09.01.2009 29 °C
Wow, neglecting this thing once more! And thanks to my mother for pointing it out, the pressure's on to get a new post out! And unfortunately, due to a slow wifi connection, no pics on this one even though I've got some good ones!
I spent Friday and Saturday with Max in Erlangen, near Nuremberg, in Bavaria, Germany. We had a blast! He picked me up from the station, we quickly caught up on the last 5 years, and bam! We get along great. And with the mention of wanting to become a veg, we were BFF in a matter of hours. Friday night we rented a movie in English, made a stir fry for dinner, had some wine, and chatted. Max even helped me buy semi-permanent hair colour so I could give my do a little refresher. So Saturday morning when Max went to work, I had the luxury of an empty house (one I haven't had in over 2 months! It's crazy the things you take for granted at home, like privacy!), so I died my hair and hung out all morning until Max got off at one. We then went into Erlangen, got some dinner stuff, returned the movie, and got me an English book (The Pillars of the Earth, so far very good!) We made vegan pizza and a yummy salad, and drank more wine and chatted about the world and all it's problems, it was great! Took it easy again; Max was tired from the night before, and I couldn't be bothered either, so we called it off with his friends and just relaxed again. We even got to puppy-sit for his mom while she was at the neighbour's pre-wedding party; Afrau and Paule were two very loving German Short-hairs, who were freaking adorable. It's funny though, you feel REALLY dumb when even the dog doesn't understand you. I'm trying to tell them to sit or lay down, but they're German too and have no idea what I'm saying! I realized that and had a good laugh lol. The party was next door, and everyone in the neighbourhood couold come and eat, drink, and break old plates on the sidewalk. No kidding, we heard them all night! But it's a German tradition, and it was cool to watch through the window.
On Sunday, before dropping me off at the station, we went to Max's Grandmother's house to play with the dogs once more, then I was off on my way to Berlin. The journey was pretty long, but I'm getting used to travelling long distances, and the second train I had I shared a cabin with a really nice Austrian lady and a very finatic German guy who insisted he tell me everything I should see in Europe. Was a good source of info, that's for sure! Got into Berlin late and was exhausted, so I chatted with my really cool dormmates and we all had an early night.
Yesterday was my first full day in Berlin, and of course I went on the free walking tour. I was a little disapointed in the guide I got, but it was a good tour nonetheless. We started out in the Pariser platz, and saw the Brandenburg Gate, and the hotel that MJ dangeled his baby out of. We learned a TON of history during the tour, saw the remaining part of the Berlin Wall, saw Hitler's Bunker (now a car park, but we were literally standing over the place where he killed himself), walked through the Jewish memorial, which was quite moving, saw the memorial to the burnt books, which was quite eerie. It was plexi glass in the pavement, where you look down into quite a big white library full of empty shelves. Gave me shivers! Good tour. Met two really nice Aussies, Sarah and Victoria on it as well. The only part that made me mad was when our tour guide was talking about Hitler, saying he was vegetarian, and that no one that clean-living should be trusted! I was like, there goes half of your tip! I just about said something, but I didn't want to draw attention to myself; it doesn't sound that bad now, but it was harsh at the time! After the tour I went window shopping, and then headed back to the hostel and once again chatted with my dormmates for the rest of the night.
Today I met up with Sarah, her friend Nicole, and a fellow Canadian Elise on the non-profit tour of Sachsenhausen, the concentration camp half an hour outside of Berlin. It was a heavy day, but I learnt a ton, and I think it's important that these places are preserved and that tours go there to teach about what the people had to go through during this sick time. It was eye-opening and amazing. I'm not going to write a lot about it, because it was really sad and gruesome, but I did learn a few things. I learned that there were more gypsies killed in the holocaust than there were jews, and there were other groups of people who we don't hear about, that makes it all the more sad and disgusting. Also, I learned about so many companies who contributed to the holocaust, and how they used the prisoners for their own slave labour. It was something else to walk through the same gates, the same houses, and the same concrete fields that all those people did just 70 years ago. Something else.
After that everyone was in a bit of a mood, so we all dispersed and had naps at our hostels! It was a hot, hot day and a mentally exhausting one as well. I had dinner at a yummy vegan cafe, and now here I am finally updating this blog!