A Travellerspoint blog

Berlin and Warsaw so far

snow 0 °C
View Around the world in 252 days (or there abouts) on pca07klc's travel map.

So we have made it to Warsaw. This hostel has its own kitchen and washing machine for us to use - we have taken full advantage.

Berlin was fun. The Berlin Wall and the history of the country was very interesting. We visited the DDR Museum, which had loads of exhibitions about life in the East Germany before the Wall feel. We visited the largest section of wall remaining - the East Side open air gallery - and the last intact checkpoint - Checkpoint Charlie. There are many other sites in Berlin - the Holocaust memorial, the Molecule Men (who I am convinced are hugging rather than fighting: The Men) and Brandenburg Tor to name but a few. My foot is on the mend (thank goodness) thanks to German Deep Heat and my ankle support.

Oh also - Laura left me on the underground! The silly girl got on the train and and left me! To be fair it wasn't really her fault. We were rushing for the underground line train back to the hostel in Berlin and we both would have made it if some idiot hadn't had his Doberman on a 2 meter lead on the underground! By the time I had limped around him the train doors shut in my face. We both had our own tickets and knew where we were going though, so it was all fine. We just meet up a few stations later. All was well. Besides which, I had the map.

Arriving in Warsaw was a bit of a culture shock. I know a smattering of German and Laura a bit of French, so up till now we have been able to guess what signs were saying with (relative) ease. Polish is like that in no way. It was also the 1st time I asked someone if they spoke English as got told "No". It was just a bit worrying and I really think that says something about the English. Or maybe its just me?
There was however, a very nice young man who directed us to our bus. Here is a word of advise for all of you who may ever think about doing something like this: Use Google Maps. Use the directions provided on helpful sites like Hostelword.com. Write then down before you set off. Write the name of your bus stop, the bus number and the end destination in the correct language. Pointing at these things and looking quizzical will always be universally understood. People have been very helpful to us really. English speakers have often seen us with maps and offered assistance. Most of the time we declined as we knew what we were doing but its nice that they offered.

Its rather cold here and there is lots of snow on the ground. I am very grateful to my mother and my older sister for their gifts of all things fleece-y. Tomorrow we are going to investigate the city and see what we can see. Tomorrow will also be the 1 week anniversary of our departure from the UK. I hope you are all keeping well. In some ways it feels like I have been gone longer than a week and in some ways far far less time seems to have passed.

Ciao for now folks.

Posted by pca07klc 16:58 Archived in Poland Comments (1)

Berlin Update

snow -4 °C
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Posted by pca07klc 06:24 Archived in Germany Comments (6)

Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and bits of Berlin

overcast -1 °C
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Hello all.

Pictures will follow soon.

So far so good. We had a great time in Amsterdam and then took the train to Brussels, Paris and Berlin.

Amsterdam was a great start to the trip. We vistied the Red Light district, as you do in Amsterdam. We went to the flower market, the Anne Frank house and the sex musuem. After checking out of the hotel in 'dam we went off to Brussels for the day. Leaving the backpacks in the train station locker let us wander around the majestic city relativly unhindered. Brussels is very majestic and, naturally, full of very, very good chocolate. You can easily see why it is the seat of the EU Parliment. There were French, Dutch, German and English speakers everywhere and Laura spoke to 1 guy who could speak all of them. Everyone we met (apart from the Americans and the English) seem to be mulitlingual. I really should have apid more attention in German back in school...

Anyway, later on we boarded a train from Brussels to Paris (with 4 connections). The 1st and 2nd trains were delayed by about 10 or 12 minutes which meant that we arrived in Lille Flanders just in time to see the 3rd train pull out of that station. Luckily we had planned ahead and had the timetable from the next train all ready and waiting for us to pick up. It was only an hour later that we boarded our 3rd train, but we made good use of the time in Lille to book the sleeper train from Paris to Berlin. Once we arrived in Paris we found a hostel for the night, only a 5 minute walk from Paris North station. It was clean and comfy and the staff were very helpful. It was ideally located too and most important it was excellent value for money.

In the morning we enjoyed our complimentry breakfast and then set off to see the sights. The Effiel Tower, The Oblique, The Louvre, The Place of Justice and Notre Dame. I don't know if you have ever looked at a map of Paris, but, yeah. I walked that. It gets better too. The only time it stopped raining all day was the time we were in The Louvre. I was soaking and freezing. So sorry guys, there are not a whole lot of pictures of Paris as I didn't want my camera to drown. Having said that, the freezing weather did make the coffee and crepes that bit better. Fair enough it wasn't coffee sitting outside be the Seine, but it was coffee by the Seine. There was just (thankfully) a few walls and a roof between me and the river that seemed determined to spend the day inverting upon my head.

Seeing as Paris is a rather expensive city, we decided to take the sleeper train from Paris to Berlin. There is a knack to sleeping on a sleep train. Find a postion that is comfy. Fall asleep. Stay asleep until some part of you is too numb or in too much pain for you to remain in the land of nod. Readjust your body position and repeat. I coped rather well. My friend Laura, however, had a harder time. As such she is a bit tired today. As such we have deceided to just hang about the hostel in Berlin today. Well. That was once contrubiting factor. Another is I seem to have damaged some part of my right foot. It hurts. Especially when walking. Which isn't a problem except for all the walking! Still. I solider on. It also does not help that, while spring has sprung in the UK, Germany has yet to get the memo. Its -1 and this morning i saw snow falling. Extra fleeces tomorrow I think.

Tomorrow we are back on the trail of culture and knowledge: we are going to see the wall and some more museums and points of interest. For tonight, there is a pub down the road.

Goodbye, adieu, à bientôt and auf wiedersehen

Posted by pca07klc 05:21 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

Around the world in 252 days: The Map

View Around the world in 252 days (or there abouts) on pca07klc's travel map.

Click on the link to view a map marked out with my route. It will be updated as I go to be more specific, but i'm sure you can get the general gist of what I am aiming for.

View the map

Posted by pca07klc 02:51 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged map Comments (3)

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