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It’s Berlin, Baby

Since I’ve been home for over a week now, I figured I should probably get this post up. Whoops. My bad. Although, seeing as I’m still waking up before the sun decides to shine, I think I’m entitled to be a little sluggish on the whole blogging about Berlin situation.

I’m not going to take you through a day-by-day recount of the entire trip because it was for school. This was not vacation. This was Jordyn trying to remain sane while 100 years of German history is being shoved into her brain in 18 days. What I’m going to share with you all is the stuff I did alone! The things I did that had nothing to do with the whole schooling situation, because let’s be honest… I already forgot most of that anyways. 

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The TV Tower is one of Berlin’s most noticeable structures. This can be seen from just about anywhere in the city and also served as my directional point… just follow the tower and eventually you’ll find the subway back to the hostel. 

The first thing I learned while traveling to Berlin is that anything over three hours on a plane is a special kind of torture. I’ve flown plenty of times. I’ve been on eight planes this year. The flight from Nashville to New York is fine, an hour and a half is nothing. But from New York to Berlin? Almost nine hours… no thanks. The only thing that saved me were my noise cancelling headphones (shoutout to rose gold beats… I felt 500 levels of cool on that plane) and built in flight movies. I’m pretty sure I watched five movies on the way there. The Martian, which I 10/10 recommend, Bridget Jones’s Baby, La La Land, The Proposal, The Heat… I’m sure I started more and slept through even more than that, but you do what you’ve got to do. And eventually we landed. And then I met that frenemy everyone loves to hate: jet lag.

We love it because that means we’re traveling and seeing the world. We hate it because it means we want to go to bed at lunch time and are awake at 3:00 a.m., when all of the restaurants are closed. Although, in Germany, a lot of the best parties are just getting started and people don’t ever stop drinking, so I guess it’s ok there… but school trip, remember? Yep.

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And here we have a slideshow of my one true love: ice cream. And let me tell you, American ice cream sucks. And it’s expensive. And I hate it. I would gladly suffer through 12 hours of travel time and jet lag just for a scoop of coconut raspberry sorbet again… my mouth is watering right now and all I did was type it. It’s that good. When people ask me what my favorite part about the trip was and what I miss the most, ice cream is my answer. They think I’m joking. I’m not. I went to Cold Stone a few days after getting home and I could barely eat my “like it” of peanut butter ice cream with chocolate shavings. Man, I miss paying three euros for 937 scoops of espresso gelato… that is the ish. The real deal.

I also was in food heaven. I mean… there was literally every kind of food you can imagine all within five subway stops from where I was staying. It was beautiful. Singaporean, Moroccan, Polish, Russian, Mexican, German (duh.), English, Turkish, Dutch, Italian… you name it and it was there. We even had a Nigerian food truck experience. I ended up having Polish vegetable soup like four times. I’m still a little bummed about the lack of gluten free pierogi (what is the plural of this????? HELP!) but I’ll live. My friend and I shared a punch card at Tak Tak (the Polish restaurant) and combined, we gathered twelve punches in eighteen days. Skills.

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And then there’s the wall art! It’s everywhere. There’s so much of it, I could’ve spent then entire trip just looking at it all. Which, if I’m honest, isn’t that far from what I did… oops. Berlin takes street art very seriously. It’s not just tacky graffiti like we see on overpasses on the highways. They hire artists to come in and paint. It’s worth money. Some of it is worth a lot of money. The pictures in the slideshow above are just some of the amazing works I happened to find while there. Among them are pieces covering an abandoned NSA Listening Post, so yeah, that was pretty cool. Some of us in the group made it a game: Who can find the most cats? Who can find the most marijuana leaves? Who can spell their name the quickest without using the same section of a wall twice? Things like that… I didn’t win any of them but it’s fine. They just all cheated. It’s not like I’m competitive or anything…

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And because it wouldn’t be a trip to Europe without including old churches, palaces and courtyards, here you go. Germany is different than a lot of European countries because it’s fairly new. What I mean by that is the architecture you see in Berlin is a lot of post-WWII and Nazi era buildings… they’re ugly and grey and depressing to look at. Which is why I didn’t take any pictures of them. That doesn’t mean the city isn’t beautiful, because it is. It’s just a different kind of beauty. One you have to figure out for yourself. There are stories around every corner, heartbreaking stories. Some of them, I’m still trying to piece together from 4,698 miles away.

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This was my home away from home for 18 days. And there was a bar downstairs. Oh yes. 

Berlin, you were good to me. Until next time!

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