Backpacking through Europe has been such a beautiful journey, I still can’t believe that I was able to see so many things and meet so many incredible people. Because I was trying to experience as much as possible in my short time in each country, I unfortunately did not have time to vlog/blog my experiences. However because my flight back to America is 9 hours long, I was able to mostly catch up on everything, starting with Germany! The following Youtube videos and blog posts from the next countries will follow (hopefully) soon.
My first day in Berlin, Germany was spent wandering the old streets. I visited Museum Island and bought the student ticket for all the museums (though I ended up only going to the Altes Museum and Neues Museum). I found that at all the museums I visited in Europe, they had student discounts – a great thing to remember! I really enjoyed the Altes Museum for its incredible sculptures and the Neues Museum for its bust of Nefertiti. Unfortunately, pictures of Nefertiti were not allowed but let me just say, it was breathtaking.
Next to the Altes Museum is the Berlin Cathedral and while I wanted to go inside, it seemed that tickets were not being sold. The day was cold and snowy and it gave the enormous building a striking appearance.
After spending considerable time in the different museums, I trekked to the Brandenburg Gate. There were many tourists, me included, and after a while, I found to
be a bit too crowded. Since I had energy and lots of time, I decided to walk to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. It was a quick walk, something I was grateful for since I had walked a considerable distance between my hostel and Museum Island. My pictures do not do the memorial justice, though that could be said about everything I saw in Europe. It’s a quiet place and at first, I thought that the different boxed-shaped monuments were all one size but soon realized that the ground dips low and pillars actually vary in height. In the lowest parts, the pillars are so tall, they can block out light. It’s a strange feeling and I spent a lot of time just wandering through the pillars.
Of course, you cannot go to Germany without eating the currywurst! I ate a (really) late lunch at Curry61, a quite famous shop online with many tourists claiming that this place is a must for anyone in Germany. I must agree! Because I went around 4pm to eat, there were hardly any people and I was able to find a spot inside the small shop to stand and eat my currywurst. I got my currywurst sausage with the skin, I didn’t realize I would be given the choice of skin or sans-skin so when asked, I panicked and quickly went with the first option. I ordered my currywurst with a side of fries, ketchup and some mayo. I learned that you will be charged a tiny amount for the condiments so keep that in mind when you order! I didn’t know that and wasted far too much time counting out my coins when it was my time to pay…
Afterwards, I wandered around Alexanderplatz. I went window-shopping for hours because it was time to meet my dear friend Sophie for dinner and drinks. Have I mentioned that I love being able to legally drink alcohol? Because I love it. We ate at a Mexican restaurant near Tiergarten and spent hours chatting. I met her during my time in Switzerland and already we have become quite close. I am so touched by the incredible kindness everyone in Europe has shown me and I know that it is because of them that I was able to enjoy my time in Europe so much.
My next day was spent a little more slowly than the previous day. I got a late start and decided to take Sophie’s suggestion and go to the German Spy Museum. Best decision I have made! The museum was incredibly informative and made great use of interactive stations to give visitors a chance to use real spy gear!
From the Spy Museum, I shopped in the nearby shopping mall before deciding to walk 3 long miles to the East Side Gallery, the open art gallery made up of murals painted directly onto the remains of the Berlin Wall. Each painting is so different from the next that you accidentally spend hours staring at each mural! The most recognizable mural is probably The Socialist Fraternal Kiss, a painting of the infamous kiss between Leonid Brezhnev (Soviet leader) and Erich Honecker (the president of East Germany). Under the image is the phrase, “My God, Help Me to Survive this Deadly Love” in Russian.
Check out my Germany vlog here! Next stop, Prague, Czechia!