Thursday, June 12, 2008

Berlin Trip

right now, berlin is in the top of my favourite list of cities i've visited in Europe! it's an amazing place! it totally exceeded my expectation of the place. so why do i like it so much? firstly, i was expecting berlin to be quite a "run-down" place with old buildings and architecture. a place filled with historical buildings and landmark. with they do have, AND MORE! it was a place rich with history, and yet being modern at the same time. i guess it was also because i thought it wouldn't be as fun anymore as my 2 friends couldn't come at the last minute, leaving me to go on my own. but then i managed to make some friends there on the 1st day and had a great time traveling around with them! it's really exciting to travel alone, the feeling of being alone in a foreign land and the possibility of getting lost kinda gives me kick! heh.. sound a bit weird rite? or rather, the feeling of being able to navigate, find your way around, get things going, meeting new cultures and new people makes me excited! ya.. that sounds more right.. ;) and that's exactly what happened in berlin! and to add that berlin is such an awesome place, made it a fantastic trip for me!

the exciting journey started in stockholm when i had to find my way to the bus to bring me to the airport. the bus journey was 1.5 hours long and if i missed it, i would miss my flight unless i took a cab which i predict would set me back about 700 sek? (abt 166 sgd) and i was catching the 4.30am bus that was in this huge bus depot that was closed. and so i was frantically trying to find the way directly to the bus. of which i made it JUST in time before the bus left...

so i caught my flight to frankfurt, took a 2hr bus ride to the city, spent 1.5 hrs there and then take another 2hr bus ride back to the airport to catch my flight to berlin. i could have stayed at the airport and sleep as i didn't sleep the night before, but i'm the kind of person who would rather pay 14 euros for the 1.5hrs in the city to explore, than spend 7 hours in the small budget airport. and for my bus back to the airport, i almost missed it... another close shave there...

and so i made it safely to berlin in time and found my way to the generator hostel. though i had booked for the cheapest, the 14 person dorm, they were full and i was transfered to the 8 person one with no extra charge. sweet!

the next day, i had breakfast with my hong kong bunk mate. after that he went to postdam, but i was more interested in checking out berlin 1st, so we went our separate ways. i went on the sandemans free walking tour. it was an awesome tour! the guide was really good, giving us lots of history and details about the places he brought us too. he did the whole walking tour in the form of a story and it was really captivating. during the tour, i got to know quite a few people but obviously you can't be good friends with everyone right? and there was this nice korean girl who was travelling alone as well and we clicked quite well as the rest of the people had their own cliques. so we went to check out more places when the tour ended as she arrived on the same day as i did, she was as noob as me in berlin too. ;)

the next day, the both of us decided to go for the sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial tour. of which, my hongkong friend came along as well. and at the start of the camp, we got to know this other korean guy who was alone on the tour too as his canadian friend was sick and stayed back in the hostel. so here we are, four individual asian. we came all came alone, but we were definitely not lonely. we had quite a fun time hanging out together. the concentration camp tour was a mind-blowing experience. it was extremely thought provoking and even disturbing at some instances. all thanx again to the guide's great knowledge and depiction of the happenings in the camp. but one of the other kind of disturbing situation i encountered was when i approached this singaporean looking girl that i have been observing for a while (not in that sense, but rather, observing to confirm my speculation), and she was kinda hostile towards me. she only gave short answers, mostly one word, and had the "ok you're singaporean too.. and so..?" attitude. she didn't do her junior college or university in singapore. so i guess she didn't like and probably not even proud of singapore. judging from her attitude, i guess she's not too excited about being associated to singapore or even a singaporean. so i drifted away from her and went back to join my friendly friends instead. after the tour, we headed back to the city and checked out our last stop, the topography of terror at the berlin wall before parting.

though the time all of us spent together was a mere 2 days, but somehow we all clicked really well and there was some form bond formed. we all felt kinda sad that we had to part, it was a funny feeling. it was interesting that a 2 day friendship could invoke such an emotion in a person. what more a married couple of decades of years. no wonder they say that when the spouse of a long time married couple dies, the other party would depart shortly. i can imagine how much pain that would be.

and so that was my berlin trip. it was a historically filled city with a modern touch to it. a fantastic city with fantastic friendships made, a recipe for a memorable getaway!

i'm so looking forward to travel together with my beloved princess in july, visiting all the lovely places in europe. that would top it all! ;)

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