Berlin Take II

I got the chance to visit Berlin with two of my sisters. Each time I’ve visited this city it’s been a different season, but one thing has remained constant – the underground is ridiculous. I love you, Berlin, but you don’t make it easy to get around…

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Something that pissed me off more than the confusing metro was the fact that people had completely graffitied the artistic section of the Berlin wall with insipid things like “Jenny + Frank 4ever” surrounded by what looked like a deflated balloon, but was most likely meant to be a heart  …WHHHHY would people do that? It’s not cute or badass or rebellious, it’s called vandalism.

Geburtstag

I was in Berlin a few weeks ago to celebrate an old friend’s birthday. It was such a great evening and also the first time I’ve really attempted to photograph people. I also learned a new trick with my camera to help bring more color to my photos. Better late than never!

The day of his party I agreed to help his girlfriend bake the birthday cake, but since my forte really isn’t baking I just ended up being there for moral support… I felt horribly when, in the end, she’d left out the flour and the cake was less than an inch thick. In order to make her feel better I told her about the time I’d attempted to bake cookies to impress this guy, but ended up mistaking baking powder with baking soda (or the other way around, I still really haven’t learned) and they came out as these disgusting biscuit cookies. The story got a laugh, but also probably made her regret asking me to oversee this whole debacle. Michael ended up being really sweet and comforted her, telling her he was sure it was going to taste wonderfully. I never heard from the guy after the biscuit cookie incident, which honestly reflects more on him that me, but I still think at this point I should steer clear of preparing baked goods.

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Walk around Berlin

Here are some of the stops on the walking tour!

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Our lovely guide Theo, who was not only very knowledgable, but also kind enough not to call me out for taking pictures of him. Also, the girl’s face is just too good.

holocaust memorial

The memorial to the murdered Jews of WWII is something the artist refused to explain.

Hitlers Bunker

I thought it was interesting the bunker where Hitler committed suicide was sealed off shortly after the war and now resides underneath a parking lot, with no plaque or designation.

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The German Cathedral in Gendarmenmarkt. Both cathedrals in the square were heavily bombed during the war, so sadly most of this church is a reconstruction.

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Checkpoint Charlie3

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Checkpoint Charlie, where for 5 euros you can get a DDR stamp in your passport.

ein Stück aus Berlin

Berlin has such a rich and interesting history, though most is quite depressing. The 3 hour walking tour was by far my favorite part of my trip. Two and half days wasn’t enough time to really experience the city, and I found that I spent a lot of my time trying to navigate the public transportation system. My goal, whenever I get a chance to go again, is to find out things to do from locals.

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Brandenburger tor1

Fernsehturm and church2

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Giant Nutella

Kissing Berlin Wall

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Reichstag4

Tax office4

On the Water

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River and tree

Lübeck had a really beautiful river lined with all kinds of boats. The owners of which watched us in amusement as we tried to translate confusing signs to figure out if we needed to pay for parking. I felt like I was in LA all over again…

Sternschanze

Hamburg

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Shanze 1

Shanze 6

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This was a very interesting part of the city. I thought all the graffiti was amazing and it seems to be somewhat encouraged, since it is on pretty much all the buildings on this block. There was even a store on the corner selling cans of spray paint. We walked through the park, where all the drug deals go down, and there were two guys graffiting (is that the proper word?) a wall as two police officers strolled right on by as if it were no big deal.

Side note: What is it about kids play grounds/parks and drugs?