It’s 6:45am on the 20th of October and I’m on my way to Amsterdam.
Unlike every other Australian traveler I have met abroad; I have never really been that keen to see Amsterdam. (I know?! The horror. Quickly, grab your pitch forks!!)
I would never have put the Netherlands on my travel itinerary had I not met Yolande.
But through meeting her and hearing her speak about her home, I became convinced that it was too beautiful to miss.
I have 3 days in Amsterdam before meeting Landie and spending some time in her hometown.
And I was really excited about it . . . . . . . . . . . .until I got to Berlin.
I was blissfully comfortable in Berlin.
I had a great apartment in an awesome neighborhood. I was making new friends daily. I saw amazing things. And I was laughing almost constantly.
It was a little hard to leave this morning.
(Which was made no easier by my staying out till 2am. But I needed to have one last Berlin boogie to say good bye.)
Lemme catch you up on the last few days:
My class was periodically interrupted by peels of laughter. Ludwig is such a great guy. He speaks abazillion languages and he’s seen every corner of the world.
He was born in the GDR and was a (I believe) about 20 when the wall came down.
And he just ran.
Ran to the four corners to see anything and everything he could.
After class, Sam, Roisin and I went to the Neues Museum.
In Belrin, there is this place called the Museum Insel (which translates to the Museum Island). It’s like a piece of land that jutts into the river, right in the middle of Berlin, where all of the Museums live.
All of the museums have incredibly unhelpful names, the altes museum, the neues museum, the altes gallery, etc. So when we decided to check the Neues, the three of us thought it was a modern art museum.
Turns out it was actually an Egyptian and Prehistoric antiquity museum. Which was and unexpected but excellent surprise.
The Neues is crazy. I can’t believe that this much of Egypt can live anywhere but Egypt!!!
They even have the bust of Nefirtiri!!
They also have an amazing exhibition on the medieval people’s of Russia and Germany, which I would have loved to spend more time on.
After the museum, Sammy and I ran to this silly indie cocktail bar where the drinks were cheap and tasty.
Ali and Sammy’s friend Homa came to join us and, after a while, Sam and I were laughing so hard that we couldn’t breath.
It felt great.
Today was a semi-boring day. Lots of standing in queues. (side note: isn’t ‘queues’ an odd looking word!!) Sent a package to my muma, booked my seat for the train to Amsterdam.
But THEN Sam, Ali and I had dinner at this tiny, family owned, Syrian restaurant.
Sam and I were going to SSPLODE with happiness. So. Fucking. Tasty.
Ali, being Persian, did not get as squealingly excited as us girls. However, he started to tell us about Bahrain (it sounds so beautiful. If a bit hot…) and the three of us have resolved to reunite there in the not so distant future.
I woke up FURIOUSLY PETULANT this morning. How could I leave this city!!!!?
Also, I’ve been loving my language course so much that I’m STILL having trouble comprehending that I won’t have to go on Monday!!!
I went to my last class. More laughter. I got a certificate (which actually certifies nothing in particular. lol). Ludwig told me not to smoke too much weed in Amsterdam. (Oh Ludwig…)
It was heart breaking to leave that beautiful school.
Sammy found me at Oberhalz, we cookied, checked our emails and sang loudly to the Bob Marley wafting through the speakers. Everyone around us were SOOOOO impressed. (HA!!)
Then we sauntered back to the Museum Insel to check out the DDR Museum.
The DDR museum is quite small but it’s JAMPACKEDWITHKNOWLEDGES!!!
It is an incredibly interactive museum devoted to ‘Life inside the Wall’. It was a complete head fuck.
I’ve always found history fascinating, but it has mainly been taught to me by complete idiots. So wherever I am in Europe, I feel desperately ignorant.
I wanted to see the DDR museum because I knew next to nothing about the division of Germany and the Berlin Wall. I knew there WAS a wall. But if you told me it was originally built to keep out the rabbits, I probably would have believed you.
The DDR museum was amazing and frank and confronting and I highly recommend it.
Sam had to move her gear into a new apartment, so we briefly parted ways.
I sat for like 2 hours at an ‘all you can eat’ sushi train. Unlimited sushis makes for a happy Steph.
Sam, Ali, Sam’s friend Mateusz and I then met for more drinks and giggling at a bar in Alexander Platz. The bar we went to looked like it was roofed entirely by blankets. (BLANKET FORT BAR!!! FTW!!)
I was starting to worry that I should go home, so Ali (maybe a little sneakily) suggested that we head for a drink at a bar around the corner from my apartment.
It was packed with all the cool kid Berliners and the DJ was playing non-stop 80’s pop like a daemon.
Needless to say, I stayed out later than expected….
And now you’re all caught up again.
The sun has started to rise and I’ve just realised how gorgeous the view is.
Provincial, pristine and washed with the grey of the early morning.
I’m off to enjoy.
Pictured – My three Amigos, an excerpt for the DDR museum about musical freedoms, a shot of my comfy (first class) train cabin and some of the view.