Last week 10/15-10/21, I took a rather impromptu trip to Europe with a couple of friends for some personal reasons (relationships are hard). While my colleagues are amazing and securing coverage for work was easy, getting everything prepped to take leave was like taking on a whole 'nother half-role in and of itself. But it was well worth it.
My friends C and J had already started the trip before me, as C had recently scored a new role and had time in between jobs. I caught up with them mid-trip and was able to explore Berlin and Prague with them. Some musings shall now ensue...
Having studied German for 5 years of my life, I feel a certain fondness for the country. In high school, I had the #blessed opportunity to go on a class trip to Germany and visit 8 cities, of which I do not specifically recall save for Munich, Ulm, and Frankfurt. I've always wanted to visit Berlin, though, as I've heard it's very unlike the rest of the country. That scuttlebutt proved to be true for me.
Thoughts on Berlin
Berlin seemed to me to be a bit more cosmopolitan than the rest of Germany, but that may just be because I visited more than 6 years ago. Probably also because it's affordable, hip, and therefore attracts young people worldwide.
Another thing I noticed--there's a certain sort of post-war angst and defiance in the air that's palpable but ineffable. The ubiquitous art that surrounds the city is both expressive and evocative in a genuine way, unlike some of the art in New York, which I find to be pretentious and vapid at times. It was pretty damn cool.
Onto the matter of food: straight up, the food kind of sucks. Had to try the currywurst though. 5/10 would try again but would have to be drunk.
One of the highlights of my trip was being able to see (and touch!) the Berlin Wall. After learning so much about WWII in school and the fall of the Wall, it was really an experience to be able to see it up close and just imagine that such a structure could have separated such opposing governing ideologies. Sehr kuhl.
All in all, though, I didn't really feel like I got to know the Real Berlin, as I arrived on a Sunday and the city was pretty dead. Clubs were also closing for the winter and it's no secret that clubs are a huge part of Berlin culture.
I hope--nay, I will--visit again soon!
Coming soon in part two: naive musings of a girl on Prague.