the land of the sausage, beer and a whole lot of historical significance!
I arrived in Berlin early early on the morning of the 25th to a confusing and virtually impossible to find subway system that took me to my hostel… But after many questions to the locals on the street and my google maps app I was able to find the correct subway (yes there are multiple systems that run throughout the city) and find my way to the hostel! I arrived at the hostel at 8:30ish in the morning but was not able to check in until 3:30…. So I had some time to kill. Fortunately the hostel provides a cheap breakfast which I happily joined in on and then proceeded to laze around, read, journal and do a little bit of walking until I was finally able to check in. With the long 24 hours behind me I quickly jumped into bed and took a very long nap waiting for Alys to arrive at the hostel…. Unfortunately her flight ended up being delayed for 3 hours and we were a little late getting going on dinner, but we made it!
As we woke the next morning after a long night of catching up and chatting about all that had happened in the two weeks since we’d seen eachother, we gathered our things and had a quick bite to eat at the hostel before meeting another friend from home for a personal guided tour of Berlin – Brooke has been studying here for the term so it was great to get her perspective of the city! However… 7 hours of walking later (covering most of the city I might add) we said goodbye and Alys and I hopped onto the subway home for a quick break before going to get dinner! It was a long and tiring day, but we had a blast seeing all the WWII historically significant sites and memorials.
Today was our last day in Berlin, and also the Pride Parade downtown, so we made the most of the festivities! What an experience! I have never been able to see the parade in Toronto so going to a country across the world and witnessing one of the largest pride parades in the world was amazing! (There was a Canadian pride float !!)
Berlin has been an amazing city to explore and Alts and I could not have had a better time! Off to Munich tomorrow for some more German culture!
as there isn’t much to report about my time in Berlin this will be short and sweet…. My bus last night from Kraków to Berlin was “manageable”, but I’ve made it to Germany successfully and am just waiting for Alys (a friend from Exeter) to meet me!
This photo was posted just inside the door of the first barracks we entered today at Auschwitz 1 … And it’s reality and meaning put the whole camp into perspective for me. We as a society need to learn from our history, in particular the cruelty that these camps demonstrate, and never let the atrocities happen again.
My time spent touring both Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz-Birenau today was virtually indescribable except to stating that the emotional and physical strength of those that were forced to live in the camps am I only now able to somewhat grasp and understand but never will I be able to truely understand the horrors that occurred over the five years of operation between 1940-1945.
While touring the camps it was noted to us that all the structures and sites on the camps are originals and have never been constructed upon or changed since the liberation of the prisoners… Therefore, we walked through the gas chambers, crematoriums, barracks, washrooms, and many of the old barracks which have been placed with photos and historically significant facts about the camps.
Everyone explained to me that the day would be emotionally draining and difficult but never could I imagine the severe emotional horror that is the camps. On our way there we were given a factual video of footage from the days of liberation and struggles before which were in itself difficult to watch.
Auschwitz has definitely been the most eye opening, emotionally difficult, and draining day of my trip so far but I am glad to have done it and recommend to anyone that has the opportunity to do it as well!
After a long day my night is going to make it that much longer…. A night bus to Berlin awaits me!
More to come,
HOLY COW …. I did not expect to fall in love with a country, let alone Poland, so fast! It is one of the most magestic and beautiful cities I have ever seen. From the rich cultural to the historical significance (especially during WWII) I immediately fell in love!
I arrived in the evening of the 22nd and spent the night in Warsaw at a great hostel. As I did not arrive until the evening though I didn’t do much touring of the city until the next morning – WOW! I toured the Old Town and New town in the mornin yesterday as I only had a couple hours (I wish I had had a couple days!), but what I did see was fantastic. There was a memorial for the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 against the German army
and many beautiful buildings!
In the afternoon I hopped onto a train at the central station in Warsaw headed toward Kraków! I arrived here at 4:00pm where I spent the rest of the evening tour the city, and main square where I am staying, where again I fell in love with the city!
Kraków has been beautiful, and later this afternoon I will do a bit more touring after my tour of auschwitz and before my night bus to Berlin.
More to come
Yesterday I woke up in Mykonos at 5:00am and took a five hour ferry, thirty minute bus ride, two hour and forty five minute flight, and a forty five minute train ride and I arrived in Warsaw! Because I arrived in the evening I didn’t see much other than which restaurant I went to for dinner – absolutely amazing Moroccan Chicken salad – but today I am off to do some exploring of Warsaw before I head to Kraków this afternoon. It is a short time I have in Poland so I am going to make the best of it! I am doing this part on my own, and in a country that does not speak very much English so wish me luck and here I go!
yesterday and today we’be really decided to make the most of the sun, water, and environment that we are so lucky to be able to spend time in!
WE WENT TO THE BEACH!
Curling up with a good book – in my case the 5th Harry Potter book – and lying on the sun beds provided by the hotel we are really loving the sun!
Tomorrow we leave Mykonos bright and early – 6am – and head to our respective departure areas. Maren is going to the Mykonos airport to fly to Venice Italy to meet her boyfriend for three weeks of traveling before we meet up again and I am takin another ferry to Athens to fly out of Athen International Airport to Poland!
Greece has been an unreal start on our journey and gone by so incredibly fast! Now we are on to our next adventures tomorrow – can’t wait!
On day Seven of our trip Maren and I hopped onto the ferry at Port Thira in Santorini and traveled to Mykonos 🙂
We’ve been in Mykonos for 3 days so far and discovered that the island, especially the water and main town center, are absolutely beautiful!
When we first arrived however we were in for a bit of a shock as we had booked our accommodation thinking we had a private bungalow to discover that it was a canvas tent with a fan on a camp ground…. 30 degree weather and no air conditioning or walls really was a huge shock to what we had seen these next five days to be….needless to say, with feeling extremely uncomfortable and thankfully having the ability to move, we gathered are things and went down the road to another hotel which provided AC in the extremely hot weather and secure walls! LOL.
The weather ever since we arrived has been beautiful, the hotel staff and facilities are great, and over all Mykonos has been an absolutely fantastic trip! We’ve connected with another Torontonian who’s traveling on her own here so she’s been spending most of her time with us which is great!
Tomorrow we are going to look into renting kayaks or maybe venture into town again and to look around more of the shops!
Greece has been beautiful!