Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 4th & 5th

Friday, July 4th
Had a late start, but I'm not complaining.  I ate brunch in the Beirgarten where I got a pizza; it was very fresh (yummm).  Then, we went to the Greek Museum which had some really cool artifacts inside.  We spent at least 2 hours inside and realized we had to get back to the hotel to meet up with others to go to the fanmeile for the Germany vs. France soccer game.  We got back, met up, went to the train station, got off at the right stop, but it was so crowded that they blocked a lot of it off, so we had to walk around a couple of blocks.  We got there just as half time started.  Ashley really wanted a drink because they made her throw her bottle away at the entrance.  We waited all through halftime and then some and got a drink.  I got the Berliner Kindl Waldmeister which was really good! We met up with the others when there was only 15 minutes left in the game.  It was nice to see all the fans, but it wasn't as exciting as the first game.  I will definitely need to go back on Tuesday when Germany plays Brazil...that will be a good game!
Afterwards, we found a Italian restaurant where I split a pizza with Davis.  Once again, the pizza here is so fresh and yummy! Once we fed our bellies, we wanted to check out the nightlife.  We got on the train to find this club called the watergate.  It was sketchy as everything, and we couldn't figure out how to get it.  So, we walked down the street some more and found another one, but it was also sort of sketchy.  We decided to call it a night and started back towards the train depot.  Then, we saw these people dancing and singing underneath the bridge/by the train station.  They were singing American pop songs so we decided to check it out.  We were there for about ten minutes and decided to just go back to Pankow. We got back and chilled, and then I went to sleep.

Saturday, July 5th
I got up sort of early, but missed breakfast.  I went down to Mario's to get a currywurst, and then to Rewe to see if they had the Waldmeister.  They only had the himbeere so I got that anyways.  Then, I met up with Mark and Nathan and we went down to Potsdamer Platz so I could take some pictures of the wall.  We also went inside the Sony Center which was crazy.  We also so the huge lego giraffe, and I found the geocache that was on it.  Next, we went to the Olympic Stadium and walked around there.  That was a really neat place.  It was originally built in the 1930s but then renovated in the 1980s.  The stadium was huge--fitting 75,000 people! Afterwards, we stopped at the mall at AlexanderPlatz, but I really couldn't find anything to wear (plus I ended up wearing the clothes I already had).  I bought a bratwurst from the grillmaster---a guy who wears a grill and fridge and walks around and grills and sells them for 1.35 euros!  I got back to Pankow and met up with Jacob, Keefe, Danny, Ashley, and Davis.  We went down to the Korean BBQ place where we had all sorts of food and soju.  While there, Davis asked a waiter in Korean where a karoke place was and he got directions for us.  We got to the Karaoke around midnight and jam out with some of the koreans.  We didn't leave there until 3:30, and tried to find our way back.  Keefe had the GPS on his phone, but it was dying.  After changing several trains, getting off at wrong stops, we finally decided to just walk it.  We were walking through this sketchy park behind some buildings and we heard weird animal noises, but it was actually the back of the Am Burgerpark! How crazy.  We got back and I decided to just call it a night (around 4:45).  The sun was coming out, and I know I don't have a lot to do today (Sunday).  Since it is Sunday, a lot of business are closed.  If the washcenter is open, I might go down there and do some laundry.  I'll need to finish an assignment today, and then maybe go to checkpoint charlie if I have time.

Berlin is really fun so far.  These are a few things that I've observed.
Dogs- The dogs here are super well trained.  None of them are on leashes, and they are all so super friendly.

Kids- The kids here know what they are doing.  I've seen several kids just playing in the park, riding their bikes around town, jumping from train to train.  It's just crazy to see that.

Smoking- Yes it's true.  People smoke like chimneys here.  Pretty much everyone smokes.

Transportation- The transportation system here is very different when compared to the states.  With the pass that we have, we can ride trains (U bahn- underground train, S bahn, above ground train), tram, and buses.  People are crazy about bikes here which is really awesome.  People do drive, but a majority of them use the public transportation system.  1 liter of gas was around 1.55 euros.

Recycling-  Berliners love to recycle.  At the Rewe, if you bring back the plastic crates and empty glass or plastic bottles, you get money back.  A lot of homeless people go around and dig through the trash to find bottles that did not end up in the recycling bins.  There are recycling bins everywhere- on the streets, in the mall, at the train stations. Also, there are trash cans all over the place.

Doner Kabob- These places are everywhere! And they are all run by Turks.  It very good and weird but I like it.

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