berlin was amazing. dre and i both got in around the same time on thursday night and then had all day friday and saturday to see the city. our hostel was really cool, besides the fact that we had snoring roomies all three nights, and by snoring i mean like chain saw in your ear snoring.
our first pickey in berlin.
we went out to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, just outside of berlin. i don't really know how to describe the experience, but i guess impressive would be a good word. and not in the sense that i was impressed by it, but that it left an impression on me. maybe there is another word that i am looking for, but i'm not finding it right now. it was similar to when we did the D-Day tour in france. i couldn't believe that i was standing in the exact spot that all these things took place. the camp has been turned into a museum/memorial and it was really well planned out. they put each exhibit in a different place in the camp. so in the bunker where the prisoners slept, there was an exhibit all about their daily lives and routines. in the infirmary they had an exhibit about the medical treatment of the prisoners and also about the experiments that were done on them. it was pretty horrifying to read and see all the things that were done in that place, and then to think about how many more camps there were and how many other horrible things happened in those places as well. it was also snowing that day and obviously really cold, so i kept thinking about those poor people who had to live in those conditions during the winter. it really is sobering to think that people treated and still treat other people in such an inhumane way. i just don't understand how some people have fallen so far off the mark. anyways, it was an experience that i'm glad i've had and something that i definitely won't forget.
two of the bunkers where the prisoners slept.
the gate leading into the camp. i think that it means "work will set you free"
after the camp, we headed back to berlin and went to the (supposed) world's largest chocolate house. it was pretty amazing. they had replicas of buildings made out of chocolate and even a volcano that was bubbling over with chocolate. pretty much my dream come true. we made a few purchases in there, and then we were going to leave, but we decided that we couldn't pass up the opportunity to drink hot chocolate made from the world's finest chocolate beans. it was delicious.
after spending almost two hours, maybe more, in the chocolate shop we went to see a movie. it may seem like a total cop out to go see a movie when you are in a foreign country, but let me explain. rick steves guidebook talked about a film haus that shows movies in english. so we thought, hmm that could be a cool place to go see a movie. i mean, its called a film haus. also it was freeeezing cold and snowing outside and we didn't want to walk around anymore. so we decided to go check it out. we got there and discovered that they only play weird movies, not normal ones that regular people enjoy watching. but thank goodness, there was another regular movie theater located very close by, and we went to see "he's just not that into you", which we both enjoyed. the theater was packed and we were very impressed by the germans' ability to understand english. there's no way that everybody in there was a native english speaker and everybody was laughing and reacting to the movie. it was incredible. that would never happen in spain, bc i dont think there enough english speakers here to even fill a movie theater.
when the movie finished we set off to find another rick steves recommendation- the oldest beergarden in berlin. we consulted the map, plotted our course and set off. it took us forever to find it, and when we walked in we were told the kitchen was closing in five minutes, so we had to hurry and order. the food was really, really good and when we were leaving we figured out that there was a metro stop about five minutes walk up the street, so we didn't have to walk back through the shady neighborhood we had come through on the way there.
and that was the end of our first day in berlin. and this is the end of my post for today, bc i am getting tired of typing, so looks like this one is going to be a two parter. stayed tuned for more of my adventures in berlin.