14 November, 2009

To Berlin and Back Again!

It's Saturday! The day that my entire week leads up to. The day where I don't have class, don't feel stressed because I have class the next day and I don't worry about much of anything. Saturday...I feel that I sometimes need more of these. But, now that a good chunk of our classes are over and I don't plan on traveling any more this semester, I think that perhaps I'll have a lot more Saturdays like this one. (I'm sure you can almost hear me breathe that sigh of relief...)

Alright, I guess I should actually get started then. My apologies once again for not updating for so long. It seems that I'm starting to fall behind in telling the tales of my adventures. I promise I'm going to work on that, but this last week was once again jam packed. So, without further ado. Here's the latest and greatest tale/ tales from me!

I'm going to start this by simply stating that my trip to Berlin was absolutely incredible! I want to go back again someday to see all the amazing things that I wasn't able to see. I can't believe that it was a week ago. Wow! Time is flying here and I can't seem to stop it. But, anyway...

We couldn't have asked for a better weekend to head out to Germany. Kris, Liza and I began the journey early Friday morning by trekking to the train station and catching the 6:30am train. While I was extremely tired, the thrill of what awaited for me in Berlin made me extremely excited! New sights and of course...Geoff. Someone from home, my boyfriend, that I haven't seen in two months...except on Skype, but that doesn't count.

I slept most of the ride there, but from what very little I did see of the German countryside it seemed very pretty.

We arrived into Berlin around 11:30am...15 minutes later than we were supposed to arrive, but the delay didn't make much difference. I got off the train and Geoff was waiting for me on the platform, so I took off running. When I returned, Geoff following behind, Liza had found her boyfriend Winston and Kris was meeting her friend Dorothy at the McDonald's. Once we made sure everyone knew where we were off to, we parted ways for the weekend and Geoff and I headed off towards the hostel.

We found the hostel with very little problem and then began to explore the city. I saw a lot of the monuments and iconic buildings. The most notable thing I saw on the first day was the DDR museum though. It was an interactive museum discussing the days of East Berlin and since we were staying in East Berlin, I found this extremely cool! Also, hands on museums make me happy because I can move the objects and stuff around within the exhibits. I feel that I learn the most from exhibits that let me learn by doing. (Probably explains why I like film...) I also got to the East Side of the Brandenburg Gate, but it was "under construction". I use the quotation mark here because what I mean is that they were putting up stages and setting up for the freedom festival that was to start on Saturday.

After this we headed back to the hostel to meet Steph, Shayna, Dave and his friends, Evan and Emile.

Now, I have to say it. Sorry Shayna. While on the street tram headed back to the hostel, I've been staring out the window with Geoff. All of a sudden, Shayna and Steph appear outside the window and are waving frantically at me. I gave her a strange look as the stop we needed was the next one and pointed in the direction. It took her a minute to understand and by the time she did, the tram had pulled off. I can't help but giggle at this moment, it was just funny. We did finally meet them at the correct stop and found our way to the hostel.

Later, we all headed out for dinner. We were looking for something "German", which we sort of found. I had Berlin potato soup and a salad, but some of the things everyone else got was a little more German.

After dinner, we headed back to the hostel, paid for our rooms, chilled for a bit and then Geoff and I went to bed. We had a big day on Saturday full of stuff to do.

8:30am...this is not a good time to hear an alarm on a Saturday, but you know. We started the morning with a trip to see the East Side Gallery, also known as the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall left in Berlin. This is the reason I wanted to go to Berlin...my love affair with the wall. I just needed to see it and the murals on the East Side were gorgeous! We then continued on the see the Reichstag, and then on into the Freedom Festival where there were 1000 dominoes painted and set up along the perimeter of where the Berlin Wall once sat 20 years ago. The dominoes were set to fall Monday evening, but just seeing them set up was fabulous. We also saw the Holocaust Memorial, which was rather interesting because you could go inside of it, before heading over the Film Museum (another must see on my list). With little over and hour and a half before meeting everyone, Geoff and myself went off to try and find a chocolate shop that he remembered going to when in Berlin. We found it eventually. It was pretty cool as they make sculptures of monuments out of chocolate. We bought some chocolate and then went to meet the others.

Once we found everyone, figuring out where to go was an adventure, but we eventually settled on an Indian place called Khushi. The food was decent, but nothing too special. After, we all headed back to the hostel and Geoff and myself once again called it an early night. There was more sight seeing to be done in the morning.

We checked out of the hostel at 9:30am and headed off to try and go up in the dome of the Reichstag. After about 20 minutes of waiting and not really getting far in line, my patience gave up the ghost and I decided that it wasn't worth waiting to see. I don't really regret not seeing it as the visibility on Sunday wasn't all that good and now I have an excuse to come back to Germany. Instead, we got crepes from a stand at the Freedom Festival and walked around the Tiergarten, which was beautiful I might add. I then stopped to buy a few souvenirs and then we headed the the train station to come back to Prague.

The train ride was pretty much a standard train ride, but I did get the chance to eat in the dining car, which was pretty cool!

Here are some of pictures I took when in Berlin along with a video of the dominoes falling:

They are the TV Tower on the East Side of Berlin, the Reichstag, the dominoes lined up waiting for Monday, the Holocaust Memorial while I was walking around inside, the Film Museum, me with the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery, part of the Tiergarten, one of my favorite memorials (it is an empty room full of bookshelves commemorating when a bunch of Nazis burned a bunch of books, and my favorite picture of the weekend- the Brandenburg Gate with the domino wall in front of it.

Unfortunately for Geoff, I had classes this week and thus I couldn't spend as much time as I wanted with him, but he was a good sport about it. Monday I took him to see some random parts of the Castle District before meeting with my production managers. We got traditional Czech food after the meeting.

Tuesday was jammed as per usual. I handed him my guide book and told him to explore Old Town, which he did and once I returned from all of my classes we went to Friends for karaoke night! (I love karaoke night! I'm starting to go more often...).

Wednesday was once again packed...We woke up really early and Kris, Geoff and myself went out to Letná Park (our film location...also, the place with the giant metronome) and took still shots for our storyboard. Geoff played the main characters, I played the girl and the extras. After this, Geoff explored New Town, I went to class and the evening was spent working on our Acting Studio Finals.

Thursday was the day I got to really to explore. Due to my history class being canceled, I was able to take Geoff to Petřin and Vyšehrad. Both two very gorgeous places! I really loved the cemetery at Vyšehrad. It was a lot of sight seeing in one day, but I feel that it was worth it. Especially as he left very early Friday morning. It was hard to say goodbye. I'm still a little sad that he's gone, but I know I'll be home soon enough, so until then I'm going to keep on going and keep on enjoying my time here while I've still got it.

Some pictures from the week!

These pictures are pretty self explanatory. The first one is a Memorial to the Victims of Communism, then there's Prague from the Petřin Tower, Geoff and I with Prague Castle in the back, Petřin Tower, Vyšehrad Cemetery, the Cathedral at Vyšehrad and the view of the city from Vyšehrad.

So, beyond Geoff leaving Friday morning, Kris and I worked on putting our photo storyboard in the correct sequence. We fixed the script and sent out e-mails. Later in the evening, we went out for Czech food (I ate a lot of Czech food this week...not that that's a bad thing...) and saw 2012. My quick review of this movie says, "See it if you want to see lots of things blow up and have a pretty good laugh. Don't take it too seriously."

And that's it! Everything I've done since I left for Germany a week ago. I can't believe that it's the middle of November already and that next weekend Kris and I will be filming our short film. It's so unreal, nerve wracking, stressful and exciting at the same time! I hope everything goes according to plan. Here's to success! Don't move, more to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment