Just to prove that yes I am in fact in Germany. Flags above the Reichstag.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

‘Work will set you free’, the slogan above all concentration camp entrances.

I’ll break Berlin up into days to make it easier yo. Check it.

Arrival Day
Woke up in Amsterdam and felt like absolute death from the pub crawl. Had a shower and woke up a bit, then we made our way to the train station and bought our amazingly cheap 130 euro train ticket to Berlin. Left at 10:30am and got into Berlin Hauptbahnhof at about 5:30pm I think. Caught a taxi to our hostel which was the Baxpax Downtown Hostel. Even though it was a hostel it wasnt really at all, we had our own room and also private bathroom. Was also in a fantastic location, walking distance to everywhere. Had a very quick walk around and found a nice place for dinner.

Day 1
We were all still pretty ruined from Amsterdam so decided to have a fair sleep in, we didnt leave the hotel till midday (record for me). Headed straight for the Brandenburg Gate. But where is it? Its behind the GIANT MARQUEE. The IAAF World Athletics Champs were on at the same time we were there and they had marquees and shit everywhere, was freakin annoying as that gate lends itself to great photos. Oh well. Went to an American food tent and bought a burger. They were right about the American thing because this burger was the size of my head. Somehow finished that and jaunted through the park, and what a park it is. Beautiful trees, nice grass and NAKED MEN. Yes there was a dude sun baking naked in the middle of one of the fields. Random. Went up the Siegessaule tower which had some great views of the skyline and a hotty gold statue on the top. Headed back to the Brandenburg Gate and also walked past the Reichstag quickly then eventually back to the hotel. Went out to dinner at an Italian place and had a fair epic prosciutto pizza.

Day 2
Today we hit up the free walking tour run by the NewEurope company, the same one we used in Amsterdam. Our guide was quite good, he knew his stuff (but they all do right otherwise they wouldnt have the job?). He had a weird knack of pausing all the time though – ‘so over there is the berlin wall which….separated east and west berlin’ and also his stories went on for an eternity. Visited all of the main touristy things such as the Holocaust Memorial, stood on top of Hitlers bunker, saw Checkpoint Charlie which doesnt resemble the original one iota, the berlin wall, etc etc. Overall it was a good tour, got to know our way around the city very quickly so we could come back to the monuments and buildings at our own pace later. After the tour we headed to Postdamer Platz as there is a legoland there and lego is awesome. Didnt go in but I did buy some lego things. Went for some dinner and just chilled out and rested a bit to get ready for the pub crawl. I didnt really think massively of the pub crawl, I think we peaked too early with the ones in Amsterdam and expectations were high. The pubs/clubs were good though, kind of undergroundish funky places, but (surprisingly) the beer was warm cats piss at most of them.

Day 3
Tristan and I headed out on another one of NewEuropes tours, this time to Sachsenhausen, a Nazi concentration camp just outside of Berlin in a little town called Oranienburg. Took about 45mins on the S-Bahn to get out there and then a walk to the actual camp. On my last OS trip I went to the Dachau camp so I knew what I was expecting. They will always be very eye opening experiences and ive been lucky enough to visit two camps now. Our guide was also absolutely fantastic and he really presented well. There was a few very deliberate ironies at the camp now though, right next to this camp was where the SS trained, and were then sent out to all the other camps. That same building is now used as training for the German army. The camp was also used as a kind of standard that all the other camps were built off. For instance the walls form a triangle, so the prisoners always see at least two walls and feel trapped. The whole tour lasted about six hours by the time we got back to the hostel. Crashed and burned for the night.

Day 4
Woke up earlyish and headed to the Reichstag to hopefully see no line. But because its free to go in its obviously busy so there was already a line at 9am. Had to wait about an hour before Tristan and I got in. The place is pretty sick but, has a crazy awesome dome on the top that you walk around and has mirrors all over the place. Has a good view over the city as well. After that we walked back over some of the places we went to on the walking tour, including the Berlin wall and the holocaust memorial. In the arvo we went on the alternate city tour which the previous blog was about. Sickest tour ever. Really wrapped up the stay in Berlin perfectly.

Then it was off to Prague the next morning on a 5 hour train. Tristan and I went out early in the morning to go to a souvenir shop and pick something up, on the way we saw the 50km walk happening and the Aussies were going really well. We ordered a taxi to go to the train station for 9:30am and we were about 10 mins late to it and she was going off her nut at us. WHY WERE YOU LATE IM SO FAR BEHIND NOW WAHHHHHH. Then came time to pay and it was 8 euros or something so we gave her 15 to make up for it. Boy did she change. I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL TRIP HOME!!! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Bitch.

Overall I loved Berlin. Im annoyed that we basically wrote the first day off though as we were quite tired. If we pushed everything forward and did the walking tour on that first day then we could have had a spare day at the end to see some more of the alternate city things that were pointed out to Tristan and I on the tour. Just means im going to have to come back though!