berlin

After Frankfurt, Lacye and I headed to Berlin. I didn’t know what to expect from Berlin, so I was blow away by the beautiful city. We arrived around 2pm and checked into our hostel, St. Christopher’s. Our hostel had a great, popular bar and restaurant below the rooms, which turned out to be quite fun. After checking in, we went to dinner at a nearby restaurant where we got Thai food. I began to talk to the owner there who turned out to be a very nice man who had traveled the world. He gave me travel advice and I enjoyed talking with him. After dinner we headed to the Christmas markets. By this time we had already seen 4 other Christmas markets in other cities, but Berlin’s markets were unique, colorful, and exciting. Lacye and I actually went on the children’s carousel, it brought us back to childhood for one moment. Afterwards we headed back to our hostel where I met a woman who was originally from Europe but had moved to China. She explained that she was only in Berlin for one night and she wanted to explore the city. After I asked the bar workers advice on where to go, Lacye, our new friend, and I headed out into the city. We visited the Berlin Wall, though it was dark, it was an amazing moment to see something that has so greatly shaped not only Germany, but also our world’s history. After exploring the city and going to a cafe, we went back to our hostel. It was a great time, one of my favorite things about traveling is meeting people, so I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our new friend! The next morning Lacye and I decided to go on a walking tour sponsored by our hostel. As we headed out we met two new friends, Brad and Chris from Australia, we also met a girl from China and another from Japan. Our tour was lead by a young man named Theo, he was witty and had a great sense of humor so that made for an interesting time. On the tour we visited most of the large monuments in Berlin including a beautiful, unique Jewish memorial, the Berlin Wall, and we even saw the region where the Cold War almost took place, and we stood above the bunker where Hitler killed himself. Berlin is not only a beautiful, artsy city with good vibes, as you can see it is full of rich history, which was exciting for a history geek like me. Throughout our tour we began to get to know Brad and Chris better and we went to Christmas markets with them, which was great. I love hearing how individuals in other regions of the world view Americans and I love hearing about American stereotypes as well. I have found that everyone seems to have something to say about our politics, economy, and healthcare system. My individuals that I have met during my travels seem to be better educated on American history and politics than most Americans are, which I find quite interesting. After visiting the various Christmas markets throughout Berlin, we headed back to the Berlin Wall and explored other monuments in the city. We had planned to meet up with my friend Bailey (who is studying in London but was visiting Berlin) and Debbie (a Berlin native) but after almost two hours of searching for them and miscommunication we gave up. We then headed back to St. Christopher’s around 7pm where we had dinner, I was excited to find that they had a veggie burger, it was delicious! Brad and Chris met up with us later on and we all explored the city together that night. Both Lacye and I really I enjoyed our time with them and we both agree they were some of the nicest people we have ever met! I absolutely loved Berlin, but what I think made the city one of my favorites was not only the city’s beauty but the fact that I experienced the city with others. I think that life is about relationships, friendships, and meeting new people, that’s what made Berlin so special to me. I hope to someday travel back to Berlin but Lacye and I both agree that it could never be the same without our new friends. I challenge each of you to reach out to others, to make a new friend, or to smile at a stranger, it is these small acts of kindness that make life so exciting and worthwhile.
Stay true, live justly, and always travel on. Peace and love.

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