Last time I checked in, I was heading out from Prague on the train towards Berlin, Germany!
Most of my family members have travelled to Germany over the years, but I somehow hadn’t, so I was really excited to get there. I hopped on a train from Prague around noon, and was supposed to travel directly to Berlin by 6pm.
As soon as I got onto the train, though, I knew something was up. There were people EVERYWHERE. Way more than could fit into the train’s assigned compartment seating. The train itself was super hot, and when I arrived at my seat, someone was asleep in it and refused to move. I managed to find a seat in the adjacent compartment, but was soon told that the train was being diverted, and we’d be bussed for a portion of the route. There was a whole fiasco with me shouting in English at German/Czech speaking transit officials on the side of the road in a small town near the border when they said they weren’t running any more busses, but eventually I made it to Berlin.
Sidenote: Situations like this made me feel glad to be traveling solo. I was able to keep my own panic at bay, but if I’d had a nervous buddy asking me questions, or a bunch of friends with wheelie luggage that couldn’t RUN to catch the last bus to the train station, I would have been in rough shape.
I arrived in Berlin well over an hour later than expected. I’d booked an Air Bnb in Prince Lauerberg, which turned out to be a perfect fit for me; tons of food, trails, shops, and transit to the sights. I got dinner and walked around a bit when I arrived, then headed to bed.
I hit the ground running the next morning with a walking tour that started near the Brandenburg Gate.
It took us through the Holocaust Memorial.
Past the German Finance ministry building, which is the last remaining large-scale Nazi-era building in Berlin.
And over through the Topography of Terror exhibition, which includes both a chunk of the Berlin Wall and the ruins of the old SS and Gestapo Headquarters. I stopped back by these sites later in the day to read into the history more.
That evening, I managed to find an english-speaking yoga class near my Air Bnb! The combination of running 30-ish miles a week and walking 8+ miles a day while traveling had really taken a toll on my poor legs. Yoga was a welcome, welcome stretch.
The following day was rainy, so I opted to buy the one-day pass to all the museums on Museum Island in Berlin. Berlin has some truly amazing art and antiquities, and I love me a good museum. The hi lights were for sure the amazing Egyptian collection and the Persian Temple at the Pergamon.
One of the things I really grew to love about Berlin was its street art. There were really some amazing pieces of art just chilling on the sides of building all over the city.
After my run the next day, I took the train south to Charlottenburg Palace. With it’s immense grounds and endless trails, I regretted not bringing my running shoes. I wandered around the gardens until I could see a thunderstorm rolling in.
Berlin ended up being the most chilled-out of all my stops on the trip. This was partially because I’d left these days purposefully unstructured so that I could rest a bit and get graduate school work done. It was also because (sadly) I didn’t really run into any travelers who I connected with there. I’m a pretty independent introvert, though, so I just took the alone time as part of the ebb and flow of traveling.
I finished my time in Berlin with a cool run through a few of the historical sites before I boarded a plane headed north to Copenhagen!