Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Berlin, Pt. 1

Berlin, Germany
I apologize ahead of time for the text heavy post. The other ones won't be so text heavy because I kind of forgot what I did already. Anyways, back in June I decided to suck it up and go to Europe by myself. I know I moved to Russia alone, but something about traveling alone is more terrifying to me. My sister and I planned to meet in Amsterdam, but I had more time off and thought I'd regret not spending more time there. The days leading up to my trip I stopped eating and had constant anxiety. I'm introverted by nature so going someone alone terrifies me. I had no other choice after I bought my plane ticket so I just went for it.

I booked my flight through WOW airways which I guess is out of business now? That's surprising to me because the flights were packed. I had a layover in Iceland and then a direct flight to Berlin. On my way to Berlin I sat next to a girl named Elizabeth. I don't even know how we got started talking but she ended up being pretty great. Elizabeth is an American who was studying German. This was super helpful when I needed to navigate the German metro. By trial and error, when we landed, we made it to the same metro and she helped me figure out how to pay and where to go. The German metro was seriously so confusing but I was a pro by the end.
My first night in Berlin was terrible. I hadn't eaten more then peanuts and craisins in about 24 hours and I was extremely overwhelmed being in a city that I didn't know. I cried a lot that night and wished that I was back home. J and I had just started dating as well so that didn't help. The next morning I was texting my cousin who had been to Berlin and she was telling me all these places to go. So I got up and walked about 30 minutes to a little Russian cafe called Gorky Park Cafe. It not only had the best food but it filled my need for Russian food. While I was eating my cousin sent me a list of things I could do. I ended up not taking her suggestions and walked to the DDR museum. The DDR museum is an interactive museum that gives you a glimpse into life in East Berlin. If you didn't know, East Berlin was occupied by the Soviets after World War II. I love anything Soviet which is why I chose this museum and fell in love with Berlin. The museum was really busy so I didn't take any photos on my camera, but I do have a lot on my phone.
After walking around the museum I headed out and asked someone to take a photo of me in front of the church. I don't really like photos of me but I decided that I should have some of me so that I can enjoy how much I've changed and I'm sure if I ever have kids it'll be something they want to see as well. I no longer care about asking people either because most people have no problem taking your picture. I sometimes offer to take others photos without them asking. After admiring the church and canal I headed towards a cemetery that was near the restaurant I ate at. It was back towards the direction of the hotel and I'd pass a second cemetery on my way back to the hotel. While I didn't want to be there alone I kind of realized that I prefer being alone because I can do whatever I want and enjoy the scenery of the city.
After checking out the cemetery I sat in Invalidenpark because they had wifi and traveling alone is kind of lonely so I wanted to talk to familiar faces. Invalidenpark has this interesting fountain. For a summer day there weren't many people out and about but there were several people and dogs bathing in the water. I decided to just walk to the top of the fountain and look around from the top. It wasn't the best view because it's surrounded by buildings but when you have an urge to climb something like that you just do it. Close by was the second cemetery that I walked to. I finished my evening by grabbing a burger and beer at Peter Pane and then spent the night talking to my new roommates. I'm not a foodie at all. I usually just walk until I find something good so don't take my food suggestions. While the food was delicious I'm sure there are better places out there.
Have you ever been to Berlin?

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