Day 1 in Berlin, Germany

Hello family and friends!

I am back with more updates from my travels in Europe. The past five days have definitely been busy but oh so worth it. My boyfriend Jonathan has made the long and taxing journey to come and visit me and spend his spring break here in Europe!

He arrived Thursday night pretty late and after running from Madrid to Toledo and back again to meet up with me and drop off his extra luggage- we both were ready to sleep in our first Airbnb of the trip. Honestly, if you haven’t ever used Airbnb I would highly recommend it. It’s cheap and efficient.

A funny anecdote from our Airbnb was that since it was pretty late by the time we arrived, Jonathan and I were feeling super lazy and didn’t want to walk around to find food. Instead, we decided to order a pizza but forgot to inform our host that we had done so. The pizza man rang up to her apartment and she at first told him that he had called the wrong house. Fortunately, he called us to confirm the order and we told him that he was indeed in the right place.

The next morning we awoke at the nice hour of 4:00 AM in order to get in a taxi to go to the Madrid airport in order to embark on our journey to Germany. Our flight took of at around 6:00 AM and we managed to snag a pretty cheap flight through Ryanair.

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Unfortunately, workers in the Berlin airport are currently on strike so the entire place was shut down and they weren’t allowing flights to enter. Luckily, our plane landed in Leipzig and the airline paid for a bus to transport us to the Berlin airport. This whole process took a few extra hours, which was a bummer but I was glad that we were still able to get to Berlin despite the strikes. (Can we please pay people a living wage so they don’t have to strike!)

Once at the Berlin airport Jonathan somehow figured out how to use the metro to make it to our Airbnb (I give him all the credit because I have no idea how to do that). Once we made it to Alexanderplatz, we realized how hungry we were and stopped at a Thai restaurant (I know super German for our first meal). However, it did not disappoint and we were pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of the food.

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It may not be German food, but it was delicious!

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Obligatory picture of my boyfriend with his food.

After lunch we finally checked into our first Airbnb in Germany which was very nice and accommodating. We had our own room with a huge window and an individual bathroom. Our host Zlatko was very kind and allowed us the right amount of personal space.

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The view from our Airbnb

After a little bit of rest we decided we would start to explore Berlin, especially given our limited time span. Our first stop was the Jewish History Museum which featured a very well done holocaust section as well as in-depth exhibits about the history of Jews in Germany.

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The entire museum helped give both Jonathan and I a little more perspective about the holocaust and the history of the Jewish people. The holocaust section in particular was done very well, the architecture itself reflected a story. This part of the museum featured objects or letters from holocaust survivors and victims. There were two sections that I found particularly powerful, one was a cold and dark room that was supposed to represent the isolation felt by victims and survivors of the holocaust in concentrations camps. Another was the picture above which was an outside arquitectural feature meant to symbolize the difficulty to readjust to society after the holocaust for the survivors. The entire museum was very impactful and well done.

We wished we could have had more time to explore the museum more thoroughly but we continued on our way by walking to see Checkpoint Charlie and the spot where parts of the Berlin wall still remain. On the way there, we passed by a beautiful mural of an elephant (shout out to my little sister!). Berlin has a lot of street art and graffiti all over the walls and buildings.

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This sign represents the point where Berlin was divided into two sides and separated by a wall.
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Me with part of the Berlin wall. Build bridges not walls!
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Map that represents the four sections of Germany that were divided up after World War II.

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We also stopped by another museum called Topography of Terrors which is another holocaust and World War II museum.

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The original wall can be seen on the right of this picture.

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After the museum we made our way to the Brandenburg Gate which was beautiful because at this point the sun had set and it was illuminated.

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We ran into a Canadian while looking at the gate and he gladly took our picture for us.

After admiring the beauty of the gate, we were both feeling hungry and decided to stop by a nearby German restaurant.

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German decoration reminds me a lot of Wisconsin so I felt very at home.

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Obligatory picture. 

Overall, it was a great first day in Germany and after dinner we returned to our Airbnb and completely crashed. We were both exhausted from so much excitement and travel.

Worry less and smile more. 

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