In a few short weeks from our arrival, we’ve now visited cities in Germany, France, and Denmark. Following the rocky start departing Copenhagen with the flight mix ups, our first day in Berlin picked up bright and early. After breakfast, which was a nice change from the hostel chain from the past few days, we had a brief reflection and lecture from Dr. Herwig on the long history of Berlin. The lecture was especially interesting as it explored the earliest beginnings of the city in the late 12th century to the more well-known events of WWII and the present. There was so much about the city that I’d never thought about discussed here, so I really enjoyed getting to know the city better prior to us actually walking out and taking the tour. A lot of people think of Berlin, and Germany as a whole, only in the context of wars, and it’s a great opportunity here to learn about this in a more full context.
After finishing the lecture and taking a brief walk from the hostel, we met our tour guide and began the long walk as the rain picked up. Despite the less than favorable weather, the tour across the city was among the most enjoyable experiences on this trip so far for myself and my peers. For a few hours, we had the chance to walk and experience some of the most famous German monuments such as the Brandenburg Gate and Jewish Memorial. We rounded this off with a much needed late lunch at a local Italian restaurant near Check Point Charlie before catching the trains back to the hostel. Following the busy morning, we had a free night to grab dinner or walk the city, so I grabbed pizza and gelato with a few others and went looking for souvenirs. Overall, this was one of my favorite days and seeing the famous sights while hearing the history was an amazing experience.