Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The last day of class

July 28th, 2014
Well, I woke up early enough to finish up my outline for the debate.  I went to breakfast and then to class.  It was nice listening to all of the different debates.  After lunch, Mark and I walked around Pankow, and I picked up some Crispy M&M's as a treat for myself.  We had our weekly meeting, and we all discovered that the bus is actually leaving on Wednesday at 5:30 am....yikes! Looks like I'm not going to go to sleep on Tuesday, lol.  Anywho, Professor Smith was kind enough to request a BBQ style dinner for tonight--however it was a 6pm.  Hmmm, it was 4pm, and you really cannot do anything in 2 hours.  Cat, Jess, and myself went to Alexanderplatz and grabbed a cup of coffee since I was hungry but I didn't want to eat anything before the dinner.
The dinner was really good--we had ribs, steak, and hamburgers.  After dinner, Sean, Spencer, Aaron, and myself went to the TV Tower to see the sunset.  We only had a 30 minute wait, and the sun was setting as soon as we got up there.  It was really cool to see all of Berlin from 300m about the ground.  I noticed that quite a few buildings had gardens/grass on their roofs.  I will attach some photos to show you what I saw.

I love Berlin so much! I am so glad I was able to take this trip.  I've met so many great people, saw so many things, and made lots of new memories.  I am sad that I am leaving this wonderful city, but I do miss my family, dog, and boyfriend....and also ice and air conditioning haha.  I was expecting it to be a bigger culture shock, but Berlin isn't that much different than Georgia.  I can notice quite a few differences, but I still love it. 

Berlin, until next time! :) 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My last Sunday :(

Sunday, July 27th
I slept in a lot today since I was out late last night.  I was going to go to a museum, but I really wasn't feeling it.  I once again went to the Tiergarten.  It is one of my favorite spots in all of Berlin.  We walked from the Brandenburg Tor to the Victory Column.  After that, we celebrated Colin's birthday at the Hard Rock Cafe.
I think one thing that I will miss from Berlin is how great the transportation system is- the trams, the bus, the city trains, and the underground trains.  Although it takes a little slower that say driving by car, there are so many different ways to go to one place.  I really will miss not driving, haha! In addition, since a lot of people take advantage of the public transportation, it is really cutting down Berlin's carbon foot print.  I wish Atlanta had a better metro system.  I know we have marta but it really doesn't go anywhere.

Anyways, I took Sunday pretty easy.  It was also uncomfortably hot and humid....blahh.  Not ready for Georgia weather.

Saturday, July 26th

Time is flying by so fast!  I took a few students down to the East Side Gallery since they haven't seen it yet.  I had a nice time walking by and looking at it again.  Afterwards, I took them to the Tiergarten so they could climb the victory tower.  I love how big the Tiergarten is; every time I walk through it, I see something new.  I also like how the city will not touch it-- like how they will build around their greenspace.  I will attach a photo of how big the Tiergarten looks from the top of the Victory Column.  After that, we went to Rosa-Luxemburg Platz to look at a few thrift shops.  I found a nice dress that I really liked. Afterwards, we all got dressed up and went out for the night.  Cannot believe Berlin is almost over with :(

Tiergarten from above! Look how huge this greenspace is.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Last Friday in Berlin

July 25th-
Well on that note, Christmas is only 5 months away...haha. Anyways, several people went out on Friday morning to do laundry while I went up to Bernau to look around for 2 hours.  The streets here in Berlin and Brandenburg are not all made of asphalt.  A majority of the streets are made of cobblestone.  Yes, they do have some asphalt streets, but not a lot of the side and small roads are made with cobblestone.  Not to mention, the sidewalks are not made of concrete.  It is like these small rock tiles -- I will attach photos.  I love how Berlin and Brandenburg use permeable paving on their roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes.  Anywho, once I was done in Bernau, we went to the Neues museum and saw all of the Egyptian artifacts.  It was still raining a lot, and I was getting very tired so we stopped at a cafe, and I got a coffee.  We eventually got back to the hotel, and later that night was went clubbing.  We attempted to get in to the hardest and "best" club in Berlin but we got rejected.  So, we just went to the Matrix and danced until the sun came up.  It was a pretty eventful Friday. 

Check out this sidewalk: 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Less than one week left

July 23rd-
I went to the morning class to do some research on my debate topic, then I went to lunch.  After lunch, I decided to do my laundry since I had some free time, and I really needed to get it done.  There were some conflicts at the wash center.  Apparently, a young German woman didn't know what she was doing and messed up her system, thus causing her to lose the money she inputted.  I wasn't there for long and booked it once my clothes were semi-dry.  After everyone was done with their afternoon class, we went to the German Resistance Museum.  That was a very interesting place-- I learned how and why they wanted to assassinate Hitler.  Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and chilled around.

July 24th-
Since I don't have Thursday field trips, I decided to join the Prussia class.  We went to the Underground Berlin were we went through the WWII underground shelter and learned the history of it.  It was really warm down there and towards the end I wanted to go back up.  The tour guide knew a lot of information, but just didn't present it in a way I liked.  Next, the group went on a historical walking tour through downtown Berlin.  They had a 1910 tour guide book that explained where and what everything was back then.  I really enjoyed trying to think how the city used to be.  I went back to the hotel and relaxed until it was time to go to the monsterkabinett.  That was a very interesting museum.  I really didn't know what to expect, but I thought it was pretty neat.  We got back to the hotel, and it was pouring.  We were gonna go out that night but we ended up just chilling at the hotel.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 21st & 22nd

July 21st
I went to my last day of Environmental Communication since I will be participating in the debate for the regular communications class.  After class, we had our weekly meeting and found out that we will have to catch the bus at 6am next Wednesday.  Once we were done with the meeting, I was starving and so were some others so we went on down to White Trash Fast Food which was an American style restaurant.  I got a drink and a cheeseburger--it was pretty good and not badly priced.  I saw some of the huge recycling bins--picture will be attached.  After that, I went to Checkpoint Charlie by myself.  I walked all over the place and found the topography of terror and some other cool things.  I went to Potsdamer Platz as the sun was setting.  It was really pretty.

*These recycling bins are for you to recycle your brown, white, and green glass bottles! 

July 22nd, 
Field trip day!  We went to Schloss Charlottenburg which was beautiful!   We toured the inside and the outside gardens.  There were so many dishes and silverware inside.  I thought it was really nice that they had such a huge garden that they still take care of.  After the palace, a couple of us went to the ropes course.  I've done a few ropes course in the past so I knew what I was getting myself into.  I thought it was really interesting how the safety harnesses were set up-- if you have one "smartie" (aka carabiner) open, the other one will not open until you close the second one.  The park was pretty big and had all sorts of levels of difficulty.  I did got pretty tired towards the end of our 3 hours.  Once I got back to the hotel, I just relaxed.  I know I'm going to feel some rope course pain tomorrow. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Fourth weekend in Berlin

Wait....is it the third? I cannot remember-- all of my days are running together. 
Anyways on Friday, July 18th, a couple us at lunch in Alexanderplatz at a resturant called Palm Beach.  The waiter was kind of a jerk, but I ended up getting a Spezi and Schnitzel since I had yet to try a schnitzel.  It wasn't that expensive...12 euro but everywhere else I've seen good schnitzel, it cost around 15 euro.  Anywho, the group split up afterwards and Bronn, Cat, and myself went to the Tiergarten and walked around.  We went to the victory column which was beautiful.  I was able to get a few good photos.  After that, we found a geocache in the woods as we were walking to the Brandenburger Tor.  I got back to the hotel and hung around a bit.  I honestly cannot remember what I did, so I must have stayed out late with some others.

Saturday, July 19
I woke up somewhat early to get to Alexanderplatz to find a plain white t-shirt.  I also got a starbucks drink mostly to say that I got one from Berlin.  It was okay, but they messed up my drink.  I then wanted to go to Primark and look around, but I wasn't able to since I wasn't done with my drink.  I walked around in the mall and found a couple of gifts.  I then went back to Primark and found a white shirt for only 3 euro.  I got back to the hotel and got ready for the color party.  I met up with my new Turkish friend and we had fun at the huge gathering.  It was like a large outdoor party where people were drinking, talking, dancing, and just having fun.  It got really hot and we ran out of color powder, so I got back around 5ish.  I cleaned up and went to a Greek restaurant with Kat, Gene, Sengens, and Aaron. The food there was really good, and they people gave us a free shot of something...lol.  We just went back to the hotel and hung around there. 

Sunday, July 20th
I woke up that morning kind of early to get ready to go to the Grunewaldsee.  It was suppose to get up to 92 degrees.  I was uploading some pictures when Kat and Sengens asked if I wanted to go to the Grunewaldsee with them a couple of hours earlier.  I said sure since I was ready to go.  We initially wanted to check out this pool thing, but it ended up just being imported sand in a fenced up outside bar thing.  It wasn't what we thought so we continued down to the Grunewaldsee.  When we got there, it was puppy heaven! There were dogs everywhere! I got in the water for a little bit since it got really hot.  After about an hour, we decided to stop at Potsdam since we were only 4 stops away.  We got to Potsdam and went to Schloss Sanssouci.  We walked around the outside, and Gene and Kat wanted to go inside, but it was a two hour wait and I didn't want to be out that late.  We got back to the hotel and a couple of us went to a Tex Mex restaurant for dinner. Cannot believe this will be that last full week in Berlin....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tiergarten/Hard Rock Cafe/ East Side Gallery

On Wednesday, I had class and then I went to the Tiergarten and checked it out.  I didn't have enough time to walk everything so I will need to go back again later.  I met up with a group at the Hard Rock Cafe and ate there for dinner. I got the local legendary which was this brat hamburger thing-- it was good.  We chat there for a while then we went back to the hotel.  I just hung around a bit and then went to bed.  I heard people getting back downstairs, but I decided to skip out.  

On Thursday, I tagged along on another class's field trip to the DDR museum.  Afterwards, we checked out the East Side Gallery-- that was very cool looking at all of the art on the wall.  I think there are some people going clubbing tonight so I might go with them! 

Will keep you all posted.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The halfway point

Not a whole lot happened on Monday.  After class, we went down to Wok to Walk and then I did my laundry.  Then a group of us went to a bar that evening.  It was pretty interesting, and I got back around 3am, but didn't go to sleep until 5am. 

 On Tuesday, I went to the Botanical Gardens with my class and took lots of photos of all of the different flowers. I thoroguhly enjoyed walking through the botanical gardens and looking all of the different type of plants from all over the world.  They even had a muesum that had a huge map of the world where a person and push a button and then a picture of the geography lights up as well as the point on the map.  I also came across this cool recycling can that I saw several times throughout the garden.. Picture will be attached.

Afterwards, I got back to the hotel and then Spencer, Davis, Nate and I went to a language meet-up.  There were all sorts of people there speaking several different languages.  I met this nice Turkish girl named Aysecan.  After the language meet up was dismissed, we went to a restaurant and ate dinner.  

Recycling bin at the botanical garden:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Extended Weekend

We had an extended weekend that lasted from July 10th to the 13th.  A couple of us wanted to go to Amsterdam and see what it was all about.  We had about 13 people saying they wanted to go and we tried to rent a houseboat for the weekend, but things fell through and only 9 of us ended up going.  We left Thursday morning for Amsterdam which was a 6.5 hour train ride.  The ride wasn't that bad....it just felt like forever! Anyways, we got to Amsterdam and we tried to find our hotel...which ended up being this small little door inbetween two restaurants.  The buildings we very tall and narrow.  We checked in, settled down, and just walked around the city.  The city was very confusing-- very much like a maze.  All of the streets looked the same, and they all went around or over the canal.  We checked out the park and then explored the cafes.  We pretty much just explored the city during the weekend.  We went to the Van Gogh muesum one day and the Anne Frank house the next.  It was a very touristy town; not sure if I would go back again.  I also went to the Medieval Torture museum and went on two different canal boat tours.  If I were to go back to Amsterdam, I would definetly check out Holland with all of the tulips and wind mills! Overall, I am glad that I went, and I can mark Amsterdam off my bucket list.

On Sunday, we left Amsterdam at 10am.  Another long train ride with a delay, but we made our train on time.  We arrived in Berlin around 5, and the World cup finale was at 9.  People were already dressed and and heading to the fanmeile.  We quickly got back to our hotel and got ready for the game.  As we were heading downtown, it started to rain....then it started to pour! At the train station, a girl asked if she could follow us and we said of course.  It ended up being her and her eight Spanish girlfriends.  We walked down to the fanmeile but they had closed it since there were too many people inside.  We ended up going to West Berlin and found a pub and watched the game there.  I was invited to hang out with the girls after the game, but I had to decline since I was pretty tired from the Amsterdam trip.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 6th-8th

Sunday, July 6th
Since we didn't get back from Korean BBQ and Karaoke until 4:45am, I woke up around 11 today.  The first thing on my mind was to do laundry.  Me and a couple others went down to the wash center and did our laundry (which took almost 2 hours to do). Afterwards, the KBBCrew went down to Alexanderplatz to go bowling.  We wanted to  go to the really fancy one that was in the mall, but they were closing early.  So, we went down a few blocks and ended up at another one.  It was just a basic bowling alley that got packed fast. There were a lot of British preteens there.  We bowled for an hour and then made our way back to the hotel.  

Monday, July 7th
It was very nice out in the morning, so I went around the Am Burgerpark and took more GPS tagged photos. Then we all ate lunch and I went to my class. Then, it started to rain.  After class, we had our weekly meeting about the field trip that we are going on tomorrow.  After that, Ashley, Davis, and I went to Max Pizza and grabbed a bite to eat.  I ended up going to Maulerpark which was the park that they created after the wall was torn down.  My objective was to find some of the wall, and i thought I didn't find any, but I really did!  I also touched a plant that gave me huge welts and it stung like crazy-- it eventually went away.  Then, we just all hung around at the hotel.  
Update: I did some research and found out that the plant that I touched is called stinging nettle.  Out of all of my outdoor adventures in Georgia, I have never come across this plant before.  I felt the burn for a good hour, and then I washed it with soap.  The sting went away, but I still had the welts.  Attached is a stock photo of the plant as well as the photo that I took after I accidentally touched the plant. 

Tuesday, July 8th
Field trip day!  We took a class fieldtrip up to Rostock and Warnemunde.  The bus ride up there was alright--it was raining and I had a seat by myself so I slept on the way up.  We arrived at Warnemunde where the Baltic Sea was.  I went on the beach and touched the water.  It was pretty cold.  Then Amanda and I walked the road towards the pier where there were all sorts of vendors out.  We went to the lighthouse and climbed the top for only 1 euro.  It was very pretty out.  Then we climbed down and met up with a few other students.  We started to walk back and Amanda and I grabbed a fish sandwich.  I wasn't sure what mine was but it was really good.  
After that, we all got back on the bus and went to Rostock.  We arrived there and it began to rain.  Everyone went inside the mall, and I looked around for just a little bit.  It cleared up and Liz and I decided to walk towards  the historic district.  We went inside the St. Mary's cathedral for only 1.50 euro and it was really cool (literally!).  We walked around outside some more and took photos of the buildings.  We walked back towards the bus and grabbed some ice cream and it was very good.  We all got back on the bus and headed back towards Pankow.  I got ready for the Germany vs. Brazil soccer game.  We stopped at Mario's for a quick bite and then headed towards the Brandenburg Gate.  Liz and I got up front and cheered with the Germans.  There were two Germans behind us who asked if we were speaking Spanish when we were clearing speaking English.  The game was fun and we left towards the train station.  We got to Alexanderplatz and looked for our train back to Pankow.  Unfortunately, we were late and the train was done for the night.  We met up with two other students who joined us on our search for a train.  So we hopped around a few stations trying to find one for Pankow, but they were all done! We finally asked for directions, and we waited for the Tram.  It took us about an hour, but we finally made to Pankow (for free).  I was pretty tired so I went straight to bed.  I heard others outside around 3:30, but then I fell asleep. 

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.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Days 5 & 6

Wednesday, July 2
Not a whole lot happened on this day.  I woke up so I missed breakfast, and I went to class.  Dr. Bailey, her husband, and I walked around Am Burgerpark and collected some data. I took some geotagged photos and GPS points.  After class a couple of us decided to walk around Alexanderplatz.  We walked through the mall and I bought some postcards.  I ate lunch at another donner kabob place.  After we ate, we walked towards the Reichstag.  Then it was getting late so we jumped several trains until the correct one to Pankow.  There were a group of people playing drinking games but it was already 11:00pm so I just watched them.  A couple of them decided to go on a walk so we waited for them to make sure they were all right.  I finally went to bed around 2:30.

Thursday, July 3
This was a pretty relaxed day for me.  Normally I want to do everything and see everything, but I had this day to just relax and enjoy the air in Berlin.  In the morning when everyone went on their field trips, I added all of the data that I had on from yesterday and put it on a map.  I was excited when I found out how to add my own GPX data to arcmap.  Then I found a tool that takes geotagged photos and puts them as a point in Arcmap. Also, you can click on it and it'll show them the picture that I took.  Also, Cob showed me how to get the Lat/Long coords on point data.  I was very pleased with my outcome and it ended up being 1:00.  So I decided to just walk around the park some more and try to get some more data.  I was trying to find this multigeocache as well, but I couldn't find it, so I just gave up.  I got back to the hotel and decided to go down to Kaufland to buy some snacks.  I went up with Kat and Andy who were going to Prague this weekend.  I went into Kaufland and found some granola bars.  They had a very slim selection--they had a whole lot of chips and candy bars though.  I went back to the hotel and just sat outside reading my book.  Some people sat down and chatted and left, but then finally everyone got back to the hotel.  I really haven't eaten at all; all i had was a juice from a juice place in the mall.  We went all the way down to Alexanderplatz for some food since everything was closed in Pankow.  I had a double cheeseburger from McDonalds--i can say it tasted a lot better than in the states, and the cheese was so good!  We got back to the hotel and we just hung around with everyone and chatted.  A huge group of 12 were suppose to got o Prague but I think only 5 went.  We plan on going to a few museums and then going to the fanmeile to watch the Germany vs. France game tonight. Will post more later! :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grunewald forest

I woke up in time for breakfast and got ready for the day.  My group left at 10:30 for the Grunewald forest.  We finally go to Grunewald around 11ish where we stopped and ate lunch.  I had cheese spaetzle and a spezi (which is pretty much cola and fanta); it was really good.  We walked through the forest and got to teufelsberg which was an old WWII bunker.  We thought we were going to be able to go in and walk and see it, but it was all fenced up, and there were parts of the fence that were cut open where Gypsies had re-fenced it up.  We just saw the outside, and everything was graffitied.  We found a geocache nearby and walked towards the Grunewald Tower.  The tower was very pretty, but they wanted 4 euros for us to climb up it.  I saved my money to climb up the TV tower. Also, I bought ice cream which was sooooo good.  We found another nearby geocache and caught the bus to the train station and went back to Pankow.
I was so tired I almost fell asleep on the train.  We got back, and I tried to buy a postage stamp for the postcard that I bought from the Grunewald Tower.  The postage machine was weird, but I got my one stamp.  I got back to the hotel and cleaned up and went downstairs to the commons area.  Another group on a different field trip got back too. We chilled around and drank some beers, and then we to this Donner restaurant, and I got a donner kabob.  It was really interesting but good.  Then, we went to Mario's and watched the USA vs. Belgium game.  That was a sad game and then we went back to the hotel and chilled.  I left and went to bed around 1:30.  Overall, Berlin is cool. Still trying to see all of it.  I think this weekend, a group of us are just going to explore Berlin and downtown Berlin.  

First day of class

Monday morning I woke up on time to grab some breakfast.  After that, I walked by myself to Kaufland to buy some Shampoo, Conditioner,body soap, and a HUGE bottle of stillwasser (aka water without bubbles).  I walked all over the store and man was that huge! I left the mall and walked toward the T-Mobile store to see about a phone.  I ran into Davis who told me they were trying to charge him 80 euros for a phone.  We walked back to the hotel were I hung around for a little bit.  I sat outside with a few people and it was finally lunch time (we get free lunches on class days).  I ate lunch, hung around some more and went to class at 1:00.  Since I was the only one in my class, it was kind of nice just talking one on one.  Dr. Bailey said that we will have fun doing our data collection.  We also talked about the Grunewald Forest field trip and what we were going to do.  After class, we had a short meeting catching up with everyone.  After the meeting, a lot of people went down to Kaufland to buy for drinks/food; some of them wanted to pre-game before the 10:00pm Germany game.  We walked around the mall and found some soccer jerseys.  We went back to the hotel and chilled until around 6ish? and went on the train to Alexanderplatz where we ate dinner.  I had another currywurst which was even better than before.  We then followed some Germans to the S-bahn and just followed them to the fanmeile.  We passed the Reichstag which we will need to go on a tour soon! We some how ran into three others in our group.  We walked in the fanmeile which was already crowded and waited two hours for the game to start.  The game started and we were rooting for Germany along with all of the other Germans.  It was really neat to watch all the Germans cheering for their team.  During the extra time, we decided to leave early to beat the crowd.  We ended up going the wrong way and the crowd met us at the station.  We caught two different trains and finally made it to Pankow.  It was probably 2:15am at the is point and we were walking back to the hotel.  On the way back, we saw this young woman just sitting on the tram tracks crying.  And she was on something and she was walking our way but still in the street so I pulled her onto the sidewalk.  She kept walking and then got back in the street and sat on the tram tracks.  There was this guy watching her the whole time, so hopefully she got home safely.  We finally got back and chilled a bit, and went to bed around 3am.  Tuesday will be our Grunewald Forest field trip!

Sunday in Berlin

Sunday was pretty much a free day for us.  I ate breakfast, and I heard that some of the students were going to leave around 11am to check out the city.  After breakfast, Davis and I decided to walk in the opposite direction that I walked last night.  There were a lot more stores and small cafes in this direction but then it turned into more of a residential area.  Our main objective was to see if Kaufland was open; however, we forgot it was Sunday and the whole mall was closed.  We went back to the hotel around 10:30, where I sat in the commons area to see if anyone else was going to go downtown.  I grabbed a map from the lobby, and a mineralwasser from the fridge.  Now, I have had sparkling water before and enjoyed it, but when you are so thirsty and want water, mineralwasser does not do it.  Around 11am, a bunch of student came down to explore the city.  Twelve of us walked down the the train station where we had to pay a 6.70 euro fee for an all day transportation pass since our awesome pass didn't start until Monday.  We really wanted to see what all was there downtown.  We stopped at Alexanderplatz where the TV Tower was.

Alexanderplatz- When you get off a train at the train station, there are food joints everywhere! We left the train station and found a mall and decided to take a look inside. Of course, everything was closed but the food court was still open.  I bought a small pizza from a pizza shop for 2.50 euro.  It was one of the best pizzas I've had.  The pizza had so much flavor.  Once everyone ate, we walked all over the place.  We had maps, but it was still confusing where we really were.  We finally came across the Berlinerdom where we were able to get a group-student discount and got to tour the dome for 2.50 euros a piece.  It was very pretty inside, and we were able to go to the very top of the dome.  After that, we saw an arts fair where all of these different artists had their stuff for sale.  We really wanted to find a place to get a drink so we asked a guy wearing a chef's hat where a good bar was.  Of course, he took us down this block were no one was and guided us to this Italian restaurant.  No one was really all that hungry, more thirsty, and we saw that the prices were really not in our range.  We wanted to leave, but we were trapped now.  So 5 people ordered a beer, and we finally left, and on the way out, some had accidentally knocked a knob off of a lamp, and the waiter was so mad at us (which he was already mad since we told them that we were just trying to find a place to get a drink).  We walked to the Brandonburger Gate as saw were the fanmeile was (the place where they set up huge projectors so 5000 people can watch the world cup).  We finally walked around some more, and we were trying to find the U-bahn train station.  We ended up at the huge IMAX theatre where they were setting up for the Transformers 3 movie premier.  Three of the guys wanted to stay becausee Mark Walhberg and Michael Bay were suppose to be there.  The others finally found the train station and got back to the hotel.  I sat in the Commons Area where there were students dubbing over the German reporters for the world cup-- it was pretty hilarious.  Then we all walked down to Mario's for the 10:00pm game.  I left after half time and fell asleep.  Class starts on Monday!

ATL to Berlin

The Journey- I arrived at the airport on time and checked in and sort of met everyone.  We went through secruity and waited at the gate.  It was a 3 hour wait and no one really knew each other yet.  We boarded the plane which was huge! It sat about 300 people.  I sat on an aisle seat with one of my classmates to my left.  I had barley any leg room, and I have sort legs! The movie selection was nice, but I really didn't watch anything.  It was a 8.5 hour plane ride to Berlin.  We were served a snack and drink, and then dinner, and then breakfast.  I tried to go to sleep while on the plane because I was pretty tired.  I fell asleep a few times but it was very uncomfortable.  We finally landed in Frankfurt where we had a 5 hour layover.  At this layover, classmates were finally mingling with each other.  The Frankfurt Airport was significantly different than the Atlanta Airport.  Where the ATL airport would have hundreds of fastfood restruants insides, the Frankfurt airport was almost set up like a mall.  There were more department stores than food stores.  They were selling purses, clothes, perfumes, ect.  After waiting for forever, we finally boarded the plane.  This plane was slightly smaller, but I had so much leg room, and I wasn't squished in my seat! I would love to take that plane over the other for a long distance flight.  We finally got in Berlin, grabbed our luggage, met up with our coordinator, and got on the bus that took us to our hotel.

Hotel- This hotel is rather small, but very nice.  The lobby is quite small, but there is a common room which a big flat screen tv, table and chairs, a coffee/hot chocolate machine (.50 euros), and they use an honor system for the drinks in the fridge.  Right outside, there are table and chairs to enjoy snacks, drinks, and to hang out with other students.  About 200 feet (not even) there is a building with offices/rooms that we are using twice a week for our classes.  The hotel is in an old persons neighborhood but it is still really nice.  About 800 yards there is a huge park with walking trails.  This park is full of nice green grassy areas, a rose garden, and a beirgarten where they have a nice sized television to watch the world cup game on.  

Walking tour around Pankow- Our coordinator took us on a short walking tour of Pankow, the section of Berlin that we are staying in.  About two blocks down from our hotel, there is a bistro that has a nice sized tv outside as well; Mario is the owner, in which we call this location "Mario's." At Mario's, you can get currywurst, a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, pizza, and pasta.  I tried the currywurst on the first day and was very impressed.  We kept walking down where he showed us the ATM so that we can withdraw money.  A few ways down was the mall which has a store called "Kaufland" which is like a Walmart.  We kept walking a ways which led us to the train station-- both the S bahn and U bahn.  The transportation pass that we have is good for any transportation in Berlin; the S bahn, U bahn, bus, tram, ect. We completed the tour and went back to the hotel.  Some kinds went to Kaufland to buy drinks, but me and 3 other walked around some more.

Day 1 adventure- So after the walking tour, Mark, Colin, Nathan, and myself wanted to see what kind of bars/eateries were down past the ATM.  We walked for a while and ran into this sketchy dude who asked us what we were looking for. We said that we were trying to find a bar, and then told us that his bar was open.  He was standing right next to this what looked like a run-down bar which hasn't been touched in years,  Then he said that he will give us a free drink.  It was sketchy as everything so we said no and kept walking down.  There wasn't much anything after that; it turned into a Turkish neighborhood.  We went back passed the sketchy bar which had tables and chairs, the door was open, and the open sign was flashing. It was very bizarre.  We decided to check out the Beirgarten, and I got a hefeweissbier on tap which was delicious.  We watched some of the game, and then headed back to the hotel.  There was a group of students sitting out side, and I joined them.  I finally went to bed around 11pm after barely having any sleep. Berlin seems like it's a nice place. Can't wait to see more of it.