|When we got to Berlin we were in pretty foul moods. We walked around the train station for a bit, half-heartedly thinking about how to go about finding a place to stay. Then we saw this huge sign above the main doors that said, "A1 Hostel Berlin 100 Meters --->" So we followed the sign and arrived at our hostel for the next two nights. It was a really good deal, only 10 euros a night per person.
However, we couldn't check in until 3pm, so we decided to try to see some sights. Even though we were falling asleep.
Well. We spent literally three hours looking for this expressionist museum, only to end up in the suburbs of Berlin at some Soviet Memorial. Apparently we read the map wrong. This all would have been really comical if we weren't ready to drop dead from fatigue.
We eventually found the museum, and I've never had to struggle so hard to stay awake. I literally could have fallen asleep standing up. The art was cool, but I was definitely not in the right state of mind to appreciate it fully.
We came back to the hostel, showered (ah) and went to this great little local spot called Tiergarten. We had the best beer EVER, and shared a table with some university students. I had authentic sausage, potatoes and saurkraut, which was pretty exciting for me.
Then we came home and crashed, absolutely beat.
The next morning we got up and headed to the center of Berlin, where we saw Checkpoint Charlie, the wall, and an open-air exhibit called Topography of Terror. It was a great site, full of pictures and information about the Third Reich, Gestapo, SS, and the Nuremburg Trials. They had live audio of the defendants on the stand, and it shed insight into the motives and thoughts of the people who worked directly under Hitler to make the Nazi Party a successful and powerful regime. It was, however, outside, and it was sleeting, so we had to give up after an hour and thaw out.
That night we went to a Christmas market, which is a common phenomenon in Germany at Christmas time. There were rows upon rows of stalls selling good food, gluwein (a really good warm wine) and arts and crafts.
On our way back we stopped in a square called Alexanderplatz, which was completely empty at this time of night, but absolutely breathtaking. There was an enormous Christmas tree, a fountain, statues, and a gorgeous building all lit up for Christmastime. We stopped to take pictures and I began to miss my family and friends alot at that moment.
That night we came back, went out for pizza across the street, came back to the hostel to talk to a guy from California for a while, and went to bed.