Berlin, Germany, Europe
I am writing this entry on Sunday instead of Saturday because last night I got home way too late and a little too drunk to type it up then. I had a great day yesterday, with a little hiccup in the middle. It started out with a free walking tour of Berlin with New Europe again. Michael met me in the morning and we both went on the tour, which was excellent. The last two tours I have been on were with New Europe, and they were both great. They are the best free tour company I have used so far on this trip.
Our tour guide, Mark, was an English guy who used to be a history teacher and decided to move from London to Berlin and start guiding tours instead of teach. He made a good choice. The tour was very informative, we got to see a few sights that were not on the main tourist route, and it was funny when it could be as well. The tour finished up around 1:30pm and Michael and I decided to go to another “hip” part of the city to have some lunch. It was pretty far so we took the subway, and this is where I had the hiccup for the day.
The metro station that we started from had a ticket machine that was working but it would only take coins. I didn’t have coins, and the only machine that could take notes was broken. I took a picture of the broken ticket machine and we got on the metro. We had to change trains at Alexanderplatz and we should have found a ticket machine there and gotten a ticket but our train was pulling in so we just jumped on it. Of course it is always a risk to ride public transportation without a ticket, and this time we paid for it. Two ticket checkers came on the train and we had to get off at the next stop and get a ticket for €40. I told him that the machine was broken but he said it didn’t matter. We should have tried to get a ticket somewhere else, which is true. So after we got our fine, we had to go buy day tickets for the metro, so the metro ride ended up costing me €46.70. That really pissed me off. It was annoying because we did try to buy tickets, and we couldn’t because the machine was broken. There are so many people who don’t even attempt to buy tickets and never get caught, but it wasn’t our lucky day.
We went for lunch, which was excellent, but all I could really think about was how I had just thrown away €40. We both had the meatloaf at this traditional German restaurant, but it was nothing like the meatloaf I have had before. It was almost like a hot dog, but it was sliced from a loaf. It was served with fried potatoes and this amazing sweet mustard. The meal definitely made me feel a bit better.
We split up after lunch and we back to our respective hostels to get some rest. Michael knew about a party that was going on at a beer garden in the city, so we decided to check it out. It was a really cool beer garden and we had perfect weather for it, so we sat outside and had a couple of beers and a pizza while enjoying the sunshine. Michael’s friend, also Michael, was in the party next to the beer garden, but you needed a badge to get in, so it looked like we weren’t going to be able to get in. Michael said we could just give it a shot and see what happened, and we walked straight into the party by the two bouncers checking tags, and no one said anything. Apparently if you just walk through like you belong, they let you in. And as a bonus, it was an open bar!!
We met up with Michael’s friend and some of his colleagues and had a great night. We took advantage of the open bar, and partied until about 3am. Michael gave me a lift back to my hostel and I said bye and then went to sleep. It was really cool hanging out with a friend for the last couple of days. It makes a heck of a difference from being on my own all the time. Hopefully I’ll run into Michael again later this month when the World Cup is going on too. USA will play Germany, so we might try to meet up for that match.