Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stupid Volcano

Luckily, it didn't affect me because I traveled by bus to and from Germany! What luck!! Many friends though are having vacation plans ruined and cannot get back to University after a vacation due to said volcano!
I hope it does not go off again. Apparently if it does, then it will be way more powerful than the last two blasts! I really want to be home at the end of May! Please Volcano Gods, do not let it go off until I get home!
Anyway, I suppose I should talk about my vacation to Germany or something. I am sort of sick right now though, so I really have little want to do this, but I suppose I should.
We arrived in Germany early Thursday, and luckily we were allowed into our hostel (at 6am) to put our stuff away and in our room there were 2 free beds. Heidi and I slept in one and Paul slept in the other. Unfortunately Heidi was sick the whole vacation, so that's how I got ill!
Anyway, once we woke up again on Thursday, we went and saw so much of Berlin! We first went and saw the bombed out church in Berlin. It reminded me of the movie 9 by Tim Burton. The church I saw seemed very similar to buildings in that movie. Anyway, after I went to find Hard Rocks Cafe because apparently it is super close. Then I saw it too was under construction like the one in Krakow!! Then I noticed a sign saying that there was one open a little was down the street. Apparently they were building a bigger one in a more central location, but seeing that closed one freaked me out! I have to get Hard Rock pins! They cannot be closed!
But I digress. After we walked through the Tier Gardens and saw the Berlin statue of victory! Then we wondered to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. After we went to the TV tower (apparently the second highest building in Europe) and went up in it. I got a beautiful view of the city, and after we went to the revolving restaurant and had some dessert while viewing the city underneath.
We then went down to see some of the things we saw from above like the Berliner Dom and Europe's largest Aquarium, in a hotel no less! Then we saw the New Brick Town Hall and the old one. We then went and saw Alexanderplatz and the peace fountain that is there. After we headed to Charlie Checkpoint. Then to the old crappy part of the Berlin Wall, not the cool East Gallery part, which we did see the next day! Then we wondered over to Hitler's Bunker where he was supposedly killed. You wouldn't know it's his bunker unless you know where it was, and luckily I knew. It's just a patch of grass now. I found it slightly ironic that a man was flying a kite on the place where Hitler died, but that's the world for you.
I do not know if you have heard of the Sony Center, but it's freaking awesome. It's by Hitler's final bunker and it looks like an arrow is shot through it. It is an amazing feat of architectural engineering. Then we stumbled across the Holocaust memorial in Berlin. It's an amazing place with these huge stone pillars as markers to represent the Jewish people who were murdered. There was a museum underneath for free, but we went the next day since it was closed that late at night.
We then went and ate Domino's pizza, since we haven't had any since America and there are none in Prague. It was delicious!!
The next morning we woke up bright and early to get in line for Reichstag, since it's free to get in. We went up to the glass dome and got to see all of Germany around the Reichstag. It was pretty interesting there. They have a sun screen, so that the sun won't directly come into the dome and blind everyone when it bounces off the mirrors. What smart people. Then we went back to the Holocaust memorial and wandered through it for a while. Then we went to another Jewish memorial, the one with the cool design and all the strips of metal taken out. I did not go in, but Heidi wanted to, so Paul and I wandered around waiting for her. We found an awesome place to eat and a really neat church, as well as the most random park ever! Afterwards we made our way to the East Gallery of the Berlin Wall. This is wear the wall is mostly intact and people have painted many things on it. The wall itself was very beautiful and interesting. Many of the pieces were uplifting and very hopefully, which I liked after 2 Holocaust museum visits. After wandering the stretch of wall, we found our way to the Schloss Charlottenburg. It is a very beautiful palace on the outskirts of Berlin. It was rather hard to find though...
LUCKILY, we arrived about 15 minutes before they stopped selling tickets, so I asked the lady how much a student ticket was, and she said it was free and that today we were children. I will take being a child any day if I get free entrance to things! The palace itself was beautiful.
Three rooms really stand out in my mind though. The ballroom with windows from ceiling to floor, the china room (with literally china from ceiling to floor), and the grand church with an amazing figurines. After we toured the gardens and those were magnificent as well. You cannot really expect anything less from royalty though.
That concludes our trip to Berlin. The next day we rode a 10 hour day to Munich. It was about 13 euro, as opposed to the one for 200 euro that gets there in 6 hours. I think for the 4 hours delay, I can deal with saving 187 euro. Anyway I will write later about Munich, because I think this is really enough for one day!

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