Sunday, June 26, 2011

Eurotrip 2011 - Day 9 (6/25/2011) - Berlin

The hostel provided a slim breakfast for the price of whatever we felt like donating.  I had some toast and some tea. After eating we headed to Brandenburg Gate to meet up the Sandeman's New Berlin free walking tour at 11. The tour was pretty good - we covered Pariser Platz, a brief look at the Reichstag (for which you must now make online reservations to get into, and has a 3-day wait - D'OH!), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus (former Luftwaffe HQ), a delapidated section of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Bebelplatz (and the book-buring memorial), Museum Island, and more. 

After the tour we tried to get a Museum Island pass at the Old Museum (Altes Museum), but the receptionist warned us that it was too late (a little before 3:30) to see more than one museum.  So we opted for the Pergamon Museum, since many people had talked it up, and were not disappointed at all.  Two of the main displays (and my favorites) in the museum were reconstructions of the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.  The museum also provided a free audio guide that was very helpful - they had an option to explore the main highlights in 30 minutes as well as the option to get info on any display with an audio number.  I might have to start using the audio tours at other museums, even if they charge for them.

When we finshed with the museum, we headed back to Friedrichshain (the cool/cheap area by our hostel).  We took a quick detour into Treptow to get a closer look at the Blu piece Galen had spied from the bridge, and then walked back to Friedrichshain to eat some dinner.  We settled on on Indian food, even though it was a second consecutive night, and it was really good.  During dinner we sat next to and conversed with 4 girls from Poland.

After eating we went back to the hostel to hang out for a while with a few of the other patrons as well as a couple of the hostel workers.  Around 11 Galen and I headed out to check out the Berlin club scene.  Apparently it doesn't start until midnight.  We first tried the club in RAW, which was not yet open, then we tried to find Watergate - we found a sign, but couldn't tell where the club itself was.  We asked a couple of German girls for help, and they were looking for it as well.  They found the building, which was not marked at all, and found out that it didn't open until midnight, which was still 20 or so minutes away.  So they took us to another bar for a while before we headed back to Watergate around 12:30.  There was already a significant queue when we got there, but we got in within 20 minutes.  To improve our chances of getting in (the clubs can be selective at times - especially if you overdress), we let the girls do all the talking.

The club was still filling up when we got in, so we got a bit of a slow start.  But within another half hour or so the main floor (there was also a bottom level, water floor, that had a small pier out into the water) was getting packed.  We mostly stayed on the main floor for most of the night because the music was "better" - though it was pretty much four-on-the-floor techno the whole time.  The main DJs, Nôze (a pair from France), were scheduled go come on at 4, and they started spinning around 4:20.  But by 4:30 or so Galen and I were pretty tired, so we said goodbye to the girls and headed home.  Luckily the trains and trams run 24 hours on the weekends, so we were able to take the tram back instead of walking.  I was in bed a little after 5.

Some pictures from the whole trip:

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