On our way to Berlin we had a short day stop in Dresden. It was an emotionally rough day for me given my breakup that same morning so to be honest, I didn’t see or do much there at all. Everything is a blur. There were buildings that had some significance that our guide told us on our walking tour, but what that was I cannot tell you. There was a wall with a mural that is no more than a blurry distant memory. I cried – loudly, I forced myself to eat, I learned I cannot speak a word of German! I was happy to get back on the bus to continue to Berlin. I wanted this day to be over, or rather I wished that I would wake up from this terrible dream and be able to continue being in love and happy. I knew that wouldn’t happen.
We carried on to Berlin where we went on a driving tour to see the main sights of the town. An early night in followed and I was glad to see the end of the day. I shut out the world and tossed and turned as I tried to sleep. I cried some more.
The next morning I awoke in slightly better spirits than the previous day and wanted to make the most of my time in Berlin without the weight of my heartache getting me down. We started off with a walking tour of Berlin. We learned some of the history and saw some of the monuments paying respects to those who had lost their lives in WW2. These were for the memorialisation of the soviets and their liberation of Germany, murdered political leaders, murdered gypsies, murdered Jews, and murdered homosexuals. The Jewish memorial was of looming cement blocks of various heights that was over a large space. It is respectful not to sit or climb on them, despite how great of a seat some of the lower ones may make. Then a group of us went to Checkpoint Charlie (perhaps a little overrated) and the German history museum – which is insanely massive but very informative. Handy tip here is to follow the arrows on the floor to find your way around because it is huge and you will end up skipping years or going in circles if you wander around without following the correct path (I speak from experience). I also had a few moments here on my own where the tears flowed again and I had to push on with determination that I would not let it get me down. Having been to a fair few museums on the early part of my trip, and learning many things about the wars on this tour so far, there was a good chunk of the information that I already knew, or could put into greater perspective here. Worth the visit if you have the time and enjoy learning history. After this, we saw the site of the burning of the books, the Brandenburg Gate, and went to a delicious chocolate store where they make the chocolate onsite. Others took photos with the Berlin Bears which is probably something I would have joined in on, had I been in a more jovial state. Throughout the day I had also seen various parts of the Berlin wall – parts coloured in street art, and parts of it that were crumbling.
We had dinner and did a street art walking tour with drinks in hand (they gave us free drinks after we had already got started at dinner). The tour was led by a very gay, blonde, Irishman named Barry (or as we affectionately called him “Bazzaaaaaa”) and the street art was really cool! We saw some interesting pieces and even one or two of Banksy’s. Following this, we went to a pub crawl (joined by our new friend Bazza of course) which got a little messy. There were stripper poles, too many drinks, and a few kisses between friends, and/or strangers. I did meet a lovely German lass there who was thrilled to be meeting an Aussie in her local bar, and made BFFs in the ladies bathroom with the German girls who were visiting from the south around Munich. Apparently anyone going to Germany needs to go to the south as the scenery is more beautiful and the locals are more friendly! Alas I wasn’t to make it south.
3 hours sleep and we were back on the coach to head to the Netherlands!