Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany at 12:05pm CEST.
Departed from Graz, Styria, Austria on Sep 17, 2012 6:34pm CEST. Arrived at Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany on Sep 25, 2012 2:07am CEST.
Aufsteirern Hauptplatz Graz at 6:34pm CEST in Graz, Styria, Austria.
Departed from Swords, Leinster, Ireland on Sep 2, 2012 6:07am IST. Arrived at Graz, Styria, Austria on Sep 17, 2012 6:34pm CEST.
Departed from Dublin, Leinster, Ireland on Aug 31, 2012 5:41pm IST. Arrived at Swords, Leinster, Ireland on Sep 2, 2012 6:07am IST.
Departed from London, England, United Kingdom on Aug 29, 2012 2:41pm BST. Arrived at Dublin, Leinster, Ireland on Aug 31, 2012 5:35pm IST.
Departed from Laatzen, Lower Saxony, Germany on Aug 25, 2012 3:47am CEST. Arrived at Uxbridge, England, United Kingdom on Aug 27, 2012 2:38am BST.
Today was a little less intense which was really nice for a change. We started out with a delicious breakfast buffet that he set up. We had eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit, toasties (English muffins), different spreads and jams, coffee, tea, etc. Then we figure out that we were going to go to Potsdam (a city near Berlin that has a plethora of palaces and gardens). We were you going to go to the Jewish Holocaust memorial museum if we had time. So we left for Potsdam. It was about a 30 minute ride, and then we took the 695 bus to the palaces. We first came out at the Schloss Sanssouci. It was a gorgeous palace. Behind it was a tiered grape garden for making wine. The garden was filled with statues of Greek gods, and a large fountain at the bottom of the tiers. We then walked to the Chinese tea house, then to the New Palace. The New Palace, and the building behind it were amazing. It was like a miniature version of Versailles. In the new palace, there was a special exhibit on Frederick the Great, since this year is the celebration of his 300th birthday. We took the tour of the exhibit. The inside of the palace was gorgeous, every detail was decorated. There were displays about the design of the building, FtG's (Frederick the Great's) military history, his youth, his relationships, and many others. I was really fascinated by all of this. Afterward I ended up buying a book on the Prussian Kings and German Emperors. While we (my mon, Stephan, and I) were on the tour, my mom and I got separated from Stephan. We didn't actually find him until after we left haha. Woops. After the tour we headed back into Berlin, and we went to the far side of town to a sushi place called Akitatsu. It was really delicious, love me some sushi. I had some spicy tuna sushi, as well as salmon with avacado and cream cheese. Delicious. They actually have a lot of sushi that contains mayo, I tried one piece, it was actually pretty good, but I would probably not order that haha. Then we headed back for the night. Twas a grand day.
Well this day was just as action packed! The first thing that we did actually was that I had to go to the doctor again and get my finger checked out again. Since my insurance does not start until September, I had to go to a private practice doctor and we had to pay on the spot. We were really nervous about the price, but actually, it only ended up costing €73, which comes out to less than $100. She ended up saying that I needed to get some medicine for soaking my finger, and I needed to use a salve and change the way I bandage it. Then we went to this store called Rossmann which is pretty much the German version of Wall Greens. We then headed to the Apotheke, which is the pharmacy. Something interesting is that you cannot buy local antibiotics without a prescription at the pharmacy (unless it is really weak). In fact, my doctor discouraged the usage of local antibiotics. Anyway, then we went to this book store called Dussmann, and I ended up buying a German version of the Grimm fairy tales. I am going to make that my first official German language book that I read. After a stop at Dussmann, we went down Unter den Linden back toward the Lustgarten. We planned on going to the Pergamonmuseum right away, but we got sidetracked and went into the Berliner Dom, which is right off of the Lustgarten. We bought tickets to take a tour. The inside of the cathedral is absolutely gorgeous. It isfilled with sculptures, stain glass, gold, etc... All the necessary items in a cathedral. There are 8 statues that stick out inside, at the bottom of the dom. On the front of the Dom is 4 statues of the 4 main reformers of the Protestant church. On the back are 4 Land Owners, that likely donated money to the project, but that's my guess. From there, we wen into the crypt downstairs. Many important figures, and their family members are buried here, including Frederick the Great. I believe it was 64 people but it is slipping my memory. There were people of all ages. There was even a child who died the same day he was born. Next we went and got some iced mochas. They actually had a coffee shop in the cathedral, that was interesting. Shortly after we decided to make the hike up to the top of the Dom. All in all, it is about 250 steps up to the top. Quite a haul! Fun fact: in 1944 the Berliner Dom was actually damaged in the war and the Dom collapsed in on itself. The crypt was also partially damaged. After the war, the cathedral was in eastern Berlin, so it was under Soviet control. Repair of the Dom did not begin until 1975. They were able to replicate most of the statues because there were smaller scale models of many of the statues held in the crypt. Look up pictures of the Berliner Dom collapsed, especially pictures of the inside. It's intense. So, back to our hike up the Dom.. We walked up about 100 steps and then there was a museum about the history of the Dom's construction and then we continued on up the rest of the way to the top. From there you could go outside of the Dom and take a look at the city from that perspective. It was absolutely amazing. Many of the buildings have red tile rooftops, similar to Graz. It was also very impressive to see the number churches, cathedrals, synagogues, etc. You could pretty much see everything that we saw on our tour as well. My bad pictures from there don't really do it justice. So we spent quite a bit of time up there. Then we headed back down. We went to the Pergamonmuseum next. There was a lot to see. Some highlights that we saw were the Pergamon alter from Pergamon in modern day Turkey, the Mshatta, the market gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate from Babylon, a permanent exhibit of near east art and artifacts, and also a temporary exhibit on the city of Pergamon. I preferred the exhibit on Pergamon, over the near east section, because it was more focused on one city, and I could a lot about a little, rather than jumping to different cities and learning a little about a lot. Both the Pergamon alter and the Ishtar Gate shocking and impressive. I particularly liked the alter. They actually brought back as much of it as they could (with permission of course) and did their best to reassemble the alter to its original state. The Friezes on the side of the alter are amazing, I wish I could see it on its original state. The friezes depict the battle between the Olympian Gods and the Giants. After the museum we had to rush back to the hostel quickly and meet up with Stephan. Eventually he came around and we headed to his apartment. We are staying at his apartment for a couple nights. After a while Stephan and I decided to go out for a bit. We went down to Frederick Straße. We went to a pub and had a few drinks. On the way to the pub it started down pouring. By the time we actually arrived, we were soaked from head to toe. It was a little nasty. But we had a few drinks and had some great convo. He told me a few stories I didn't remember about us from when he studied in the US, so funny. Ahh, good times. Eventually we moved on and he showed me "Spätkauf" which is a convenience store in the city that is open throughout the night. Then we went back to the S-Bahn station at 1:30 AM to catch a train home, but we missed the last train. So we walked back to his place. On our way back we walked along the river Spree. He lives right along the river so all we had to do was follow the river. We stopped at the Hauptbahnhof and got McDonald's for the second time that night. Haha. Then we kept walking and Stephan said we could go to two dive bars by his place. I was all for it. But when we got there, I severely underestimated what he meant when he said dive bar. We opted for grabbing another drink for the road home. After a little more walking around we eased back to the apartment and went to bed for the night.