Tuesday, June 8, 2010


We're back!

Currently in Spain right now but our time ran out before we could update y'all on Berlin and the Alps so here it is.

I'll let Becca take over soon but I thought I should start off with a warning: never attempt to dry your laundry on a hot lightbulb.

Before we left Prague, I decided to wash some socks in the sink with that detergent we stole from the laundromat in the Hague. Everything was going swimmingly until I realized that there was no way in hell that the socks would be dry before we had to check out. Not wanting to stick wet socks in my backpack, I made the logical decision to dry them on the reading lamps that hung over our beds.

Bad idea. It started off pretty well. The lamps got super hot (I'm pretty sure the Czechs haven't come into compliance with some of the EU safety codes yet) and the socks immediately started steaming. Twenty minutes later they were almost dry and then.....BOOM! The lightbulb exploded all over the room. It sounded like a gunshot. Slivers of glass are probably embedded in the walls. It's amazing neither of us lost an eye.

So we ran. Seriously picked up our backpacks, shoved my semi-dry socks in my pockets, and ran to the checkout counter.

OK, enough about Prague. Here's Becca to tell you about Berlin...

Hey y'all!
So the train ride to Berlin was uneventful except for the entertaining "Uncle Dale" Aussies that were livin it up the whole way there. They were really jolly until we were getting off the train. Then all hell broke loose. One lady on the platform was jonesin to get on the train but it was before the Australian Dale could get off. He was not happy and started telling her off in Australian lingo. Then the lady got really upset and started yelling at him in German. I thought there was gonna be a brawl but we got off the train with no harm done.

So, after getting off the train we headed over to Chang and Judith's (our couchsurfing hosts). Chang was awesome and very friendly. Judith was very nice as well, but it seemed like she had poor Chang on a tight leash. She most definitely wore the pants in the relationship. Jay and I were both exhausted though so we crashed on their futon, ready for the next day.

We woke up to the sounds of elephants and screaming babies above us. That didn't stop us though and we started off our day in the East Side Gallery (the largest section of the wall remaining). The art work was fascinating, cool, weird, and beautiful all at the same time. From there we wandered around the city (Alexanderplatz, Unter den Linden, Potsdamplatz, and Tiergarten). Unter den Linden was lined with beautiful trees and we also saw the sight of the Nazi book burning close to there. The street ended at the Brandenburg Gate which had alot of history behind it (supposedly Napoleon stole the chariot statue that sits atop it and took it back to France at one point). What a jerk. Afterwards, we took in the sights of the Reichstag and Holocaust Memorial, which was very haunting and sad.

So, as y'all know, Joe's Garage was such a disaster that Rick Steves would have burst into tears if he had known what an awful decision we had made. However, our lunch in Berlin was so delicious I think the points we lost were certainly replaced from the tastiness we got from Dada Falafel. It was probably the best falafel Jay and I have ever had. We also, (surprise, surprise) got delicious gelato afterwards and headed towards the Tiergarten. The park was beautiful and Jay led us to a great beer garden. We stayed for about an hour but we were really eager to pick up Kevin so we headed to the train station.
When we reached the train station, however, two nightmares struck. First, all their metro lines were backwards so there was mass confusion among everyone and we got on the wrong train. Second, I got separated from Jay for about 30 minutes, convinced myself he got murdered, and burst into tears. He found me shortly afterwards. So we finally met up with Kevin and his university friend from Berlin, Phillip. We got dinner at a Vietnamese Place and drinks at a gay bar called the Silver Future.

The next day: Jay is "map man" and I am "book bitch". I honestly don't know how I would get around without him. Maps boggle my mind and I usually end up heading in the completely wrong direction. Oh, bother. We grabbed a tasty brunch with Kevin and Phillip and then skyped with Mom and Dad. It was awesome to see their faces. We headed back to East Belin and said goodbye to Chang and Judith. We picked up our backpacks and headed over to another Wombats. We're pretty much obsessed. We met back up with Kevin, Phillip, and Ann(another friend of Kevins) and went to the C/O Berlin, a really cool photography museum. The artists explanations gave a really neat perspective on the cities they were trying to capture through their lens. We got some tasty fries from a street stand and headed over to an art exhibit at an old warehouse. Most of it was really weird, modern stuff that was at times pretty creepy but I appreciated it for what it was trying to accomplish. We went to a bar next door that was pretty badass. It was playing afrojam gypsy techno beats (this is honestly the only way to describe the kind of music we heard) and there was an old man on the dance floor getting crazy with some bubbles. Fire was being blasted overhead from this huge funnel to the beat of the music. AWESOME. I actually hit up Dada Falafel again for some late night because it was just that delicious.

We said a sad goodbye to Kevin(we had such a blast with him in Berlin, it was great getting to see the city with him and Phillip as true Berliners) and went back to Wombats, where as y'all know, I was sat on by a drunk dude in the middle of the night. So, after that restless night, we awoke to a cold and rainy Berlin. We were not happy about that. But we decided to go to KaDeWe, a huge department store that is like South Park on crack. There are about 7 different floors full of the ritziest, most posh stuff you could imagine. Jay and I had a pretty intense, competitive game of "name that price". Most absurd price? A heinous 1,000 euro leather jacket.

Now, here comes what I like to call "the Seafood Blunder". After exploring the expansive gourmet floor, we headed up to the store restaurant to partake in the buffet style lunch. There were so many different stations and you could fill your plate with fruits, veggies, pastas, bread, meat and dessert. I assumed (stupidly), that everything cost the same and they based the price on weight of the plate. I wasn't very hungry, so I stocked up on some veggies and added about 10 delectable looking shrimp on top of that. We get to the cashier and she starts weighing our food. $4.57...$9.63...$10.24...$17.32(WHHATTT?!). The price comes to something like $45 euro for just the two of us. I am mortified. My handful of shrimp cost $17 euro.
Jay and I go to sit down but, uh oh, I started to feel the pout creepin. There was no stopping it and I sat in a self-depricating shadow for about 30 min before I got over it. After the disastrous lunch, Jay and I went to a really cool museum that described life ruled by the Stasi during the GDR. CRAZY stuff went down during those times. They started putting barley and chicory root in people's coffee bean bags. Not cool. Jay and I partook in some "ball sack" coffee afterwards. The cafe was actually named Balzac but Jay and I are super mature.

Alps update next...

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