On our way to Prague, we made a pit stop in the quaint German city of Dresden. Even though the weather there was cold and windy, we were happy to be out exploring this absolutely beautiful town. Everywhere you turn, there is another elaborate building or another statue to feast your eyes on. One of the places we stopped in was the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic church), where we found some reprieve from the cold while listening to the soothing organ music vibrating through the white halls.
Our last day in Berlin was overcast and dreary. Instead of letting it deter us, we grabbed an umbrella and headed out to the largest public park in Berlin. Walking through Tiergarten, we had a little fun with our umbrella trying to see who can have the best ‘swept away’ pose. Clearly Kim won.
There are a lot of memorials in Berlin, many commemorating the victims of Nazi Holocaust, but none as far reaching as these stolpersteine (stumbling stones). Created by Gunter Demnig, they are found all over Berlin as well as the rest of Europe. Each one is engraved with the name of the victim, the date of their deportation and death. All the blocks are about the size of a cobble stone, embedded into the street in front of the house of each person murdered. Many people may walk by and miss these small reminders, however they are there to let us know these people existed and the atrocities they have suffered.
On day 2, we finally made it to Berlin after a round-about flight. Our first stop was the East Side Gallery to check out the famous graffiti on the Berlin Wall, a memorial for freedom. Some of the art work were quite poignant, while others were just weird and wacky in a wonderful way.
When you get on a plane, you usually assume that you will eventually get off at your destination, but that’s not always the case as we found out this morning. We got on a plane in Dusseldorf heading to Berlin on what started off as a normal flight, and turned into one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had while traveling. Our plane took off and was in the air for about an hour. The whole ride was smooth and uneventful, with definitely no cause for concern. When the plane started descending, we thought it was weird that there was no announcements, but we assumed that we were approaching Berlin, because where else would we be? Continue reading
Our first day in Europe was spent relaxing in rural Duisburg. Spending the morning at the farmer’s market, we had casual conversations with the friendly vendors as we wandered around, picking up fresh fruits and beautiful hydrangeas. The strawberries sold here are not the typical overgrown, hormone-induced variety that we often see at home. They are quite small but packed with loads of flavor, a perfect balance of sweet and tart.
After a long hiatus, I am finally back on the road, but what makes this trip special is that I am going with my baby sister. Even though we are 12 years apart, we are always on the same wavelength about everything…except when she is trying to convince me to go to a rave and I am convincing her to go to a lecture at the Reichstag. LifeAfter9-5 will be featuring Kim as a guest blogger, describing her travel experience from a student’s perspective.
Unlike my cultured sister, I am unfortunately not as worldly when it comes to travelling. I’ve been to Asia a few times but my parents tend to do all the planning, and I just have to show up at the airport. Being 22, I don’t have a lot of experience organizing big trips (yet), but I’m hoping to change that this summer. Without too many daunting obligations and a year’s attempt of saving money, I’m planning on visiting a few countries. The first stop? Germany and Czech Republic with Caitlin! While preparing for my first major trip, I’ve learnt a few tips and lessons for other aspiring travelers. Continue reading
Photo Credits: Adas Meliauskas [via Bored Panda]