First Week in Berlin

“The oldest miracle is where ocean meets shore.“

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So my first week was a bit difficult, if only because of jetlag. Placement tests were on Monday and I got in the A2.2 class. But the first day, my teacher said that there were too many kids in the class and some of us could move up if we wanted, so I went to B1.1, which is pretty awesome.

IMG_6255This is the street that the Goethe-Institut is on. Its at the end of the block.

I spent some time at Alexanderplatz, looking for a notebook for classes. Someone described Alexanderplatz as the heart of the city, and it seems true. There are always people there: shoppers, tourists, business people traveling by train, musicians, the homeless, people getting dinner, children playing on small trampolines or the water fountain — there’s always people at Alexanderplatz. My favorite part is the international clock in the middle of the platz. It has the time for major cities around the world, including Denver and LA!

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I spent most of the week studying and adjusting to the time zone, but I also found some of my favorite cafes and diners. One of my favorites is called “Coffee Fellows.” While their coffee is really good, I mostly like the place because sparrows come inside to eat crumbs off the floor. The first time I was confused, but no one cared that the little birds were in the cafe. I think its too hard to shoo them away all the time, so everyone just stopped caring.

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My weekend was awesome! I made up for the first day and wandered around Museum Island until I found the German Historical Museum. For the student price of 4 Euros, I spent 4 hours there (until closing) on Saturday and only just got to my favorite part of German History — the beginning of Prussia as a state in the early 1700s. Sooo…I had to go back on Sunday.

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 IMG_6265 IMG_6262 Charlemagne, Saint Relics, Jewish headstone, and a knight’s armor!

However, I woke up on Sunday, and the sun was shining in a sky clear. I couldn’t waste it all inside, especially when most days become cloudy very quickly. I took a tram halfway to the Brandenburger Tor. It was the first time I had been on Unter den Linden and I was absorbed by all the shops and buildings. Then I turned my head and suddenly I could see it! It was so cool. And the Quadriga was huge! Pictures don’t do it justice. One horse’s height is probably as tall as a man. I was still on the Eastern side when I took pictures, because that’s how the Quadriga faces. I could talk about history…but I won’t. Go Wiki it. At any rate, after 300 years, its seen a lot.

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I walked back down Unter den Linden for one thing: Friederick the Great’s statue. I’m a fan, sorry not sorry.
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There was also a really good pizza place on the Linden. I have to admit that German pizza exceeded my expectations. Yum, fooooooood…
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I went back to the History Museum, and had an awesome time. Old Fritz was at the top of my list and I’m so glad I got to see him.

IMG_6324The man himself, Ladies and Gentleman…Friederick the Great! Sorry to cut you out, Elizabeth, but he didn’t like you anyway.

However, some of the other items gave me a good laugh too. For instance, this picture below. In the 1700s, many nobles spent time hunting. Great. But apparently nobles liked drinking games too. The gun? Not a gun. It’s a jug shaped container. People would fill it with wine (from that awkward circular thing at the butt of the gun) and pass it around a circle. The catch was that you had to open from the nozzle in a weird way, and if you did it wrong, the wine would spill on you as you drank.

IMG_6339Never once did my textbooks mention this…

So I spent another 4 hours at the History Museum, getting to the end of WWI only to realize that they have a 1918-1994 section downstairs on the main level. Guess I’m going back! Can’t complain though. This museum was easily the best part of my week.

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Queen Luise of Prussia, a little girl’s kitchen set, WWI helmets, and WWI guns.

Of course, Sunday was Superbowl Sunday — no I didn’t forget. I may not be a huge football fan, but I’ll be darned if I miss my team play the Superbowl. I found a cool UK-based bar called Belushi’s that showed the Superbowl. I tried one of their burgers…sadly it wasn’t so good. But they tried. Anyway, the game started at 12:30 am my time, and Ryan and I Facebook messaged during the game until I decided to call it quits in the 3rd quarter. It was 3 am. Thankfully, the bar was two blocks from my apartment.

So that was the week! What do you guys have questions about? Anything in particular you want pictures of? I’ll gladly make mini posts!

Bis Bald,

Jacque

 

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