, we were too lazy and bored or booking things to actually get good directions on how to get there and thought we'd just wing it. Bad decision. We got off at the station that matched the street that we needed to go. We didn't have a map, we didn't have clue, and most of all we didn't have any German language in our repertoire of knowledge. We quickly learned that no one spoke English. We looked like stupid lost tourists and pointed out the address then shrugged our arms as if we were saying..."where the hell is this place?!" Some people tried to help us, each sending us in the wrong direction, finally we turned around and walked the way we thought. We were right! We got to our hostel at like 11:30 because of this issue. We dumped off the backpacks and off we went to central Berlin to go on a free walking tour.
The free walking tour was definitely a highlight of the tour. It started out in front of the Brendenburg gate, which is the main gate that people got into Berlin back in the day. Today, it is one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. Also, in this town square is the hotel where my good old friend Michael Jackson dangled a babe. I wanted to live in the moment and experience exactly what this iconic hero was feeling, but I couldn't find a baby quick enough and Marlee wouldn't pretend to be one. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Next, on the tour we walked to places such as the Reichstag and the huge Holocaust memorial. Along the way our tour guide filled us in on other important events that happened at various places. The whole feeling of Berlin is something that I can not describe. You walk around and you just don't feel like you should be taking pictures. So many horrible things happened here and I think that the city really still hasn't fully recovered. We walked past the part of the Berlin wall that is still standing as well as the place where Hitler's bunker was, which is also in the end where he committed suicide. It is so bizarre to be standing on the same ground where these things happened. I remember learning about events such as the world wars and the Holocaust in Social and History but this really made the events clear in my mind. I think that Dodge and Boyda should team up and take the kids to Berlin for history! hehe. I'm not going to get into tooo many more details, but check out my pictures on facebook, I've included lots of writing in them!
Next, we decided that we would like to eat something good, hearty and German. We walked around for an hour trying to comprehend a menu in any restaurant but honestly we gave up. We ended up settling for Chinese Food, only because there were pictures of the food to order. Might I add that this was amazing Chinese food! Yum! We then went back to our hostel because we were pooped out from our early morning and once again hit the sheets by 9.
We woke up nice and early to explore on our last day of our adventure. On the plate today we planned to go to a concentration camp. Since the day before we had spend 6,50 euro's and no one even checked our tickets, we decided to pass on the train ticket for that day. We met our tour at the Brendenburg Gate and we all went together on the train to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. All was fine and dandy and our tour guide asked us twice.."do you have train tickets..do you have train tickets." Of course we said, YES! Well, we got onto the train, and wouldn't you know these creepy looking men dressed in normal clothing suddenly pop up, with badges and start asking people for their tickets. We casually pull ours out hoping he doesn't see the "friday" written all over them. And he says something in German, innocent us, say sorry we dont' speak german. He then starts speaking in English, asks for our passports and starts writing us some sort of ticket. I ask if we can just buy a ticket when we get off because we thought that the tickets were good for 24 hours. Didn't work, there was no charming this creep. So anyways, this guy makes us GET OFF THE TRAIN, (where the rest of our tour group is on..and our tour guide made it pretty clear that we just had to ride the train straight there without switching.) By this time, we were a little bit worried but mostly freaked out by these dudes. So off the train we get and the creep asks for my address, so I give it to him and I can see that he is typing it totally wrong because he is stupid. He gets everything mixed up like 67 instead of 76 and on and on. So finally they rip us off this ticket and tell us we have two weeks to pay this 40 euro's and he gives us a ticket that is included in this 40 euro's. Fine and dandy, not sure why he couldn't do that on our train so we didn't have to get off but whatever. So we are now not on the same train as the group and we are angry as ever. Finally, we get to our station and we are now about 20 minutes behind we boogy down to the concentration camp thinking we will NEVER catch up to our group..BUT..we did thankfully! So we finally made it to the concentration camp.... minor delays..ugh!
Things I could have done with 40 euro's
1. Bought a plane ticket to another country.
2. Bought 6.15 train tickets in Berlin.
3. Paid for German lessons.
4. Eaten a fine German Meal.
5. Stayed for another 3 nights in our hostel.
6. Bought 35 more post cards.
7. Paid for someone to punch out the creepy guys who gave us the ticket.
Ultimately, jokes on me.
Anyways, this concentration camp was one of the first camps and was a working camp rather than a death camp. People were sent here for various reasons and not just because they were Jewish. Walking into the camp I have never felt so uneasy. We first walked through Tower A, where everyone would pass through on their way into the camp. Just before this people were stripped of their identity by removing their clothes and shaving their heads. They were also given a triangle which stated why they were in there. (ie..one colour for gays, one for jewish people...) We walked through and had a look at the security system which didn't allow any one to get out alive. whew. We looked at the prisoner's living quarters as well as means of torture. In the living quarters which were SO tiny, there would be about 300 people living in there. There were single bunk beds, three high and 9 men would be expected to sleep in each level. Call me crazy, but a single bed and nine people..impossible! They were only allowed to use the toilets in the morning and at night, so there was literally a stampede to the toilets and people would get trampled. I would recommend you visit this link to check out more information and see more pictures of this camp. (it's an interesting read....awful..but interesting.) or http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
After the concentration camp, we have to get back to our hostel, eat something then head out to the airport to catch our plane back to England. We get onto the plane with no problems and were back in the land of English speaking people! weo! Our plane landed at 10:35 and we finally walked into our house at 4:30 in the morning! What a travel!
Things I learned about Berlin
1. Speaking German is an asset in Germany.
2. German--it would be good to know...in Germany.
3. Paying 6,50 euro's is peanuts rather than getting made fun of by three creepy germans.
4. German really isn't a "romantic, flow off your tongue, seduce me" kinda language.
5. Berlin loves graffiti, it's everywhere.
6. The Berlin wall DID fall.. (in case you haven't read the headlines.)
And now, it's already Thursday of the following week! I got a call when I got home on Sunday that I was no longer needed at the school I was at for 6 weeks, so I got to enjoy two extra days of holidays because there was simply no work for me! wah wah wah! I did work today however in a lovely school withing walking distance to my house! bow chicka wow wow! Now, we are preparing for the arrival of Amanda Jakubowski and kerri Rathegaber, both of Sturgis who are here for a week! I love company, I wish we had some every single week!
Alright, peace out hommie's.
love you all :)