08 December, 2004

First Day in Germany

I feel like I´ve been traveling for two days straight. On the 6th, I left Washington National Airport at 4:45pm, and arrived at Frankfurt International at around 11:30am. From there, I took the train to Frankfurt Central Station, where I had lunch and caught a connecting train to Hannover, and from there to Berlin. All together I got into my hostel in Berlin 18 hours after I left DC.

The hostel is clean. But like many places in Europe, it smells like cigarette smoke. The neighborhood I am in is Kreuzberg, a district that borders the former East Berlin and the Berlin Wall. The last time I was here in 1990, the Wall was still up and there were East German border guards at the Wall. Kreuzberg is now a lively district full of cafes, bars, experiemental theaters and clubs, and Turkish kabob shops. It is eclectic and a bit bohemian.

After I checked into the hostel last night I took the metro across town into West Berlin. From there I bought a döner kabob and walked back to my hostel. I got lost so many times it took me almost three hours to walk across town.

Having passed the time to go see the German Parliament today, perhaps I will walk around the Mitte and Prenzlauerberg districts and see some of the former East Berlin.

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