day 33 // tue feb 13th
We met at the train station at 7:30AM to head out for Berlin. This is a class excursion which means all 35 A&M students travel together for the week. This is a great experience for them and Berlin is a great city full of history, technology and culture!
We arrived in Berlin around 1:00PM. The Berlin train station is probably the nicest one I've seen thus far on our journey. We had about 45 minutes to grab something to eat before our hop on hop off bus tour started. We grabbed some asian food from a little place nearby.
We met our tour guides for the evening and got onto a super nice (& warm) charter bus. The first stop was the German Reichstag. Marissa and I have a classic jumping in front of this building, so I did my best to recreate without her, sad. Also, hey Drift!
Next up was the Brandenburg Gate, a very cool structure. From here we went to square and walked to the Bebelplatz. The Bebelplatz is known as the site of one of the infamous Nazi book burning ceremonies held in the evening of 10 May 1933 in many German university cities.
Once it got dark, our bus drove us to our hotel. We checked into our hotel, Hotel Alex. We freshened up then all met downstairs for a group dinner.
day 34 // wed feb 14th
The next day was what we called "My Berlin Day" at the program. The students were divided into groups to partake in different tours and experiences. That evening they were asked to give a short presentation of what they took away from their Berlin Day. I went with Wade's group to the Wall Museum (Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie). From here I met our program coordinator to check out the Buchstabenmuseum, or the letter museum. I had found this place years and years ago when pinterest first came out. I had it pinned as "places to go one day." I did some research and was super bummed that the website said it was closed. I reached out to our coordinators to see if perchance they could call (since I don't speak fluent German quite yet). They responded and said they were still closed. THEN the heavens opened up and I got a text saying 'plot twist there is a private tour at 2PM'. HECK YES.
We met at 2 and the fun began. The museum itself is actually not fully finished or functional yet. They relocated into a new bigger space underneath the metro (very cool) but are waiting for permits and legal things before being fully operational, thus why the website saying they were closed. We met a tour guide and she gave us some history on some of the neons in the collection. It was a cool experience. We also just explored for awhile—stacks and stacks of letters and neons. Some of them were in working condition, others in need of restoration.
"The Buchstabenmuseum is the first museum in the world to collect letterforms from public spaces and display them as part of urban history. We preserve and document three-dimensional letters and signage, and their history, as well as providing information about their origins and construction. Our collection has captured the imagination of visitors from all around the world for over 10 years. Hundreds of letters have been saved from being battered by the elements or ending up on the scrap heap."
SO. COOL. day made.
After the evening presentations from the students Wade and I left to find a nice spot for our Valentine's Day Dinner (did I mention it was Valentine's day?). We found another cute Bao Burger restaurant—we're not obsessed, you're obsessed. It was a tiny little joint with a line so it must be good, right? We ended up only waiting for about 10 minutes. I had a salmon burger again and Wade had a classic Cheese Burger. We ordered both the sweet potato fries and the reg ones. Both good! Overall a pretty dang good day.
day 35 // thurs feb 15th
Today the group went to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. A pretty heavy day, and I had gone as a student so I decided to stay and get some work done. I ventured out to Father Carpenter coffee shop. The baristas were Australian so it was nice to hear english speaking. Then I had been eyeing this blush pink denim jacket from H&M. I decided to make the jump. Later that day when Wade returned we went to the Computerspielemuseum (Computer Game Museum). It was fun museum with a lot of interactive parts (like games). Berlin is a great city that is very design oriented and design-conscious. I wish we had more time to go to some of the markets and street fairs, next time!