on day 3, i spent the morning packing, checking out, and checking into my new hostel. the hotel room was a splurge and therefore i returned to hostel living (more on that later).
the first stop was the semi-long train ride to gedenkstatte plotzensee, a berlin prison from the 1800's but known for being an execution site during the nazi era. in total, about 3,000 prisoners were executed. most were germans that were seen as threats to the nazi ideology. i got lost along my way (took a wrong turn out of the station and could not believe i had to go down a cobblestone alley to get there), but i was glad i went.
the execution chamber. inside prisoners were killed by guillotine.
after, i took a bus to the reichstag building. this area is the most touristy and has most of the popular memorials that you may have seen pics of.
the sinti and roma (gypsy) memorial
in the tiergarten there is a memorial to goethe. you can see where the statue was patched up after it was damaged during the bombing in 1945.
schnitzel, potato salad (with pickles!), and a cappachino with itty bitty chewy cookies.
the view outside the restaurant
next stop was the museum on everyday life in the gdr. it focused on culture in east berlin and shared stories about east berliners. it was interesting to learn the creative ways germans expressed themselves and made extra money with limited resources. on a side note, i used a paid toilet for the first time. what a newfangled concept for this american!
surprisingly i had extra time, so i stopped at the berlin wall memorial. this is the only part of the berlin wall that still has both walls (west & east) and the death strip inbetween (including a death tower). there is also a little museum about the wall and an outside museum that includes remnants and memorials.
the death strip.
a little garden nearby
i then made my walk to the hostel.
and saw a cute little flower stand (there are so many in germany!)
i stayed at the eastseven hostel and i highly recommend it! they have the absolute friendliest workers (i would say the friendliest workers i have ever met at an hostel, especially max). the dorm rooms are also pretty large and the bathrooms are split up by gender with multiple showers (both things i prefer). the one con is that they do not have female only dorms, but this is a minor detail that is more of a preference. the hostel is known for being a bit of a party hostel, but everything was pretty quiet during my stay except for the one night american frat boys were drunk and sang the national anthem (another californian and i just laid our head down in shame).
such large rooms for 4 people.
the common area.
a reference to hey arnold!
such large rooms for 4 people.
that night i had some ramen from down the street. i went there 2 other times.
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the next day, my first stop was the coffee shop down the street. the cafe was filled with antiques and to even get to the restroom you had to use an old lever key.
this day was a museum day, but before they opened up i went to the 'old town' (which is not very much because the city was bombed) to see the old buildings. unlike many other cities, after the bombings the city decided to not so much preserve, but build new and modern structures.
next i headed to the mitte. the first museum was the deutsches historisches museum (german historical museum). it is very thorough and large! i thought i was done by the time i reached the 1930s, but no i had another half to go. i highly recommend it, but don't bog yourself down.
the german historical museum
the berlin dom
my favorite pieces inside.
the next museum was the ddr museum, which is not really worth mentioning. down the street here were some more memorials, souvenir shops, and a coffee place i visited.
fernsehturm berlin, the tv tower.
neptunes fountain. this is the only place where i saw someone attempt to pick pocket others.
ruine der franziskaner-klosterkirche. the church was bombed in 1945 and today is used for art exhibits. i came at the perfect time when the sun was setting.
i then ate some dumplings and called it a night.
'so i guess i'll go home
into the arms of the girl that i love.
the only love i haven't screwed up.
she's so hard to please,
but she's a forest fire.
i do my best to meet her demands
play at romance, we slow dance
in the living room, but all that a stranger would see
is one girl swaying alone.'