Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

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Day Two Hundred and Twenty Three: Tattoo

August 31, 2012

Weather: 17oC, afternoon rains.
Money: €18 accommodation + €2 breakfast + €6 lunch + €11 dinner + €4 misc supplies + €2 ice cream = €43
Friends I was sad to say bye to today: 4

I didn’t get a tattoo friends, don’t panic. I was going to, but then I was looking at the little book thing and I started feeling a bit queasy and got scared. Hope got one though. She’s a brave girl and doesn’t mind me announcing such things on my blog.

So, that was our day today. I’d researched a couple of places within walking distance and we ended up at the one I had a good feeling about. It was quite nice. Hope made an appointment for later in the day and paid her deposit. No second thoughts now!

We went for a wander to get lunch and then just hung around. Wombats Hostel in Munich has super comfy beds so we did take advantage of them today. So cosy.

Hope got a tattoo of a hot air balloon on her leg just above her knee. It’s really cute. Apparently it didn’t hurt too much although it sounded terrible and that made it hurt me quite a lot. Ow. I’ve wanted one for ages but don’t regret not getting one today, even though the place was pretty amazing.

Hmm.

We got dinner tonight with people we like. Another beer hall. That’s what ya gotta do in Germany! We ate pork knuckle. Also something you do in Germany. Also, we part ways with some very nice people in the morning. Hayley, from Brisbane, who has been with us for a week or so, Megan from Melbourne, who unbelievably we only met yesterday (she’s super sweet) and also Nicky and Lisa, from NSW central coast who have been on the same buses as us since Paris!

We leave Germany for Switzerland tomorrow, via Austria. I’m keen. X

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Day Two Hundred and Twenty Two: Munchin in Munich

August 30, 2012

Weather: 24oC
Money: €18 accommodation + €3 breakfast + €6 lunch + €2 ice cream + €7 1L beer + €8 dinner + €5 tour = €49
Months left before leaving for home: 3 (exactly)

Munich isn’t as cool as Berlin yet, but I still like it a lot. We did a walking tour this morning for about three hours, and it was very interesting. The guide took us on lots of Nazi party rememberings and told us about lots of buildings in central Munich.

I quite like the old churches and today we saw plenty. Here are some photos. The yellow one pictured has the white interiors. The inside was so intricately decorated. Amazing! Also, in front of the yellow church in the photo is like a memorial thing from which Hitler gave motivational speeches to the people of Munich. Also, the photo of the building with the clock tower is the oldest building in Munich, and before many reconstructions, the original building was from the 1100s. One more notable one is the the tall tower, which is actually of the ‘new’ town hall, which, due to WW2 bombings, is actually older than ‘old’ town hall. The tower has the glockenspiel which is a dancing puppet like display which goes at six minutes past 11am, 12pm and 5pm. It was interesting, but as I found out today, it is rated number two in the ‘most highly overrated attractions in Europe’ competition. Ha.

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After the tour, we wandered in the market and had a dance around the maypole.

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We made friends with a girl from Busabout this afternoon in the hostel. We spent the evening with her and another guy at a beer garden down the way and then at a Mexican restaurant! I like people. Most of them, anyway.

Love much!

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Day Two Hundred and Twenty One: Salzburg Favourites

August 29, 2012

Weather: 18oC
Money: €20 accommodation + €5.50 lunch + €11 dinner + €20 misc + €4 misc = €60.50
Current city: Munich
Current country: Germany
Bus hours/Km’s: 2/147

Today brought much more joy in exploring beautiful Salzburg. I have the photos from yesterday that I promised too! Ok. So, yesterday we walked from the hostel up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. We didn’t pay entry, but the view was great!
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This one here is St Erhard’s Church in baroque style architecture: 20120828-202816.jpg

These are from Mirabell Platz where the do re mi scene was filmed! I am Maria here. Hope is on a unicorn.

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Here’s a street.

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The rest of these are from in and around St Peter’s Church, I really liked it. The organ was epic. Also, the once with trees are from the cemetery. Beautiful!

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And, after the photo overload, I am happy to report that we are back in Germany! We arrived at dinner time, then had a wiener for dinner. Hooray!

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Day Two Hundred and Eight: Mooching in the Park

August 16, 2012

Weather: 23oC, amazing
Money: €15 accommodation + €1 breakfast + €3 lunch + €1 ice cream + €3 dinner = €23
Today’s word of the day: Hebetude – a state of mental lethargy, stupidity or sluggishness.
Current city: Dresden

Such a nice day in Dresden – and what a perfect day to sit in the park!

We did go for a walk first though. Dresden is in two areas, there is the new town, where we are staying, and then across the river is the old town. During WW2, about 70% of Dresden was destroyed by bombs, so most has been rebuilt, meaning both areas are similar in age, with perhaps the new town being older than the old town.

So we walked for a few hours this morning, just checking things out. It’s nice. I have some photos for you tomorrow when I find my doovy for putting photos on.

We spent the afternoon in the park again today. We took our lunch picnic again, I had my Brazil sarong and we camped out, reading and listening to music. It was super sweet. I’ve loved relaxing in Dresden. Traveling is hard work and a break is always good.

Tomorrow we head into country number 21 – a fact which will certainly wake one up from their hebetude. Wow! X

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Day Two Hundred and Seven: Dresden

August 15, 2012

Weather: 20oC
Money: €15 accommodation + €6 lunch + €5.50 dinner = €26.50
Bus hours/Km’s: 3/193
Current country: Germany
Current city: Dresden

Dresden was a bit of a stop because we have spare days. But already, I love it. We arrived at midday after a few hours on the bus. We couldn’t check into the hostel til 2 so we went to the supermarket to buy some lunch things.

There’s a big park just up the road so we took our food there for a picnic. The sun was out and it was deliciously warm. Perfecto!

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We checked into our hostel and then did some bookings (good internet – amazing!). We booked our train into Switzerland which is super exciting.

For dinner tonight we got pizza from a place that’s recommended in the tourist map. The big pizzas were only €4 each, so we got two and took them to our favourite park!

So, basically a day of ‘mooching in the park’ to quote my old friend Hope. Lovely!

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Berlin Photo Special

August 15, 2012

Well, as promised, here are some photos in a special edition of TTB!

Welcome to Berlin, kids.

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Checkpoint Charlie. One of the few checkpoints between east and west Berlin. Otherwise known as ‘Berlin Disneyland’ by our tour guide as nothing here is authentic.

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Hope at the Wall. In the segment just down from Checkpoint Charlie, ironic that they have a fence around the wall to protect it from us. Not much of the wall remains now, just isolated sections like this one. Below it, out of view, is the Topography of Terror museum and former headquarter of the Gestapo.

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Brandenburg Gate. Gates to the city.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This is the entrance, Guard Tower A. The clock is always fixed on this time because it was the time of liberation.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Entrance again, the motto here says ‘work sets you free’. Hardly.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Reconstructed fence.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. One of many watchtowers.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Reconstructed barracks.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. I like this one. Cool colours.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Reconstructed sleeping quarters. Apparently sometime in recent history some Neo Nazis set this on fire. They’ve left it as is as a reminder that people still do dumb stuff.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Wash room.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This is the site of the old barracks, two of many. These are now memorials.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This is crazy. Station Z was where the prisoners were killed by shooting. They also added a gas chamber on later. Prisioners thought they were going for a medical examination but then they were shot in mass quantities. Scary stuff.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. These are the crematorium ovens.

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Jewish Holocaust Memorial. Built from 2003 to 2005 at a cost of €25 million. There are 2711 slabs of concrete, all of different sizes and angles. It’s quite nice. But very big. The museum is underneath.

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Jewish Holocaust Memorial. From a different angle!

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Humboldt University. The uni where Albert Einstein taught, Karl Marx, the Grimm brothers, Georg Simmel, and my favourite, Dietrich Bonhoeffer studied. Also, opposite the university is the square where the famous book burnings were held during WW2.

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East Side Gallery. 1.5km of wall, with artwork on. Like.

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East Side Gallery.

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East Side Gallery.

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East Side Gallery.

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East Side Gallery.

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East Side Gallery.

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East Side Gallery.

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East Side Gallery.

That’s all folks! Soz for the overload! Wow!

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Day Two Hundred and Six: Wall

August 14, 2012

Weather: 21oC
Money: €17 accommodation + €5 lunch + €5 washing + €10.20 dinner = €37.20
Rating of my appreciation of Berlin: 16 out of 16

Berlin is good. So much history and so interesting. I really like it. Not in the ‘I want to live here’ category, but maybe the ‘don’t miss this city’ or the ‘good for SOSE teachers’ category.

Today we did washing. It’s a good time, clean clothes, who ever thought I’d appreciate it so much. Unfortunately the ‘close’ laundry was about 2km away. But that’s ok, they had wifi and after this crappy wifi, that was nice.

We had a lunch picnic in the laundry which was pretty fun.

After we finished laundry, we walked from our place to the East Berlin open air gallery. It’s a section of the wall, probably 500 or so meters, all which art work on it. Not graffiti but actual commissioned art work. Some of them were really good, others were really meaningful. We liked it.

I’ve decided that tomorrow, instead of adding photos to my past few blogs, I’ll do a Berlin photo special. So stay tuned for that! Today’s wall photos are pretty cool.

Tomorrow we go to Dresden, of which I know nothing, except for the book ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ which David Cole made me read at Uni. Woot.

Cheers!

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Day Two Hundred and Five: Museum

August 13, 2012

Weather: 20oC
Money: €17 accommodation + €2.40 train + €5.50 lunch + €5.10 breakfast + €11.50 dinner = €41.50
Museums today: 2
Hitler overload: yes.

We had a really good and educational day today. First we went to church at Berlin International Community Church. It was in English and I love that churches everywhere sing songs that I know. Hillsong – amazing. We haven’t been for a few months so it was super nice and refreshing.

Church was at Potsdamer Platz where all the other things are really close by, which was handy. So, we walked to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial. We went there on the walking tour the day before yesterday but just saw the memorial, not the museum. It was very good. Very well put together and very moving. I enjoyed it a lot.

After this we walked to the Topography of Terror museum. This is built on the site of the former Gestapo building and is basically about all of the Nazi stuff and Berlin wall. This one was also very well done. However, three days in a row of WW2 has taken its toll on my brain, so I didn’t read as much as I would have liked. But that’s really fine ay.

We walked back to our hostel which was about 3km and had a little sit down before getting dinner at an Italian place down the road. Ah good times.

Tomorrow is washing day!!

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Day Two Hundred and Four: Concentration Camp

August 12, 2012

Weather: 20oC
Money: €17 accommodation + €19 tour + €4 lunch + €16.50 dinner + €4 ice cream = €60.50

Today we did a tour to Sachenhausen Concentration Camp with the same company we did the walking tour with yesterday. We caught the train out to the town it was in which was about an hour from Berlin city.

The tour was very good, although the guide’s delivery style was a bit dull. The crazy stuff that went on around these parts is horrific. Apparently 250,000 people died in just this camp. Not a lot remains of the original camp but there is a lot of memorial areas that are reconstructed buildings and halls.

The grassy areas are the same that they would have done the roll call on some 70 years ago. Very sobering.

Tonight we had a delicious dinner at a restaurant down the way. We both had amazing pork fillets. Yum. Also, I had my second best ice cream in a cone for the whole year. It was chocolate and orange, 2 scoops, and wonderful.

Miss ya guys!

Here are some phone photos from today: the first one is a watchtower on one of the corners; second one is a site of one of the bunk house things, which is now a memorial; the third is a reconstruction of two bunk houses, both of which are museums now.

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Day Two Hundred and Three: Berlin Wall

August 11, 2012

Weather: 15oC
Money: €10 walking tour + €17 accommodation + €5 lunch + €6.50 starbucks + €4.80 dinner = €33.30

Berlin is cool. SO much history! Today we did a waking tour that went for 4.5 hours with Insider Tours. It was great.

The tour did all the cool things in Berlin including the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, all the Nazi buildings, and the site of Hitler’s bunker and death. It was really interesting and some of it so recent. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 so I was even alive. Crazy.

Something annoying is that I can’t use internet on my iPad in this hostel so can’t upload any photos except from my phone and I forgot to take any today. I’ll go back through when we have more internet and add photos.

After the tour finished, we got some Currywurst for lunch which is Germany sausage with curry sauce. It was good. Then our feet were so sore that we came home for a rest. Tonight we went to our favourite Kabab shop again. We went there last night too, I can’t remember if I told you that. A large kabab is only €3.50, what a bargain. And so good.

Tomorrow it’s a concentration camp trip! Excited!