Okey dokey, we have arrived: the last and final stop on the Tara-Hannah-Dan tour of Europe brings us to Berlin, Germany.
Berlin may have eeked past Budapest as my favorite city that we visited this trip. This is saying something 1) because I loved Budapest and 2) I was exhausted when we arrived in Berlin. I was growing a little weary from this trip, but Berlin had such a lively feel to it that it woke me up out of my daze. Our group of three had also grown to four, as we were joined by our good friend Jake.
We, once again, started off with a free walking tour. I will admit that I was completely against this, because my feet felt like they were exploding out of my shoes they were so swollen. Hannah and I already devised a plan to skip out on the second half of the tour, because we simply could. not. do. it. anymore.
And guess what? We stayed the entire time and then some. Rob, a charming Englishman, brought us through all of the main sites in Berlin with a great sense of humor. He was incredibly informative as he discussed the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall (duh) and Museum Island on our three and a half hour walk through the city.
This is where it gets a slightly embarassing, but I make no apologies. We ended at a pub, in which the four of us sipped a beer and discussed what else we wanted to do that day. The boys asked Rob which museum he thought they should visit. Hannah and I asked him if he knew of any nearby nail salons.
Our feet were in pain! Don’t judge us.
The next day, Hannah, Jake and I decided to do another tour with Rob. This, though a decidedly less cheery one, was incredibly moving. We went to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp located a 30-minute train ride from Berlin. I could describe what it looked or felt like, but the truth is that would never do justice to the experience of visiting it. I was completely drained by the time we left, but I’m so glad that I went. It was something that I’ll never forget.
The next day, and our last one in Berlin, we did some city exploration of our own. My favorite part was the Tiergarten, a gorgeous, sprawling park/garden that provides great relief from the concrete jungle outside. We had a great day for it, too:
I really wish I had had more time in Berlin to spend photographing and seeking out street art. To call it graffiti is a misnomer- these amazing murals take up entire sides of buildings, and they’re everywhere. I was able to take pictures of a few, though many were only visible while zooming by on the metro. The authenticity of the art and music scene is what really sealed my love for Berlin.
And so concludes our spring break adventures! What an incredible trip. Next up: my lists of what I still want to do in Paris, what I need to do one more time, and the first things I’m doing when I go home.