29.05.2011 - 29.05.2011 22 °C
We woke up from our long sleep still tired. We phoned down to the front desk to see how much breakfast at the hotel cost. 12 euros each. We headed next door to the same place that shall not be named. We bought the internet for 2 euros to figure out where we were going. Side note: in this day and age is it to much to ask for wireless in the rooms built into the cost and plugs in airports? Two buses and 1h 20 minutes later we were at the the main train station, Hauptbahnhof. The building is magnificent, with trains running overhead and beneath our feet. We were on a mission to book our overnight train tickets to Copenhagen. We had made up our minds to go there way back in San Sebastian and had been trying to book the trains ever since. It turns out we didn’t need to worry and for 76 euros we now have two couchettes each way to and from Denmark! So excited! The Germans have a very smart and comprehensive railway. For example, instead of making one big tickets office with huge lineups (the usual) they have multiple small ones with no lineups. And we've never waited more than 3 minutes for a train at any of the 173 metro stops on 10 metro lines! Yes it's expensive (2.60 euro per ticket, 2 hours, 1 way) but they've got to pay for that level of service somehow.
look how dark his arms are to his legs!
We took the metro to our hostel still lugging our 30 pound packs. We checked into our hostel after some confusion about which room we had exactly booked. When all was said and done we were 6 euros poorer. We ditched our stuff and headed out. We went to Mauerpark to Flohmarkt. On Sundays, the receptionist said, everyone comes out. We trusted him and was he ever right. It was just one massive flea market, with really good food! We ate our first, and far from last, currywurst. We also ate a waffle with nutella. Don’t ask me why, it doesn’t make any sense, but it was good. We watched a huge robot someone had made that jerked around a whole bunch, sitting in a shopping cart that spat water at the crowd. Weird?
We decided that since it’s totally acceptable to drink everywhere here we might as well jump on board. We grabbed two drinks from a corner store. I got a simple elderflower soda (the kind I make at home) and Shane got a radler, half beer half lemonade/soda. Both very good but when we paid for them at the front counter the clerk offered us a piece of candied ginger. Weird? Maybe he thought our breath stank.
purple kolrabi on the side of the road? YES
We were walking through the park minding our own business talking when a German punk guy (there are many of these) walks by and yells at us “Americans Suck!” Seriously?! Shane yelled back at him that we weren’t Americans but that damage was done. We felt insulted. Weird?
sad bear in a tiny little cage
We took the metro “downtown” whatever that means. There aren't really any skyscrapers in any areas. We walked along the river for a while, pausing here and there sitting in the shade and watching locks fill as the boat journeyed up river. We contemplated coffee in this area and decided against it, we weren't feeling all that much like getting ripped off. We started the walk home. Half way there we saw a golden retriever puppy. Shane squealed and hollered, he was so excited. The puppy heard us and came running towards. Luckily his owner was very nice and we chatted for a few minutes about our dog and hers. His name was Anton and he was 15 weeks old. We didn’t want to leave, but we couldn’t keep the lady any longer. We left very excited and sad. We miss our dog so much.
We did some research for dinner and decided on lahmacun, turkish pizza. We went all the way across town for this dinner, even though it is available on every street between here and there. It was delicious!! Its a flatbread pizza topped with herb ground meat and baked until crispy. After it’s baked you add the toppings you want. Salad and two sauces, and in Shane’s case doner meat. Then it’s rolled up into a tube and wrapped. All for 1.70!
picture complete with glare
On our way back home our walk found a us at a local bar. Once we worked up the courage to go in we came face to face with a wall of smoke. We asked for two beers and sat down. The show was in full swing, men chain smoking and playing the slots. There was a Germany/Uruguay football game on the television and we watched for a while. Side note: any ideas on why after the ball goes in the net it wouldn’t be a recorded goal? No one seemed upset by this but I sure was.
When we got back to the hostel we made it just before reception closed. I talked to the guy at the desk and asked him about the 6 euros we overpaid. He told me to talk to the owner in the morning, there had been a problem in the system. I’m sure it will be figured out soon. So far we love Berlin. It's a larger version on Vancouver. It's almost as beautiful, but there is not quite as much green. The population we've seen here is very young and conformity scarce. Everyone seems very independent and accepted, tolerance seems much higher. But what can we say, it's only been one day!
biking and drinking beer...at the same time!