After 80 degrees and wearing summer clothes in Bangkok, I landed in freezing cold Berlin and bundled up in the hat and gloves I purchased on Khao San Rd. After my cold encounters in Italy and in southern Africa, I decided to go to Germany a little more prepared.
I landed late at night, then took a bus and the subway to get to my hostel. I stayed at EastSeven which I highly recommend. The staff was fantastic, the rooms were really nice and clean, and they gave out all sorts of helpful advice. It’s definitely one of my favorite hostels that I stayed in so I thought I’d share if you’re heading their way. The following morning I wandered around my neighborhood and purchased my train ticket to Neubrandenburg to visit my friend. I took note of the architecture and was in love with the fall weather. I also noticed the different crosswalk signs when I crossed from east to west Berlin. In east Germany they have the ampelmann (aka the cool guy with the hat) whereas west Germany has your typical crosswalk signs. I wish our crosswalk signs in the States looked like this:
I returned to the hostel and took part in a free walking tour. The tour is free because you tip the guide what you think they deserve- it’s the only way they get paid, so skipping out on the tip is not cool (which some people did). Though there are several companies in Berlin, I heard the best things about Brewer’s, which is who I went with and it was fantastic. We visited major sites in Berlin including the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, the site of Hitler’s bunker, and many others. Even in the pouring rain we toughed it out. I had to duck out a bit early to go back to the hostel and grab my bags to head to the train station. I learned more in those few hours about Germany and Hitler than I did the entire time I was in school. I can’t say enough good things about it.
Although it was only a short introduction to Berlin, the walking tour was the perfect way for me to see a lot of sights in Berlin and learn about the history in a short amount of time.