Thursday, September 6, 2012

Germany Recap Part 3: Back to Berlin

Sunday after the wedding, J + I were back to Berlin for the day before flying home the next day. We caught the 10 AM train out of Jocketa. The train connections went pretty well and we only had one minor scare when our train was late, but thankfully so was the final train to Berlin! J had been complaining slightly about his ankle before we left for Jocketa and the morning we were leaving, it had started to swell and was very painful. We grabbed some quick sandwiches for the train ride in between stops and we took it easy and enjoyed the views (even with the windows open, the train was insanely hot which was not enjoyable)!
When we got to Berlin, we headed to our hotel to relax a while after the 6 hours on trains. J really needed to put his foot up by this point. We stayed at the Michelberger Hotel which had been suggested to me by an old friend. It was a bit pricey and trendy - very reminiscent of the Ace Hotel chain; however, it was in a perfect location and just what we needed.
 After resting for a while, we decided to walk around and grab some dinner. We found a photobooth right by our hotel! It was great because we had looked for them with Ken and Langely and we finally found one! Next we stopped by a microbrewery and enjoyed some beers. I am not typically a drinker, but when in Germany...
We enjoyed a nice long dinner at a sidewalk restaurant - veggie burgers with fries and coleslaw. Perfect! It was so nice to take in the city with great food and my lovely husband. It was nice to have the last night to ourselves before flying home.
Our last morning, we decided to get up early and try to see a few more sights. We headed to the Topographie des Terrors which is an indoor/ outdoor museum documenting the history of repression by the Nazis. The location of the museum is actually where the Nazi regimes headquarters were from 1933-1945! Since we didn't have time to go back to our hotel before our flight, we had to carry our packs with us (this was unfortunate due to the hot weather and J's worsening foot and ankle). The museum focused a great deal on the propaganda, murdering of homosexuals/ gypsies/ Jews/ and disabled, and ended with the trials for crimes against humanity. I definitely suggest this free museum if you ever visit Berlin.

Finally we figured we'd briefly walk by Checkpoint Charlie just to say we saw it. It was the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. It's definitely a tourist trap so we honestly just snapped a quick photo and kept walking towards the train station!
 We made it to the airport with plenty of time, had a beer, and bought some chocolate to bring home to our family. The connection in Amsterdam was rough because the airport is so large that we almost missed our flight and poor J couldn't walk at a normal pace. The 9 hour plane ride from Amsterdam to Atlanta was very rough - J's foot swelled to the size of a 400 pound man!

The next morning, J went in to work and everyone made him go to the ER immediately. He ended up having Cellulitis (a bacterial infection) in his foot and ankle and had to actually be admitted overnight! Thankfully after some IV's and antibiotics, he is back to normal and actually has an ankle again! Such a weird way to end our trip - I think we had perfect timing getting home!
We really had the best time in Germany and hope to go back one day! If you have any questions or want more details, I'd be glad to share. Thanks to my sweetest friend Lily for the Berlin guide book - it was so helpful, informative, and the map alone saved us (especially on the trains)!

Hope you're all having a wonderful week and that you are officially inspired to travel!

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