Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Berlin at Christmas (Day one and two)

Dec 22, 2012
The next day, we woke up early, took a bus to Basel to catch our train to Berlin. We had some extra time, so we walked to a Starbucks - unfortunately, for some reason it didn't open until 9 (wha? This is Starbucks. They sell COFFEE. If anything should be open before 9am, a coffee shop should be). Anyway, it was 8:50, and we didn't feel that we had enough time to wait because we had to validate our ticket for it's first use, and blah-de-blah. It actually did turn out that we had enough time to kill, so we ended up at a different Starbucks and we paid like 20 bucks or something like that for our coffees because this is Switzerland.
Some 5 hours or something like that later, we arrived in Berlin and from the beginning it was magical. 
There was snow on the ground (though it would melt in the course of the next days) and it was really cold, but it was perfect. After dropping our stuff at the hostel, we headed back towards Alexanderplatz to go to the Hofbrau House (which is knock-off of the original beer hall, which is in Munich) for dinner. Then we hit up the Christmas markets and they were awesome.

The Moose was part of the Christmas Market at Alexa which is the mall at Alexanderplatz,. He talked. It was pretty cool. 
This Christmas market was more like a fair than a market. There were all sorts of carnival rides and stands with food (the most important food groups being Bratwurst, Gluehwein, and Crepes). 

We rode the Ferris Wheel and boy was it cold up there! 
 Also, I'd like to point out that it was probably around 20F on the ground.

But that didn't stop us from going on this contraption. Which is swing ride that takes  you high into the air and spins you progressively faster.
It was SO COLD up there with wind chill, I wouldn't be surprised if it were 5F or something like that. Everything went numb. Yet, I've never had so much fun on a carnival ride in my life. Possibly, my whole entire body was in shock and thought that I was going to die of the freezing cold. Once we were back on the ground 20F felt downright toasty, in comparison.

Dec 23, 2012 
The next day, we planned to visit Tristan's old apartment/and area in the suburbs and to see a bit of the city.

This was the S-bahn stop near our hostel. As you can see there was still snow, but not for long.  Fun fact: This bridge/S-bahn stop was featured in the music video for a song that has been very popular here in France in the last few months (One day/Reckoning Song). 
Our first stop was the shopping area near Tristan's University and apartment. He wanted to take me to a place called Noodlebox, but when we arrived, we found that it was gone. Around this time, the snow turned to sleet, the worst form of precipitation ever. We decided to go to a Chinese food place, right by Tristan's old apartment. There we had the most delicious fried rice ever. Nomnom. Unfortunately, the sleet had chilled to me to the bone. So I was pretty cold at this point. Because of this, we decided to hit up a big book store and we spent over an hour there warming up.
Then we continued on. After a quick stop at Starbucks (where I got a hazelnut hot chocolate, which is like the hot chocolate version of nutella-- so yummy). We saw touristy things...

This is at a monument that the Russians built to how awesome they are, or something like that. It looks cool in the snow. 

Us, damp at the Reichstag.
I don't remember what we did that evening, but based on pictures. I think we had dinner at a Christmas market which is pretty much what we always did. 

This part was a more traditional Christmas Market

I have to say, I've gotten A LOT better at night photography. 

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