Friday, 5 June 2009


Day 8.
Amsterdam -> Berlin

Sadly, today, 24th of May is MY one month going home anniversary... and yet there’s still so much to see and do! After a yummy breakfast at the hostel and me taking/borrowing/pinching a bunch of chocolate spreads we set off to the train station where we expected a battle between us and the rails of Europe to begin. We waited at the little booth and explained what we wanted to do and the lady told us that the woman in Paris was tripping because the railway works weren’t until the following week so we were fine to take a direct train to Berlin! Too easy! We pretty much got down on our knees and thanked this woman profusely for actually knowing what she was talking about (in English and everything). So we got on a train! Yippee! This is pretty much what our train rides look like... Me playing my Nintendo and Miranda listening to her ipod or playing on her ipod touch.
It’s a lovely relaxing time. Well, it would have been a relaxing time if it weren’t for the infant behind us... it had this tendency to just squeal at the top of its lungs at random intervals. Meaning that it would be like quiet, quiet, gentle German mumbling, quiet, qui- EEEEEEIIIIIIIARRRRRRRRGGGGG! Pleasant I can assure you – not. We would jump out of our pants every time it did which was a lot of times. Stupid baby. It would stop being a pest when it was carried about the train but these parents were just lazy and kept sitting down – gees people... work the child in shifts!
Many, many hours (six and a half) of this ritual later...
We arrived in Germany! The loudspeaker announced that now we were in German territory the Germans would look after us – Miranda and I looked at one another – we could only imagine what that meant.
It meant nothing as, once again, our passports weren’t checked and hence - we arrived in Berlin! We left the train station (not before making reservations for our next train – we got very good at this... in the end we were glad the whole Paris shenanigans had happened because it helped us be prepared for the rest of the trip – though it did make Paris look pretty bad) and set out to what we thought was towards our hostel. The only problem was we took a three mile detour in the wrong direction and got rather confused, grumpy and frustrated. We made a joke about it though saying that we had taken the scenic route and highlights included the hospital and the toothless derelict that tried talking to us in German. So we ended up retracing our steps and went all the way back to the train station and started again. This time we couldn’t be bothered walking about caught the underground train to our hostel. We had to walk a bit but eventually arrived. First impressions of the city are that it’s very bare. It’s a very sterile atmosphere as everything is spacious and there isn’t a lot of life going on... it’s hard to explain but it was like the town was running efficiently but no one was living... Weird.

When we popped out of the underground we were met with parts of the wall. If you know anything about Berlin then you will know by what wall I mean. It was really amazing that this thing was responsible for so much oppression and segregation... I guess segregation is given what with it being a wall and all... Anywho it was very awesome seeing it as it had graffiti all over it and is was pretty neat graffiti too. Have a look. Here is another place where people keep talking to me in their native tongue... not only do I look French but apparently German as well as many people kept coming up to me and talking to me in German. Eep. It makes me nervous because when Germans speak it just sounds like they are swearing at one another...
Also all around Berlin are these bears statues... they have all been painted with various pictures on them but we worked out that the bear is on the Berlin flag. Still weirded us out seeing these life size bears everywhere.

Something else fun - look at the pedestrain lights! He's wearing a hat! A necessity for any road crossing individual...Anyway we got to the hostel which was big and efficient (these Germans are very much so – friendly and helpful too) and the guy wanted all these details – much more than any other – he wanted to see passports, take a deposit, fill out forms and so on and so forth and I almost blurted out – it ran through my mind – “jees you guys are real Nazis about this huh?”. WHOA PHOEBE, WHOA. WRONG COUNTRY. Close call... Anyway we managed to score a private room at no extra cost and eagerly spread all our belongings about the wrong – loving the temporary freedom. It was pretty late by this time and we were hungry so we walked back to Potsdamer Platz for dinner. No much around really so we had to settle for Dunkin’ Donuts for dinner. Mmm bagels. And of course donuts. Feeling much better we went back to the hostel to try out their internet facilities which were surprisingly reasonable in price. Dear god – this is why – it just wouldn’t load pages, was so slow and in the end I got absolutely nothing from this. I wasted two Euros and got NOTHING. I was so angry... Miranda was angrier today when we took a detour but internet and computers not working? That’s what really grinds my gears... In the end we made a big joke of it – as we always do – and Miranda began shaking the screen being like “come on!” and then mock sliding it off the table. We have this joke that when you are done with something you just throw it on the floor and walk away – that’s so what I wanted to do – just slam the stupid thing into the ground. The girl next to us looked concerned as we got up and Miranda hollers “thanks computers – for a sh** load of NOTHING! Nobody use the computers – the computers have gone bad”. It was hilarious and I was literally gasping for breath as I hauled myself up the many stairs to our room.

I told Miranda and my almost Nazi slip up and from then on we’ve begun making terrible jokes under our breath. One was about the showers. It was like the shower has excessive pressure but out of those tiny little holes so it was like being in a firing squad – I apologise for our crass nature and no offence is meant at all.
Back to sleepy byes – which really became our favourite part of the day because we do SO much walking in a day.

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