July 6, 2012

Oh, The Places You'll Go...

It's just about 7pm on this very hot Friday in Berlin. I've finished my first week of classes, and I'm enjoying my first weekend free of any and all obligations. I'm starting to get used to Germany and being in a place that is so different from America. Not being able to speak the language isn't as bad as I thought it would be. A lot of younger Germans speak at least some English, which makes it easier on us. And I haven't mistakenly ordered any crazy meals yet.

I think the hardest thing to get used to is not having air conditioning. For the most part, Germany is much cooler than it is back home. But it's still the middle of the summer, and it gets hot in the middle of the day. I also have to order my water still and with ice at restaurants. Germans don't use ice, and they drink sparkling water. But all of that wouldn't even matter if I liked beer. Beer is cheaper than water in Germany, so most everyone orders beer over water.

Anyway, back to school... The way our classes work is Monday and Wednesday we have an actual class, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. On Tuesday we have a field trip for our morning class, and Thursday we have a field trip for our afternoon class. This Tuesday, my German professor split the class into small groups and sent us on a scavenger hunt around Berlin.

The first place my group went to was Charlottenburg Palace. It's the largest palace in Berlin, and it's the only surviving royal residence in the city. It was so beautiful. It's a shame we couldn't have gotten a tour through the palace. The grounds were gorgeous as well. It was so big, and we did a lot of walking, but around every corner there was something to see.

We then went to the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. Checkpoint Charlie was the most well-known crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

The Wall

This cobblestone line runs through the city of Berlin and shows where the Berlin Wall stood during the war.

Checkpoint Charlie

After Checkpoint Charlie my group made our last stop at Oberbaum Bridge and another part of the Berlin Wall. The bridge connects Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, two districts that were once separated by the Berlin Wall. The bridge is a big landmark in Berlin and is a symbol of the city's unity.

Oberbaum Bridge

Thursday was my field with my afternoon class, Art Appreciation. We went to the Pergamon Museum. It's the largest temple that's ever been moved from it's original site. Pergamon was excavated in Turkey.

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