Thursday, 11 February 2010

Back to reality & Berlin

It was kind of nice getting back to London, familiarity I guess, although was less keen on being back sleeping on the lounge floor. Similarly it was also nice being able to resort back to wearing shorts and t-shirts for several weeks, rather than jeans and a big jacket I had been wearing in Denmark.

After job hunting for two weeks, I was back off to Berlin - a trip I had organised back when I was working on Swine flu - to see the 20th anniversary of the Berlin wall falling celebrations, which worked in nicely with my own 30th anniversary...

On the Thursday night I went to my mate Scott's - as we needed to get up at 2am to get the night bus to Victoria, to catch the EasyBus to London Stanstead (which isn't in London) - I ended up not really sleeping that night.

Once we got to Berlin we went to the Hostel and dropped off our gear and proceeded to the Russian war memorial, the Eastern Gallery, and found somewhere with a fake ski slope, so I had four tube rides down the slope. Admittedly it was rather hard work, had having so little sleep the night before.

That night we enjoyed some alcoholic beverages, were joined by our friend Tai, and I met some Brits who were also over for a birthday celebration.

On Saturday morning we got up and went and did a walking tour of Berlin - very long, but well worth it - the best walking tour I've done, possibly because of the variety of history in Berlin - ie the Nazi part, and then the east being communist for 40 years.

Once that was over, we went and watched an All Blacks game, and then went for dinner with a guy we'd gone to school with.

Sunday, the others went to a concentration camp, I decided against it, as I had already been to the one at Mathausen, and its something you don't want to re-visit in a hurry.

I knew from past experience that German McDonald's have a breakfast item called a McGriddle - a McMuffin laced with golden syrup - however since this was the former East Germany, it wasn't as easy as you'd think to find a McDonalds - so in the end I settled for a Leberkaus sandwich.

I then went to the Reichstag - the Parliament building - had to wait in line forever, but past the time chatting with an American lady.

Following that I went and had a very late lunch at a popular American restaurant, made a quick trip to a famous stadium - which wasn't so smart, as there was a football going on, and so the train got crowded fast. I then went to the start of the dominoes (that represented the former wall - a touch ironic, considering they were cordoned off, resulting in making it near impossible to get around them) and walked along it for a period of time, then realising it was taking longer than I had, jumped on the metro to Checkpoint Charlie, before going back to the hostel to get my bags and meet up with the others.

On the way to the airport, we discovered the train wasn't going all the way, due to engineering works, so the three of us and a random German girl shared a taxi to the airport. Not that expensive, but just frustrating.

Once we got back to London (ahem) Stanstead we had to wait for a seat on the EasyBus back as our flight was late, we weren't top priority. I then proceeded to walk some of the way back to Putney from Hammersmith before catching a bus the rest of the way.

1 comment:

  1. That trip back from Berlin was absolute rubbish!

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