On the weekend of May 30th, I visited some of Berlin’s most well-known sites. I visited the Jewish Museum, which had an overview of Jewish history not only in Berlin but in Europe as a whole. It was interesting to see where the first documented Jewish people first settled (in an ancient town called “Worms”) and watch videos that depicted different artifacts that were pertinent to ancient Jewish culture. That weekend I also visited the East Side Gallery, which is a section of the Berlin Wall that has been turned into somewhat of a street art gallery. Artists from around the globe have contributed by painting different sections. The gallery stretches a little over 1km so it made for a nice stroll to check out the different art. I also visited the Topography of Terror, which is an indoor and outdoor history museum.
We experienced a bit of nightlife that weekend as well. Europe is different in the sense that everything is pushed back and it is normal to go out at a late hour. We ended up going to a famous club called Watergate near Kreuzberg, a very hip neighborhood. We got into the club around 3am and didn’t end up leaving until early in the morning (around 6am) but it made for a good time. The music was good and it was surprisingly refreshing to listen to as the sun rose. European cities especially Berlin redefine “city that never sleeps” because the clubs actually will run until 10am or 11am the next day.
This past weekend, a couple of friends and I went to Hamburg. We took the Deutschebahn (DB) train to get there. The DB is incredibly smooth and reliable. We took advantage of the on-board restaurant and got a midnight meal on the train, which was surprisingly good! When we got to Hamburg it was already late so we checked into a hotel and went to bed. In the morning we were surprised at the number of tourists that were around the city. Since we didn’t book hotels or hostels prior to arrival, we were in a hurry trying to find places to book a room. After three hours of searching around, we ended up at a hostel that was a short taxi ride away.
One of my two friends ventured off to meet up with a family acquaintance while I roamed the streets looking for sights with my other friend. We visited the old ports of Hamburg, saw the Town Hall/Commissioner Building, and ate some gelato and margherita pizza next to one of the lakes which was extremely relaxing despite the hot weather. After trekking around and seeing many sights, we ended up relaxing at the hostel before we went out. At the hostel, we met up with a bunch of American students who were also on an excursion to Hamburg and ended up going out with them for the rest of the night.
Since Monday was a national holiday in Germany, we decided to make the most out of the day and visited a cultural carnival that was happening during the weekend. There were a lot of great street stands with food and drinks, music events, and people showing off crazy talents! There were futbol players showing off their skills, a hula-hoop circle, numerous drumming groups, and stages set up for music performers. It was a great vibe, a lot of fun, and it gave me a different perspective on street festivals and carnivals. It was a refreshing way to spend the day in the sun.
At this point, we have already booked a trip to Majorca for July 4th weekend and I look forward to the excursions that we will have from this point forward.