Nothing Goes as Planned… EVER.
I planned to write as often as I had been writing when I was in Russia. Clearly, I failed… miserably, my deepest apologies. But in my own defense…we have had limited internet access and seeking out an internet connection for posting a blog was just above my desire to pay to use nasty public bathrooms. So, as I said… nothing goes as planned. Not only did I fail in keeping everyone up to date with our travel experiences but as you will see below in the stories of the past month, this experience was one big hodge-podge adventure of failed attempts to make plans. But in the words of the greatest adventurer of all time, Peter Pan “the greatest adventures in life cannot be sought out, they many come at a great price...” I will do my best to catch you up with everything.
Let me start this off by saying that when I left Russia I felt like I needed love, I needed happiness and I needed freedom again. Becca surrounded me with all of those things from the day we started this adventure and has brought me back to life one day at a time. I couldn’t have imagined traveling alone for the last month. If you couldn’t tell from all of my stories back in Russia, and the few stories I posted since, traveling is bound to bring stories. If you are traveling alone then all you have to work with is your own sense of direction, your determination to piece together sentences in other languages or find someone who speaks English, and your ability to stretch your very skinny pocketbook. For me however, I am beyond thankful that I had my buddy, my travel partner (who is by the way a much better solo traveler than myself) by my side to work with….
Since the last time I wrote we have gone a few other places. We went from Prague to Berlin where we stayed with one of my best friends and the up and coming face of women’s soccer in the US, Keelin Winters (keep your eye on the US team for the fit midfielder who wins every header in the next few years… that will be her). We actually stayed about 45 minutes outside of Berlin in a small town called Potsdam. She was more than accommodating to Becca and I as she put us on the pimpin’ futon in her living room that was big enough to fit both Becca and I if we laid on our sides as straight as pencils… movement was strictly forbidden unless agreed upon by both parties before the movement was made. BUT the room was large enough for both of my bags, which was the most important thing.
Prior to leaving for Berlin we met a nice man from Belgium who said that he had “lost his heart in Berlin” and so, leaving Prague we were so excited to get to another city and experience another culture, possibly even lose our own hearts in Berlin. But we didn’t. In fact I would say I left Berlin with a much larger heart and an immensely fuller brain from the things we learned about recent world history. Upon getting into Berlin we immediately found that it is a city of the 20th century. This is because everything was destroyed after WWII. There was hardly anything from before the war. I am going to be honest, and you can judge me if you want, but I thought the Berlin wall would at least have some sort of wall structure left… it does not. The wall is scattered on every street corner, covered by graffiti and used bubble gum (ABC and then spit out). It was rather anticlimactic. Seeing the Berlin wall was on my bucket list for years because it came down on the very day of my birth… and so, I was really excited to see it… then when we got off the train into Berlin, there it was, a small section just set there like a lamp post or street sign on the corner of every street around us. It was dumbed down from this barrier that suppressed people for 40 years to a lamp post on every corner. They were all painted different and sometimes I kind of liked that because it was like Berlin was accepting their history and trying to change it into the city they have grown into, but I also felt like it was defacing their history, trying to hide it beneath the progressive thoughts of the generations of now. I felt split.
We also found out that Berlin is a very spread out city. It is funny finding out distances between things on maps and in real life, because in some cities like Amsterdam, where I am now, everything is very close… When the map says 4 blocks to the left, it probably means a 5 minute walk. On a map in London, when it says 4 blocks to the left it probably means a good 20 minute walk… Berlin was more like London. And, because Becca is working with a new hip we decided walking Berlin would be much too difficult. And because we hadn’t paid for any proper city tours in any cities, we decided that Berlin might be a good place to hop on one of those tour busses that every tourist takes and looks ridiculous. We were hoping to see everything while learning facts that you couldn’t learn unless you read a history book of the city. Unfortunately our tour SUCKED and we ended up having to read that book anyways… we could hear the announcer clearly when she would speak these incredibly long German sentences describing what building we were looking at, but then just as she would start the translation into English the bus would take off red lining its engine just long enough to completely drown out everything the announcer was saying. So, we got off at every stop possible so that we could read the short blurbs on the side of the building about what it is/was.
QUICK ASIDE…. I am writing this blog outside of our trailer hostel in Amsterdam and a chicken just came out of no where and started attacking my feet. Hahaha!!!
Anyways…. The most interesting thing that we did whilst in Berlin was take a day trip to a city North of Berlin to the Sacsenhousen Concentration Camp. My friends back in CO are probably laughing at this because they have always thought it weird that I have always been so intrigued by the Holocaust and have always felt a desire to learn about the atrocities that happened a mere 60 years ago. After all, it is an odd thing to be intrigued by something so horrible. But I must say that I am intrigued by how such a horrible thing was carried out for so long. Going to Sacsenhousen was one of the most draining and most intense things I have ever seen in my life. We spent 6 hours walking through it, reading, crying, listening to stories, learning what happened… and we left with no words to describe it. I believe that it is something that everyone needs to do some time in their life. At one point of walking through the camp I was literally forced out of the building we were in because I couldn’t take it and felt sick seeing and hearing some things. There is no other ways to describe it it is just something everyone needs to experience in their life, if for no other reason than to learn what happened so that it may never happen again.
We then spent a few days exploring Potsdam by renting bikes and cruising the city. Potsdam is an absolutely beautiful little city. It is a very quiet and peaceful city with such a cute personality. We loved exploring it and getting lost along the river trails.
Then we were off to England to go watch some Olympic Games!!!!
Because there is so many stories and pictures in here already I am going to stop this blog post and continue writing tomorrow about the other adventures. So… check again tomorrow for the remainder of our journey!!!
I am leaving tomorrow for home. Back to Colorado to see my family for the first time in 5 months!!! I am beyond excited. Becca left today and I already miss her and did not want this day to come.
Cant wait to see everyone soon!!!
Love and CHEERS!!