ericaamber

And the walls came down

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Often I find that I spend a lot of time frantically trying to see as much as humanly possible in the time off I have, which is often limited. Now that we have arrived in the Baltic, we have the exact same 12 day cruises for the next few months. In the Med we had quite a bit of variety, which was wonderful, but hectic. One of the places we will return to on this route is Warnemunde, Germany. Warnemunde is a beautiful coastal German town with much to offer, however today (our first Germany stop), I was on a serious mission. My dear friend Natasha has been living in Berlin for the last year or so and I’ve been dying to see her. As a neurotic OCD super-planner, I’ve had this day trip planned for 2.5 months. Natasha wasn’t sure if she would be able to get a new work visa, (she was but it was only confirmed last week) so this could have been our only day to get together. So, ages ago I requested the daytime off from work to adventure to Berlin. Why is it such a mission, you ask? Because Warnemunde is a 3 hour train ride away from Berlin. So it’s a fair jaunt for one who is only just arriving to Germany for the day. I know Natasha from Victoria and she is an amazingly creative accordion player/actress/model who is loving Berlin. You may remember Natasha from my Disney posts, she was working there as an accordion player when I was working at DAKL. At any rate, we are fabulous friends who seem to meet up in a different country every time. After a super long super early train ride through the BEAUTIFUL German countryside, I arrived at the (wrong) train station. Wrangling myself a telephone and some Internet, I got Natasha’s phone number out of Facebook and called her. Turns out there’s a few train stations in Berlin (try like a billion). Natasha hopped on a train to come find me while I checked out H&M (what’s a girl to do, there’s a mall next to every train station!!). Reunited at last, we caught a few more train and caught up on each others lives. We then took a walk to East Berlin, and one of the most well known symbols of freedom in history, the remnants of the Berlin Wall. The East Side Galleries are made up of the longest surviving stretch of the wall, all painted by artists. This part of the wall is protected by the government so as to not be torn down, and is amazingly beautiful. It’s an overwhelming place to be, it symbolizes so much. Being on a bit of a tight time frame (I still have to work tonight and have a three hour train home) we scampered around taking pictures and telling stories. We made my train home by 3 minutes!! I’m currently on the train headed back to Rostock, and then to Warnemunde. Now that I’m sitting and thinking and looking at my photos, it’s really sinking in and I’m actually processing everything that I’ve seen today. I can’t even quite grasp the whole thing. It’s one thing to read about Germany’s history and empathize with the struggles, it’s a whole other thing to be there and physically touch the wall and see the bridge that used to be a checkpoint. I have a lot to think about, what an amazing afternoon with an amazing friend. I think I will be back to Berlin, one visit was not enough!!!

I’ve been really listening very attentively to all the announcements on the trains in some kind of attempt to suddenly understand German. Despite my lack of German, I’ve managed to understand my train ticket and the announcements enough to make my train transfer and am safely on the final train to Rostock. Great success!

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