Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 1: Tuesday August 6th, 2013

After a short layover in Zurich, our plane landed, albeit with some turbulence during the landing, at the Berlin Tegel Airport. We went to get our bags and got daily tickets for the Berlin public transportation service. Then, bus 128 took the five of us to the main station of the U-bahn, one of the two major forms of public transportation in Berlin. The U-bahn took us to the Naturkundemuseum (Museum of Natural History) stop, which was followed by a short walk to our hotel.
Our hotel was in the style of a loft; it was one large room which was to house the five of us for our four-night stay in Berlin. One of the downsides to the loft was its lack of air conditioning. Berlin just isn't built for warm weather. There are, as we learned, about four or five really hot days in Berlin each summer, and that's it. Well, we were there for two of them. And given Berlin's especially cold winters, the city's buildings are built for warmth, not cooling. By the time we got to our hotel, we were drenched in sweat from walking around the city, where it was at least 90 degrees that day. With the absence of AC, it was probably hotter inside than outside, so we decided to explore the city a little bit on our first day there.
We took the U-bahn towards the center of the city and the famous Brandenburg gate. Then, we waited and took a tour bus which took us through a part of the Tiergarten (Berlin's central park) and the Reichstag, which houses Germany's parliamentary body.
The flights started to get to us all, so we went back to the hotel to crash for a little while before dinner. We went to a nearby Italian restaurant to get food a little bit later, and got our first beers of the trip. After dinner, we made our way back to the hotel to get some energy for tomorrow, our first full day in the German capital.

Beer of the day: Berliner Pilsener-a good start

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