Thursday, August 17, 2017

Days Seven & Eight in Berlin

Written on Monday, July 31 on the Plane to Charlotte.

Our trip has come to an end. Somehow I survived Berlin. Our Airbnb was not that great. Beautiful apartment in a new building. Clean in general but there were some details that were not great. 

Oranienburg Train Station - Outside of Berlin

On Saturday, July 29 we arrived and we went straight to the concentration camp after putting our bags in lockers at the train station.  We had breakfast first when we go there and then we found the lockers to put up our luggage. We also go the train information to go to Oranienburg to  the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

We arrived to the town around 10:30 a.m. and then we took the bus from the train station. We met a nice Portuguese American family from California.

We spent way longer at the camp than we intended. We missed our bus because it was too full. We didn't want to wait more than hour for the next bus so we walked to the train station. We met a nice Canadian family along the way and two Spanish girls.  One of them was wearing a Litchfield Prison t-shirt. 

We then took the train back to Berlin, got our bags and went to the Airbnb. She's a very young Tunisian American girl who rents out her room and sleeps in the living room. She had friends in and out and her boyfriend was there too. It was very weird and uncomfortable. The only cool part was that it was on the east side of Berlin. 

I took a shower and we went to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe to get Rey's shot glass. While we were there Miranda studied the subway map to plot our trip the next day. 

We weren't too crazy about our Airbnb, it was simply a place to stay for the night. So we left on Sunday morning and went to put our bags up at the train station lockers again and we had breakfast there. 

Berlin Wall Memorial- These poles show where the wall stood.

Then we set out to see the Berlin Wall Memorial. That has been one of my favorite parts of the trip. To have stayed on the east side and then to go and read all the stories of the people who escaped through windows and doors of the apartments on the border really left an impression on me. I got chills when I realized the metal plates on the ground showed where people dug tunnels from the east to the west side to escape. Sometimes tunnels came out in basements of businesses on the west side. 

Metal plates that show where one of the tunnels ran under ground. 

After the Berlin Wall Memorial we went to the famous Brandeburg Gate built in the 1791 and the site of many historical moments from Napoleon, the Nazis, on the border of the Berlin Wall, Visits by Kennedy and the fall of the Wall.

Then back to the train station to take the 5 p.m. train back to Frankfurt. It was the shortest train trip ever because we went to the dining cart to eat dinner and we sat with a historian from Frankfurt named Jenni. She was super nice and very interested in the US and Houston.

Sunday night we found our way back to our hotel and the room two floors above our old room. We got ready for the trip back home, showered and re-packed our suitcases before bed.

This morning it didn't look like we were going to get on the flight but a pilot said he'd take the jump seat with the other pilots in the cockpit so we could both get on. There were also several no-shows. I told Miranda there are always people who over-sleep and don't make the early flight. And there are angels like the pilot who gave us his seat. 

So here we are now on our way to Charlotte and then we will fly to Houston, God willing. 

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