Friday, August 26, 2011

The Road to Berlin

So after goodbye with the roomates and a quick cleaning of the apartment in Copenhagen, Shaun and I strapped our lives to our backs and headed for the train station to take a train to Hamburg, then on to Berlin.

Instead, our train from Copenhagen to Hamburg was cancelled without any explanation 10 minutes before we were to take off.  We were instructed to get on a different train, a slower, regional train, to take to the end of the line where a train was supposed to be waiting for us to take us to Hamburg.  So we cram all our stuff together and ride for about 2 hours through back country Denmark.  Not too comfortable at all.  We arrive "somewhere".  I have no idea where the train took us or where we were when we got off the train and onto another train that was waiting for us.  Obviously we were in the wrong train cars but ended up with seats and were nice and comfortable.  Not long into our trip though, we stopped, the conductor mumbled something in Danish, and then we were slowly going into reverse.  Backing into a ferry.  Yes, a ferry.  We were on a train, being loaded into the storage area of a ferry.  This was certainly something new for me.  We had to get off the train for the ride to Germany onboard.  So we went above deck (it was pouring rain) and had some food.  Eventually returned to the train, were unloaded, and away we went to Hamburg.

Hamburg was the first taste I have had in months of the western world.  At our connection in Hamburg, Germany we got off the train to huge signs, and billboards, and advertisements for McDonalds, Burger King, Philips, Sony, the list goes on.  I'm not going to was nice.  So nice in fact that I felt I deserved a chicken sandwich from Burger King.  It was terribly delicious.

Part 3 of the trip was a straightshot from Hamburg to Berlin...but Shaun and I didn't have reserved seats on this train and had to sit with all our stuff in the vestibule between trains.  And I really couldn't have cared less.  I had plenty of leg room, lots of windows to look out of, a bathroom right there, and my headphones.  Surprisingly quite content.

Berlin is not what I was expecting, in a good way.  It's awesome.  We started our experience by going through the German Jewish Museum.  A very interesting building for sure.  We spent a couple hours there and really just got lost in the city looking at whatever we could.  We had teamed up with some other friends from our study abroad program so we were able to share some more time together.

DIS Crew at the Holocaust Museum

Isabel is trying to sketch

We covered the touristy spots and made a reservation to tour the Reichstag dome.  It was definitely worth it.  Great views and pretty informative.

Berlin was awesome, and very surprising.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit, I'd highly recommend it.  There is so much to do and see, the food is good and the people are generally very friendly.

Next stop....Prague.

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