Hip BerlinWe've been in Berlin since last night. The drive from the airport to the hostel did not show too much of the "cool Berlin" I'd heard so much about and was hoping that the rest of our stay would show otherwise. The A & O hostel is pretty nice. The ground floor contained the dormitory-style rooms and there were obviously many school groups there, as the floor was filled with many teenagers. We got a twin room and this was located on the 5th floor.
Our room is a model of efficient design. The floor and most of the furniture are made from something resembling pinewood. The bathroom is extremely small, but contains everything you need built into the tiniest space ever. Both the bedroom and the bathroom are scrupulously clean, which I LOVE. I swear there isn't a speck of dirt anywhere. Some dodgy hotels, which I've stayed in need to take a leaf out of their book.
Last night we walked about 15 minutes from the hostel to find somewhere to eat and, after walking through a very dark and distubingly quiet area, came across a busy neighbourhood filled with street after street of bars (do Germans eat at all, I started to wonder). Luckily, we found a Chinese restaurant and although the way the chicken fried rice was prepared differed from the familiar, it was still good.
Today we counted on the guided tour included as part of our hostel "First time in Berlin" package to take-up a good part of the day. However, no one at the hotel seemed to know about it, so we walked to the nearest train station and made our way to the Zoological Garden station, from where we got the bus #100, which is a cheaper way to see many of the city sites. There is no witty guide, taking you through the sites, so you either have to take a guidebook with you or hope that some kind and knowledgeable person points out some of the city landmarks to you. Luckily, my sister and I scored in the latter department.
The area near the Zoo station is the hippest place we have been to here, as yet. Some of the shops are familiar; some others are not, but the area is very vibrant with many outdoor restaurants and lots of people strolling down the tree-lined streets.
Okay, this keyboard is driving me mad. The "y" is in a different place from where I'm used to finding it, as are some of the other characters. So, I have to keep stopping to look for things. I haven't felt this way since forever. Okay, maybe my next entry will be from Paris.
This was taken on the S-Bahn (surface train).
This was our oh-so-clean room in A & O Hostel, Mittre.
Yesterday, while still in London, Ayoola and I made our way to the "Carol's Daughter store"- painfully! It had gotten much warmer than we anticipated and weighed down by our coats and slowed down (at least in my case, by shoes highly unsuited for walking), we slowly made our way to the "store" (notice the use of the double quotes). When we eventually found the store, I was instantly suspicious, as the store did not have a sign boldly proclaiming it to be the London branch of Carol's Daughter. It turned out to be a privately-owned store, whose owner had bought some CD products the last time she was in New York. They had run out of all the best CD products, as far as I was concerned, (I mean, I didn't walk all that way just to buy foot cream). Also, the lady in the store didn't know when next (or if at all) they would get some more products. And we walked all that way for THAT????????????
Okay, this keyboard is REALLY driving me mad. My next entry will be from Paris. I hope their keyboards are easier for me to use.