Don't Wish for Less Problems, Wish for More Skills.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Berlin...


I know it has been awhile…I apologize, but this post is about an event that I particularly did not like. I guess I was trying to push it off as much as possible. But, then I discovered that I wanted to let you all know the information I wish I knew before going to Berlin.

Last weekend, I traveled to Berlin on my own. To be honest with you all, it was one of the worst decisions of my life. I did not like Berlin very much at all.

My first day in Berlin, I walked to the East Side Gallery, which is the recreation of many of the murals left on the wall. It was a conglomerate of self expression and anguish. I enjoyed looking at the contrasting styles that expressed the same message.

I stayed in a nice hostel right next to Alexanderplatz, which is only a short walk to all of the main tourist attractions, so far so good right? I don’t know if it was the communist-esque architecture, the rain, or traveling on my own that really bogged me down…


There was something in the air of the town that put me down in the dumps. There was trash everywhere, it rained the entire time I was there, the hostel staff gave me recommendations for dining that were terrible. I hated all the concrete and lack of trees in the city.

On Saturday, I tried to leave early from Berlin, but was unsuccessful because of the train schedule, just my luck.

Aside from all of the misery that I put myself through, I did have the joy of driving a seg-way, which is more fun than it looks (even though it looks like a lot of fun). I rode the seg-way on a tour of the city, hosted by Fat Tire Bike Rentals. The seg-way added another variable into my tour experience. My tour guide was an English girl, named Mariette. She was very nice and about the only smiling soul that I met during my trip…I’m kidding. Nonetheless, it was a good tour. She escorted us to the TV Tower, a communist memorial, the Berlin Wall, and a few parliament buildings including the Reichstag, along with many other sights you can see in my pictures. There are definitely a lot of tourist sites to be seen. And, seeing them on a seg-way made it even more enjoyable. It was really funny seeing some of the other people in the tour struggle with the machine. We had a practice session before leaving for the tour, and many of the other people struggled greatly with mastering the balance act. One lady from Alaska had this awesome burnout and ran right into our tour guide. Everyone was worried, but we all laughed off the situation once we found out that the two of them were okay.


It is really simple in its design. There are two ways to move it, shifting your weight forward or back, as well as shifting the handlebar to turn. But, just like a controller for a video game system, you balance the two and you can go in any direction. The tourists took more pictures of me on my seg-way than of the Reichstag or Berlin Wall.

Berlin is very unusual. It is billions of Euros in debt, yet they provide unemployment benefits equivalent to working at a middle management job. Everything is very cheap as well. Real estate in the city is basically pennies to the dollar comparative to some of the other major metropolitans in Europe. I am actually amazed that it was such an important territory.

I learned a lot about Nazi Berlin, as well as the effects the Cold War had on the city. There is a lot of history to be learned, but I think that the only way I’ll see the city again is through the pages of a book.

Sorry to those who like the city.

Pictures from my trip

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