Finally sitting in the train to Dresden. My friend from Japan and I are both tired from our heavy luggage. We both still have a jetlag due to the time difference with Japan and are tired from exploring Berlin for 2 exhausting but fun days.
Before we started our big Germany tour, we went to my family’s place in Germany, and from there we took the train to Berlin. Me, with the interrail pass for Europeans, and my friend with a normal ticket. The one-country pass for Germany ceased to exist for about two months ago so I bought every train ticket for her separately. Maybe I should have done my research better. I also booked the hotels last minute at my family’s place in Germany. Everything very last minute. But somehow, it will work out I guess.
Our train started with a 15 minute delay and a change of platforms. For some reason, this made my Japanese friend exited because she had never experienced a change of platforms in Japan. I, on the other hand, thought it was very annoying because we had to take our luggage down and back up in the swarm of other train passengers. The train itself was full and we had to stand 1 and a half hour. An Azerbeidzjan drunk man tried to talk to us, flirtingly and drunk. He loved the diversity. We arrived in Berlin safely, nevertheless
Then I think I made a miscalculation in my planning. I thought the hotel would be closer to the station. We took about 30 minutes or longer with luggage, in the winter cold. I had to ask the way twice. But when we arrived, the tiredness changed to excitement. Hotel Meiningen in the Oranienburgstrasse. There’s an S-Bahn station right in front. The staff was young and very friendly. The other guest were 95 percent young people, just like us. Mostly younger though. 2 percent teachers and the rest middle-aged. The room we got was huge. Not huge in huge, but huge in high. I have never been in such a high room. The beds were on a kind of ceiling room, an open one. But it wasn’t cramped. The window was huge. The breakfast buffet, all you can eat for 6,50 euros, was also very nice.
After we arrived, we went to the Brandenburger Tor, Bundestag und the ‘Denkmal für die ermordete Juden Europas’. It was cold but we still could enjoy these 3 famous places. We even stood in line to try out the Starbucks there. We both took the Pistachio Rose Mocha, which was very delicious but filling. We also went to the Rittersport shop, in the Französische Strasse, and spend a lot of money on chocolate! It actually wasn’t expensive. We bought a lot but were both surprised at how inexpensive it was. Next time, we promised to try out the Schoko café in the shop to drink some Rittersport hot chocolate.
In the evening, we went to the Sony Center at the Potsdamer Platz by foot and went to the Australian restaurant there. Although it was cold, we decided to sit outside to enjoy the Sony center colorful ceiling. We decided to take the Sweet potato curry and then a fresh mint tea and virgin cocktail afterwards, this we drank inside. After we went back to the hotel, we were exhausted but it was a very fulfilling day.
The second day, we ate the buffet breakfast at the hotel and went to the ‘KaDeWe’, Kaufhaus des Westes. We didn’t go inside. The reason … we forgot that on Sunday almost all shops are closed. In Japan, it doesn’t matter that much whether it’s Sunday or Friday. At least in Tokyo. So we proceeded to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, which was still under construction. Somewhere in between, the rain started to fall. After that, we took pictures with the soldiers at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’, went through the ‘Unter Den Linden’ and proceeded to the ‘DDR Museum’ near the Alexander Platz. This museum is relatively new and gives you a good guess at how live was in the DDR. I really recommend it, it’s a bit cramped but besides than that, a very nice museum. I recommend going at a less popular hour though. It took us about one and a half hour and there was free wi-fi inside.
Next stop was the ‘Hackeschen Höfen’. Except for the Ampelmannshop, the shops were closed, so we could only enjoy it from the outside but even that was very satisfying for both of us. The cute buildings inside melted our hearts on valentine’s day.
Then, we went to the Alexanderplatz. I actually planned on navigating my way through the big TV tower, but the mist was so thick it wasn’t visible. Which made navigating a bit difficult. We arrived safely though.
In the evening we ate in Vapiano. It was my first time going to this Italian restaurant but the system was very interesting. You get a card and there’s like a bar where you can stand in line to order. Your order will be charged in the card and you will pay what’s on the card at the end. You can also watch them making the pasta, salad or pizza in front of you. It was very delicious!
That was it. Now on the way to Dresden. I hope everything will be alright because we didn’t reserve any seats.