Sofia in Berlin
I have a feeling that after my tenure in Germany, I will be able to give walking tours of Berlin based on the amount of friends who, while visiting us, also want to visit Germany’s capital. Berlin is an incredible city with so many things to enjoy, share and experience.
Sofia and I began by choosing communal living at The Circus Hostel. This was Sof’s first experience in a shared dorm room, which I was worried would make her uncomfortable, but instead seemed to open her up to new experiences. I think she really liked the scene – meeting people from around the world, the bar full of young adults drinking and hitting on each other, and our two male roommates, one who had the smelliest feet imaginable. Despite the noise of ambulances and yelling Germans on the street, we had to open the windows upon arrival in order to save ourselves from nausea!
We spent our first day taking a free walking tour of Berlin where we got to see things that Ken and I had missed when we were wandering without a guide. We saw the location of Hitler’s bunker (now a sandpit behind an apartment complex), we saw the street that housed the SS and Gestapo, we saw the “death strip” behind the East side of the Berlin wall, we saw where the Hitler Youth burned books prior to the outbreak of WWII, etc. It was four hours of history and friendship, meeting Canadians, Americans and Brazilians along the way.
While in Berlin, we were also able to go to the Charlottenberg Schloss, a castle in Berlin which was incredibly anticlimactic, to Kadewe, a schmansy department store with an entire floor dedicated to gourmet deli/supermarket items, and to the Jewish Museum, which was so dense with Jewish history – from Diaspora to present – that we didn’t even have time to see modern history! The icing on the cake was the that the weather was really amazing – I even got a little burn on my face!
We returned to Hamburg with a mission to find European-made shoes for Sofia, a lot of photos, and fun memories.