OKKAYY, so back to May the 20th, . We all turn up at the designated meeting point to board our double story, 'air conditionaly challenged' bus that we are going to call home for the next 3 weeks. Because I’m a ninja i managed to get my bags on first and win the struggle to score the top front seats for me and Gemma. From there we had a fantastic view for the beginning of a fantastic trip.
First, we headed towards the wonderful city of Berlin. We drove to the south of Denmark, picking people up on the way, messing around, singing, and watching movies seeing the sights. Once we got to the southern coast we took a ferry, the whole bus drove on board, and travelled across to the north of Germany.
The toilets on the ferry had these facinating hand dryers....
The ferry took about an hour, during which we shopped and ate and sat out in the wind taking silly photos and watching the ocean go by. we arrived in Germany, making the exciting first border cross
and then continued to drive for quite some more time before stopping for a break. we stopped at a little truck stop were we had some food and all climbed the berlin sign for pictures.
After the break we headed on to the city, finally arriving in the evening at our hostel. I and Gemma had planned to room together, but we needed groups of four or five. it became really complicated because many people signed off for rooms without having enough to fill it and by the time we got to the front of the cue there were about 5 people left and no rooms. So we had a bit a problem for a while but eventually we all found beds and me and Gem still got to go in the same room. We all slept in bunk beds which had been very grafitied. Me and Gemma had a lot of fun reading through it all; my favourite was 'i hate my life and want to die - Kurt Cobain'.
We all had dinner in the hall together and then we were allowed free time. The weather was terrible, so Gemma and i headed out briefly for a scout of our area before coming back to the hostel and heading to bed.
Day 2 -
The next day was our first real tour day, we woke up and headed to the hall for breakfast and then hurryed out to the bus to get a good place to sit. a bunch of australians and i got there a bit to early and had to wait. we entertained ourselves by watching joggers going past and doing a slow clap for them
eventualy we got on the bus and headed out to the city on a bit of a guided tour. We first took our trusty bus to Checkpoint charlie. we didnt have a lot of time but we got to look around, buy some souveners and get a little scamed in our confusion of converting from the danish kroner to euros.
after that we all piled back on the bus and drove to the berlin wall. the wall is really something special, each section has been painted by a seperate artist, and most the paintings have political messages hidden in them. its so full of history, its just an incredible place to see. me, Gemma and a bunch of others walked up a part of it, before heading back for a picnic lunch in an adjacent park.
after we ate we all jumped back on the bus again and then headed out to the Brandenburg gate. the bus dropped us off and we had free time until 11pm, when we all had to be back at the hostel. So me, Sav, Rach, Gemma, Sarah, Eva, Jess and Beth headed off to explore the city. we first checked out the gate, were we also met darth vader.
|'sorry, im not your father'|
we also wached some really impressive street performers
after that we went walking around the city, first we went to an art museam that Eva wanted to see and then to a market that Eva knew about. We didnt realy know where we were going, but we managed to run into a tonne of interesting sites.
|cool car, apparently theres only like 70 in the world|
|university fundraising book sale|
|horse and cart and beer bike, classy stuff|
|books at the market|
|eva the photographer|
|Berliner Fernsehturm and the Berliner Dom|
|eating giant pretzals|
|feeding birds with giant pretzals|
We went to a food cort for dinner, wich actualy turned out to be quite funny, involving some interesting instances with pasta being thrown around and pepper coming out of gemmas eyes. Afterwards we wandered around, just taking the city in, with the occasional distractions...
|playing on a play ground|
Eventualy we decided to take the train home because we were all pretty tired
The next day we all got up super early and headed off, back on the bus to the Czechs republic. We drove for hours, stopping once or twice, until we reached the concentration camp Theresienstadt, where we stopped there for a tour and lunch. The camp was something that can’t be put into words. We witnessed only some of what the war prisoners were subjected to, and for many of them this was a brief stop on the road to the gas chambers. The conditions were beyond inhumane; it was such an eye opening, moving experience.
We had lunch before jumping back on the bus and driving on to Prague. We saw some beautiful sights on the way, but we were all impatient to reach the city.
We arrived at what was to be the best hotel of the tour, it even had internet access!
We had the afternoon free, but again, we didn’t have a lot of time and the weather was terrible so some of us took a short trip to a supermarket to buy water and snacks and look around.
The real fun began the next day; we woke up early, ready to walk to the train (it was our bus driver’s day off). Unfortunately our guide got us quite lost, and in the end (an hour later) some girls that had gone into town the day before convinced the guide he was going the wrong way. So eventually we got to the train station and took the train to the station 'museum'. From there we took a tram up a hill to a picturesque area of the city.
We then walked down a small, beautiful street filled with little cute houses. We happened to pass a band of guards on the way that had just finished there post at the castle and were returning back to the base.
We followed the little road down to the Prague castle gates were we had a lot of time to look around and take in the view of the city from way up high. It was breathtaking.
|We also spent some time at the gorgeous St. Vitus cathedral behind the castle. It was incredibly beautiful.|
We then had to follow the guide on further and walk up to Charles bridge of the city, which was beautiful on its own, but offered an incredible view over the water.
At that point we had free time, so i went to see the Lennon Wall with Eva, jess and three American girls i didn’t know very well at the time, but ended up being extremely close with called Jenny, Emily and Katie.
|on the way to the wall|
It was something really beautiful to see, so many people connected by an expression and an ideal. We spent a far bit of time there, reading the wall.
a group of girls had written on the wall and gave us there left over paint so we could too.
After that i headed up to meet with Gemma, Sarah, Chloe, Rachel and savannah for lunch. We then walked around for hours, we saw the Old town square and the astronomical clock, did some tourist shopping and then all went shopping in a shopping street that we managed to find.
|the eternal esculator|
|we all got a little sunbunt, or in the brazilians case, tan|
After that we met up for dinner and then had a really great night hanging out together in the city. we headed home fairly late, but with enough time to get back before curfew. unfortunatly one of the girls, beth, was realy sick. she was recovering from a lung infection. we stopped a couple of times to look after her and ended up being late home. luckily our mentors understood.
thats it for the first two citys, i will try and update the rest in the comming weeks, but this is enought to write and read in one go i think :)