Friday, July 9, 2010


The European leg of the journey started with a very hot morning in NYC with walking to the post office and finishing packing. The trip to JFK airport from Mickey’s apartment in Washington Heights took about two hours. After checking in with Air Berlin and making it thought airport security without hassle we were rewarded by an uncomfortable seven hour flight with little sleep but great food and entertainment by the cute babies sitting across the aisle from us. Our connecting flight to Berlin included a stop in Dusseldorf, Germany where we literally ran through the airport to get to our gate on time because we only had one hour scheduled and our flight from JFK arrived late. We were very glad to make it to the Tegel International Airport in Berlin. We did not have to wait long for the checked luggage as Bao’s bag was one of the first off the plane. After Marra figured out the transit system (Bao was a little mentally slowed by the lack of sleep) we arrived at The Wombat’s Hostel, we dropped our bags and started exploring the city.

After two weeks in NYC, Berlin is very slow in comparison. That didn't mean we took it slow though. We decided to push through and explore for the rest of the day in attempts to get our internal clock synchronized with the local time. We decided to go see some museums thinking that they would be free four hours before closing. Unfortunately, not all of them were involved in this. We did see the glorious Stadtschloss palace courtyard since it was open to the public. It was a beautiful view, kind of hot because of the sun, but otherwise cool in the shade. Unlike NY, there's little humidity here.

After the palace and a Picasso Museum, we were ready for relaxation (Bao fell asleep on the train) and decided to head back to the hostel to finish checking in and shower. It was a great decision. I showered and then took a nap while Marra went to get her nails done. An hour later, we met up again and continued to look for museums. On the way, we got sidetracked by a cluster of cool buildings and then by the Sony Center. It was a great place to hang out, very beautiful.

As we walked to The Gemäldegalerie nearby, we passed by the Berliner Philharmonie buildings. Marra thought they look like two golden crowns. We spent about an hour in the museum, because both of us were about done with the day and because they were closing. On the way back to the subway, we popped in the Sony Center again to see it all lit up for the night. We ended the evening with some pizza accompanied by local German beer. We were both too exhausted to talk and had the unfortunate luck to have sat at a table with very stereotypical fashion models in town for Berlin Fashion Week. The hostel has a bar on the top floor and we got the opportunity to talk with some other American’s. The plan today, more museums and parks, and maybe some shopping!

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