02.07.2007 - 02.07.2007 15 °C
After an impressive German breakfast accompanied by the news...terror attacks...thanks for letting us know...we made our way to the next hostel in Berlin. The next hostel was in a bit of a rough area. There was a gun shop. Our floor only had one toilet for 30+ rooms.
Once we had dumped our bags we made our way into the centre of Berlin to the Parissa Platz where we joined our free guided tour. Our tour guide Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaary (Gazza) from Northampton was incredibly English. His amazing sarcasm went wonderfully unnoticed by the rest of the group (mostly Americans). We met some GREAT American stereotypes in the form of Houston Jr. and his brother. Both are planning to join the 'service' after University. They boasted a lot about the guns their father had given them for their birthday. Cultural differences clearly apparent. The tour covered the basics of Berlin; the Brandenburg Gate, Pariza Platz, The Reichstag, The Holocaust Memorial, the site of hitlers bunker (still there, full of rubble, didn't see it), The Berlin Wall, checkpoint Charlie. Berlin is such a modern developed city, it was strange to be reminded of these events in recent history when it is doing its upmost to forget them.
We got lost in our desperate attempts to find somewhere cheap to eat but we eventually had an amazing spag bol for 3.90euro cooked by our Turkish waiter himself.
Realising the time we raced to the Reichstag (last entry at 10pm) to join the long queue outside. After been told it was unlikely we would get in because it was already 9.30pm we carried on. At 9.50 another group of people were let in and we raced forwards only to stop several people from the entrance. Then again at 9.55pm more people were let in...we made it two people away from the door. The doors closed separating the crowd ruthlessly. And yet still we waited. Conversations began with two Aussies, plans were being made to storm the building but the dream was dying. But then out of nowhere a perky northern voice restored our faith. The huge blonde haired, ginger bearded black rimmed glasses wearing friendly giant spoke of how "like in the Grinch...the stern German guards would open their hearts and find the love inside..." Later he revealed this was his second attempted to queue and live the dream of conquering the Reichstag. Commotion was beginning to stir; the old couple in front of us had been separated from their friends. Much arguing entailed should they stay or go, lots of shouting and signing to the guards when finally in the words of the Aussie 'this is going to ruin their marriage'.
10 minutes later after being told quite sternly to leave we all parted ways and we left for Sandsation. Not sandsational. The huge sand sculptures were meant to be transformed at night with a light show and beach bar. However it was simply dark and gloomy with a rope light swinging from the empty bar. Leaving disheartened we went mad in the station supermarket and treated ourselves to some cheap wine. We then remembered we had to corkscrew and after HOURS of using nail scissors and a pen knife we admitted defeat.