Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Vacation, Pt. 3

I’m finally trying to catch up on Berlin, even though I’m already halfway through the first week back at work (and fighting another cold). 
            We spent four days in Berlin (Saturday-Tuesday) and flew back to France on Wednesday.  Our first day in Berlin was spent walking around and seeing some of the city.  Dad had been in 2009 when I was studying abroad so he knew what we should see!  Sunday, we purchased a museum pass and spent the day visiting “Museum Island.”  There I was able to see Nefertiti and the “Berlin Golden Hat” as well as lots of other ancient artifacts.  One thing that is nice about museums in Berlin is that many entry frees include an audio guide.  Normally I’m not a fan of audio guides, but in this case it was interesting/informative.             
            Monday was similar to a Monday in France, so many museums were closed, instead, we spent the day doing some shopping, seeing the palace, and taking pictures because it was a beautiful day!  The highlights of Monday were the amazing chocolate from Fassbender and Rausch and buying myself a new pair of boots (on sale!).  For dinner we had a traditional German meal from a restaurant recommended by our hotel.
            Tuesday was the opposite of Monday, we woke up to snow, and it continued to snow most of the morning.  We had signed up to visit the Reichstag (the German Parliament) Tuesday morning, and after going through security and riding the elevators to the top of the dome, we were able to walk around the top.  Parliament wasn’t in session, but they do have a great “guided tour” along a walkway that circles the dome.  The dome is directly over the parliamentary chamber, and the top is open, so technically there is a hole in the parliament ceiling to let fresh air and light in.  Unfortunately because of the snow much of our view was blocked, but I really enjoyed the visit.  That night we went to a great restaurant for dinner, the waiter picked out special meals for us and was really helpful/nice, especially after I spoke French with him! 
            I was sad to leave Berlin the next day, but relieved to be going back to a country where I spoke the official language.  It really bothered me that I couldn’t communicate in German (even though communication was not a problem at all).  I think I have become so used to living in another country where I do speak the language, even if it isn’t my first, and where people are impressed/pleased that I speak it, that I felt bad for not being able to speak German.  Maybe I’ll have to study a third language when I get back to the US?

Next up: Paris!

1 comment:

  1. Over Christmas break I was stressed out and self-conscious about my lack of language skills for the entire time I was outside of France. It seemed really weird because I don't even feel that I speak French that well, but there's nothing like going somewhere you don't speak the language at all to put those skills in perspective!