Now that everyone has arrived and mostly settled down, the educational part of the course begins! With Dr. Buffinga as our guide, today we went on a walking tour of the areas near to our hostel. Today was a video intensive day, but here are a number of samples.
We went to iconic areas such as the Brandenburger Tor, Alexanderplatz, Potsdamerplatz and the Nikolaiviertel. We also walked through a number of courtyards filled with little shops and cafés. Some of the landmarks we visited were the Mahnmal memorial, Rotes Rathaus, Nikolai Kirsche, Berliner Dom, the Berlin Walk memorial at Potsdamerplatz, and countless other streets and side roads. There were so many construction and renovation projects underway, which show the ever-evolving face of Berlin.
For lunch, we stopped at a seafood restaurant, Nordsee. We were too early for main courses, but we could still enjoy salads, wraps and smaller seafood dishes.
After our tour ended, we made our way back to the hostel, and enjoyed a beer and some Pommes mit Mayo. We also made our first trip for supplies and groceries. While water was on average €2.50 anywhere we’ve been, it was €0.69 for the same size at the grocery store. We stocked up on water and picked up a handful of supplies and snacks. Beer was also plenty cheap, but we didn’t grab any… this time.
Later this afternoon, we went to a Japanese noodle restaurant Jescinda wanted to visit, called Makoto. I had Miso Ramen, which reminded me a lot of Pho noodles. It was a nice place to sit and eat outside.
We walked to Alexanderplatz later on, and checked out the various acts performing there. It was amazing to see how much had been set up since we were there earlier in the day. By some stroke of genius, we ended up splitting into two groups and lost each other. Our group finally walked back to the hostel after waiting around, and about 10 minutes after we arrived there the other group joined us in a taxi.
It was really neat to see how much history we could cover with about 6 hours of walking. I expect the rest of the week will be equally full of interesting sights!