Hallo, Berlin! (Spring Break: Part II)

Spring Break in Northern Europe

  • Part I: Ahoy, Prague!
  • Part II: Hallo, Berlin!
  • Part III: Hey, Amsterdam!
  • Part IV: Bonjour, Paris & Versailles!

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Welcome to BEARlin! 😀 …We saw these silly bears all over the city.

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This was actually my first impression of Germany…spotted in the LADIES’ restroom on our way to Berlin.

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We arrived in Berlin on a rather gloomy evening, which made the city feel so dark and creepy that it was almost surreal. It actually reminded me of a rainy day in NYC though, except much more deserted and eerie.

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Berlin was the only city where we stayed in a true hostel–a space for travelers to communally share a temporary living space with. Our room was shared among 16 girls, set up as a little labyrinth of bunk beds. The community shower wasn’t particularly delightful, but it was a good experience to have as someone traveling through Europe.

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Our hostel had an AWESOME reception space though, which was also just a public bar.

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Cheers! This hostel reception space was a great place to mingle with other students traveling on this Northern Europe Loops trip, and with other travelers in general.

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Lubzer is the best beer I tried on this trip — and it was cheap on draft in Germany!

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Maps are indeed necessary when traveling. And my navigation skills truly elevated from city to city! Practice makes perfect 😉

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We took the Metro in both Berlin in Paris. The European public transportation is GREAT–at least in these cities. Clean, frequent, organized and very accessible.

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The East Side Gallery

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The East Side Gallery

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The East Side Gallery

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The East Side Gallery

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Oh hai

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WWII history surrounded us everywhere. At one point, we were even standing where Hitler killed himself. Cue goosebumps.

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The only Nazism-style building that remains.

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Berlin Wall

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Checkpoint Charlie

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This is one of my favorite things we saw on our tour through WWII history. It’s an underground monument outside Humboldt University, where the great book burning took place. The monument is a library of empty shelves built underground that is inaccessible, and only viewable through a small transparent piece of ceiling walked upon on the street above. It represents the absence of those books that were destroyed.

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On a lighter note, Berlin ended up being really fun despite the melancholy moments of dark history! And speaking of making history, this is possibly the most hilarious picture ever taken of my friends and me.

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I started “The Great Cartwheel Race,” which attracted a large audience of onlookers, and a group of Italian tourists also outside the site who decided to partake.

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“CARTWHEELS IN EVERY COUNTRY!!!”

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4 comments on “Hallo, Berlin! (Spring Break: Part II)

  1. Nana says:

    Ahhh Elizabeth, To be young again. Those cartwheels — I don’t think I could even do that when I was young, but one of the buildings and the wall sure brought back memories. Never want to live through that again. Great stuff.

    • Liz J says:

      Not gonna lie, I pulled my hamstring doing one of those cartwheels 😦 But yeah, it was a little overwhelming to be at these sites and understand their context, so I can’t even imagine how impactful it is for your generation to see. Our tour guide was this young British guy who was great at balancing the dark significance with some dry humor to lighten the mood a little 🙂

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