Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Berlin Chronicles: Part II we are for Part II of Berlin. It actually works out quite nicely as it was a four day trip, and so using my amazing A-Level in Maths, I know I can split the trip into two entries of two days. Those years of differentiation, calculus and integration weren’t wasted aft-...oh, wait a minute. They were.

Wednesday was a day spent taking it VERY easy indeed. I didn’t really sleep that much on what was pretty early Wednesday morning by the time we got back to the hostel and settled down to get to sleep. I don’t remember if anyone set an alarm, but I think I was up by about half 8 or 9. Take out my unusual sleeping habits of waking up at pretty regular intervals, and I got about 2 hours of sleep. That’s really not enough sleep for me, as we found out a bit later in the day.
We went off to East Side Gallery to see that part of the Berlin Wall, and it was really something to be able to walk along that section of wall and look at some of the artwork that people have drawn on there. Some of it is really amazing and inspirational stuff, and I’ve definitely got my favourites. It’s crazy to think that just over 20 years ago, there was a gigantic wall going around Berlin that divided a city in two. Of course, as we all know, the world (and Germany) has progressed at an astounding rate in this time to become the place that it is today. For that, we thank you David Hasselhoff.

Once we’d finished that walk along the wall, we managed to find a really nice bakery place in Alexander Platz for lunch. It was ridiculously well priced too which makes things even better and I was able to stuff my face with some bread, a sandwich, a doughnut and a milkshake for just under 5 Euros. Tell me that isn’t fantastic. Then by this point, the severe lack of sleep had caught up with me. Hessie suggested a sneaky nap to the group (which sounded like my idea of heaven), so we headed back to the hostel. There was then a fairly large change of mind among people, but despite virtually everyone else going off to have a look around the cathedral, I managed to catch up on snooze-time.

After I was woken (I vaguely recall having a mini-freak out when being woken. Thank you) we headed down to the cathedral to find the rest of the group and then went for a wander around another Christmas market. And it’s here that I found the surprise of the trip: a five piece band playing a variety of music. And these guys blew me away...probably because I was craving some music and they covered all bases. There was stuff by Beach Boys, there was Little Richard, there was Christmas music...they had it all. So it’s probably no surprise to read that I was dancing around and we ended up sitting in the tent with a drink and listening to these guys for about an hour or so. It really was a pretty cool way to spend part of the evening.

Once we got back to the hostel, things because...well, they became more childish. We spent the night sat downstairs while a good chunk of the group went to check out a club in Berlin. Most of us were just too tired and not really feeling the need to go out, and we had a good time anyway. There was a German copy of Cosmo magazine which inspired me to start my own mini catwalk, even though no else joined in (shame on you guys, shame on you!) and we even got to hear our horoscopes. Turns out the last week or so was pretty good for me in terms of “Lust und Erotik”. Then again, this was the same for the other 5 of us who got to find out what our horoscope had in store for us.

And then it got really childish. REALLY childish (though what would you expect from me?). I’m going to claim credit for the idea as well, even though I’m not 100% sure it *was* my idea. Once we went upstairs to go to bed, I shared the idea with Hessie and threw my mattress onto the floor and then grabbed hers and did the same. The mattress party was born. I’m going to say it’s a good thing that we were in a room of people who don’t always have to be the most mature people and therefore, they were open to our idea of just sleeping on the floor on our mattresses. Again, there are photos of this amazing event on Facebook somewhere should you want to see images of me and combinations of people lying on the floor (including one taken just after I was hit in my *ahem* gentleman parts with an elbow).

It was Kenny’s birthday on Thursday though, so we started her birthday with the most fun way possible: a bed time story from Tom! It wasn’t my finest rendition of Once Upon a Time, but it was definitely a special version as it was turned into a musical version featuring all of your favourite songs such as “My robot broke and then the warranty expired!”

Aah, that really was good fun. We were childish, we were immature, but it was good fun (even if I did stay up until about 3am again). It’s amazing how you can be tired one minute and then go upstairs and suddenly find another burst of energy to be on it for the next three hours or so. I was pretty impressed at that, though some of the conversation got REALLY bizarre by about 2am.
So we get to Thursday...the last day of the trip (well, the last full day). We finally got round to checking out the DDR Museum which was really cool. There were plenty of interesting things to look at and read. I can now say I’ve sat in a Trabi (even if it was just in a museum) and we created the not-so ideal Socialist Tom. Any futuristic historical version of myself that has me wearing a top hat, a suit, long hair and carrying flowers and theatre tickets is the sort of the Tom that I would want to be in the past or future.

Looking at it now, the trip just wouldn’t have been complete without ice skating. Even though I haven’t ice skated for a couple of years, it was really good fun and I remembered how to not fall over on the ice while continuing to move. Santa was there too! He wasn’t skating though and once we got off the ice, we went over to get a picture with the big guy. Being the genius that he is, he positioned us to get as many landmarks into the photo as is possible. I’m not sure which camera that’s on, but once it’s uploaded (if it isn’t already), I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

And so that brings an end to the trip of Berlin. The journey back was fairly eventful as Amanda wasn’t feeling too well (she’s thankfully much better now, yay!) but I managed to catch a little bit of sleep on the plane, and I don’t think anyone was in the mood for being awake on the coach back, especially at the time we were travelling back up to Leeds. We beat the sun back, though I did stay up to watch it from my bedroom before I headed off to sleep early on Friday morning.
Berlin shoots to some of the best moments of my time in uni at the moment. Obviously, having never been to Berlin before the trip, it was always going to be a good trip. Getting to spend it with some of my closest friends made the trip so much better though, and I can’t think of a better group of people to have spent it with.

So to you guys and girls, thank you for a fun week! I know I wish I could have stuck around for a few more days as I was really enjoying myself and being back in the UK just isn’t the same...still, it just gives an excuse to head back in the near future.

With that, have a safe and pleasant Christmas (and Chanukah). Love and happiness to you all.

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