TV Tower of Alex

Toward the big television tower at Alexander Platz we headed, and once we maneuvered our way through the streets to this huge tower, we went inside to view from the top at the observatory. Here you can see an amazing view of the city. What’s so amazing about this view is the way you can really see the sides of East Germany and West Germany. Why this is so noticeable is simply by the architecture of the buildings. On the right side, all the buildings were slabs of white concrete, and reminded me of my time in Russia. On the left were huge mansions of red tiled roofs, and more colorful interesting architecture. It was really unbelievable to see this sight. We then went back down the tower to SUBWAYS for a snack. Then we started feeling raindrops. Raindrops=trouble for biking.

We finished our snack and tried to haul it back to the rental place. We were actually thinking of keeping our bikes for the 24hour deal, but since it started raining, we thought we should go ahead and return it by 6:00pm for a cheaper rate, but it was 5:25 now. So, as we were peddling as fast as we could through the traffic of Berlin, we were getting soaked and worried because of the storm, and that if we missed the 6:00 deadline, we would have done all this in vain. So, as lightning crashed, and we were getting drenched, we finally found our way back to the rental place at 5:56pm. We were cracking up with how close it was and how wet we were. It was really a funny site to see us trying to cross the streets in front of traffic and such!

Checkpoint Charlie

After leaving the police mess, we headed for Checkpoint Charlie. This is where the American Sector began, and the Crossing of the Berlin Wall was required. Along the streets, still remaining is the line for the wall. You can see it throughout the entire city where the wall actually was. After leaving Checkpoint Charlie, we rode toward the Jewish Museum. This looks like the Louvre in the fact that it is impossible to see all of it in one lifetime.

Nina, Benedict, and April dinner

Nina and Benedict are so nice. Nina is one of Judith’s best friends, and we are staying with them during our time in Berlin. Benedict works for Bloomberg like my friend Jason. Their apartment is awesome. I can’t believe how big and cheap housing is here!! This place has ceilings that are probably 15ft high, and it is sooo nice! I feel really lucky to stay at these places! Because of staying at friends, my money is holding up nicely, but if


you feel and urge to donate to this cause, please send it here!

We went to a place called April for dinner, which was a nice Austrian restaurant. It was so nice and the food was excellent. I had some type of vegetable enchilada with roast turkey wrapped inside. It was too much of course size wise, but I was proud that I finished as much as I had. Biking must have given me a bigger appetite for the night.

Biking through Berlin

We then went toward a park and found a bike rental place. So, we rented bikes!

Biking through Berlin is really cool actually. It is very flat, and there are nice large bike lanes. It makes it a lot easier than walking around. So, we started biking in a nice park, and came out at the Siegessäule, where lines and lines of police were. I mean, this is more police I have ever seen before, and I later found out that there were 10,000 police on guard for one little man, none other than GW. Due to his visit, a lot of streets were closed and the Brandenburg Gate is under construction!! I was so mad to see that, because it has a sheet draped over it!!

Goodbye Hamburg, Hello Berlin!

This morning, Judith and I went to the station and said our goodbyes to Galya. We hopped on the train and after a couple of hours we were in Berlin. Berlin is awesome! Once we got out of the station we went for some lunch in front of Memorial Church that is a church still kept in ruin from the disasters of WWII. It was really quite an interesting sight. After lunch we just walked along the streets and looked at the shops.

Galya’s New Apartment

So yesterday night we met up with Galya, who studied at UT with Judith, and we went to her place near the center of Hamburg. Now she had told us that it is a nice place, but you would not believe the place!! It´s brand new and the place looks like one of those rooms out of an IKEA catalog. So, we walk in, and it is beautiful. It´s 100m2 and humongous for just one person, with perfect location to the train station. It is really cool that we were able to stay here, because it´s a nice base for us to use. Today we went out to the University of Hamburg and looked at the campus. Galya is still studying here and is doing her thesis work and so she´s quite busy now. After going to the University we went to walk around the city, got ice cream, and went to a park to take a nap. The weather has just been unbelievable since I have arrived, and we´re definitely taking full advantage of it!! Tomorrow we will be getting up early to take a train to Berlin!

Hamburg City Walk

Judith and I started off this morning and went for a nice walk around the city seeing the sights. We had breakfast at McDonalds, and I got an elephant stuffed animal with my meal from ICE AGE. It will be fun to throw it out a train or something… After breakfast we headed for the city center and looked through the shops, finding nothing to buy. We then went to the Gänsemarkt again and had some lunch (a nice turkey curry flavored wrap). After lunch we found dessert and went to the Binnenalster which is a lake near the center and sat for a while. After a short rest, we headed for Michel which is a church with a tower that you can go up to look out over the city. Then we walked more around the city to find an internet café so I could check some mail to figure out more about my upcoming travels–(depending who’s around, I need to let people know when I’ll be arriving etc.. )

Now it’s off to dinner and meeting Galya and seeing Judith’s new apartment. (She’s moving to Hamburg in August for an internship)

Train to Hamburg, Germany

So Judith and I got up early in the morning to catch a train to Hamburg. The train was nice, and the views were really cool to see such country landscapes. Anyhow we arrived in Hamburg and met Judith’s friend from school named Frauke. We arranged to stay at her place for the first night. We put all our stuff down in her Ikea furnished apartment, and went out to see some Hamburg sights. Hamburg is one of the biggest ports in Europe, and we took a ferry around the port area, and I saw an APL container! It was cool, and the scene of Hamburg from the ferry was very nice. After that we returned back to the city and went to a restaurant for some dinner.

This restaurant had a very American feel, with steaks, baked potatoes and such. However, I got a salad with my meal that was completely soaked in oil. So much so that I couldn’t eat more than half of it. After about 30 minutes after dinner, my stomach was hurting soo much that I had to run to a McDonald’s to where I ran into a babushka trying to make me pay to use the toilet, and make me also wait for the floor to dry in this dire time of need. Anyhow, all was solved, and we headed out to the Planten und Blomen water light show. It was nice, and the evening was called to a close.

Landgrafen Schloß

Today we walked up to the castle (schloß) of Marburg and went through looking at all the artifacts. Furniture, clothing, and antiques dating back to 400BC were all very interesting. It’s amazing to think of how many civilizations were so alive and developing things before the US was even thought about. It’s really cool to just walk through this town because of all the old architecture and hills. Every road is stone laden, so it really gives an old feel. We just finished a dinner of mashed potatoes, salad, and bratwurst. Yumm. Tomorrow Judith and I will go to Hamburg to visit some friends.

Attacked by Swans on the Lahn River

Judith and I went down to the river that cuts down through Marburg. It’s a really nice and peaceful setting and they have these paddleboats. So, we rented a paddle for a half hour and started on our journey upstream. There are however lots of obstacles in the river. Shallow parts, ducks, swans, and other paddle boat drivers. The worst one was the encounter with the swans. They came right up to the boat and fluffed their feathers at us and we were freaking out. I wouldn’t have been scared except Judith had just told me a story about a swan who was attacking someone and another person came up to the swan and grabbed its neck and swung it up into the air to get it off the victim. So, I knew these weren’t just the pretty duck-looking birds that gracefully glide through the water, yet pretty people-eating animals hidden by a serene facade. So, needless to say, we arrived safely back at the dock, and are off to lunch!