Life as a Berliner: All good things…. 2012

We are home! Our time in Berlin has come to an end, and we are safely back on Welsh ground!

Berlin has definitely been an experience I will not forget. I met some lovely people, from all different nationalities and they all helped me enjoy my time, and realize how much more of the World I am yet to see!

It is hard to pinpoint one highlight of the whole trip, as so many days and moments were memorable, its hard to choose a favorite one. I really enjoyed talking to new people, and the gang from Wales, relaxing in Berlin’s beautiful Park such as Gorlitzer, Victoria, and the old  Tempelhof airport!

I could not believe how big Wansee, Schlachtensee and Mugelsee lakes were, they were stunning places and close enough to escape the big city without being too far from everything.

On the plane home, we had a lovely view of one of the lakes from above, and thats when we saw how big they really were!

Life in Berlin was so relaxed and laid back, nothing ever felt too rushed and we could really take our time to enjoy the moment. Time has flown since February when we all first met in one of Llangollen’s (many) small pubs, and now we have separated and gone home. Back to reality.

I like being back in Wales, and I missed my home, family and friends so much, and I cannot wait to see them all! I know I will miss the independence, the good weather, the food and most of all, the company of people I will never forget in Berlin! As cheesy as it sounds, I met great people, and will miss not being able to send a quick text to see if we could make plans for the day!

Waking up in my own bed, in my room was surreal this morning, and I definitely was not expecting the good weather to travel back with us! I’ll miss Berlin, and I will go back, but not for a while. I think it’s time to see other countries before I make my way back to Germany… and I can’t wait!

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Life as a Berliner: Lange Nacht der Opern und Theater 2012

The Long Night of Opera and Theatre 

 

Last Saturday night, we spent the evening going from one Theatre to the next, enjoying what the long night of Opera and Theatre had in store for us! We had heard of this night a while ago, and had been looking forward to it for a while!

It cost €11 for a student ticket, and lasted from 6pm until the early hours of the morning! Having spent a very hot day at the Beautiful airport turned Park, Tempelhof, we were reluctant to leave, not wanting to miss out on the good weather and company.

We started our night at the beautiful, grand Komische Opera house to watch the renowned Italian Opera: Carmen! Having never been to an Opera before, I was curious as to how I would find it, and I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! The performers had incredible voices, and the production itself has been modernized to Berlin in the 21st century! The seats in front showed a small screen with a subtitles option which was really helpful, as the singing was in Italian, and the dialogue in German!

It lasted for half an hour, and only a few songs were performed, but I found myself wanting to see more, and I will definitely look into seeing another Opera!

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Life as a Berliner: Sunday brunch, anyone? 2012

For the past two Sundays a few of us have met up before 12 in the afternoon, to enjoy an all you can eat buffet at a reasonable price! We have been to the same restaurant in East Berlin twice now, as we know what it offers (and they say stick to what you know),but there are several around Berlin that offer the same. It’s so nice to meet up on a Sunday, and not worry about what to eat/buy for one day a week!

The buffet seves hot and cold food such as bread rolls, ham, cheese, scrambled eggs, peppers,chicken, fresh fruit, cereal and so much more! It costs €7,90 for the buffet and you can eat muh as you like including desert, if you can fit it in of course! It costs more for drinks but it’s not expensive, and the coffee/hot chocolates are delicious!

 It’s always packed there an we have been lucky both times to get a table, however the square where the restaurant is located, has many other places offering a Sunday brunch a little less/more, but I’m sure they  are just as filling!

I recommend “Sunday brunch” to tourist and locals, as it such a nice break from cooking for one night, and if you pace yourself and take your time, you won’t want or need to eat anything else for the rest of the day!

 

Life as a Berliner: East Side Gallery 2012

Today a group of us visited the East side Gallery and walked along the mile long wall viewing what artists had created on the Eastern part.

I think this was probably one of my favourite things we have done so far in Berlin. We have been waiting for a sunny day to view the wall, and I’m glad we chose to go when we did.

It was cold but that was expected, but the sun was shining and it was nice to be able to take our time to walk alongside and view it. The wall had several images and captions that artists had drawn/written based on their perceptions of the Berlin wall. The wall on the Eastern side was bright and colorful but some of the images showed how imprisoned and hard the German people felt towards the divide in the city.

The Western side was white but had graffiti over it, but did not look as appealing as the Eastern side.

I remember learning about the Wall and being told about its effects on the Berlin people, and seen good films such as Goodbye Lenin (what a film!) but seeing a part of the Wall itself, looking at it and thinking about everything I have been told was overwhelming.

So many people died trying to escape over the wall, and so many family and friends were separated, before seeing it myself it was hard to take it in, but being there just made it so real to me.

I think everyone should see this for themselves, even if you aren’t sure of the history of the Berlin Wall, there is plenty of information in Museums, in books and online! It really makes you think and gives you the smallest glimpse into what this city must have looked like and been like to live in, and only 23 years ago!

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Life as a Berliner: Where it all began.. 2012

Life as Berliner is my new blog on my life in Germany’s capital city! I am currently here on a 3 month language course and will receive a work placement soon! I am here with ECTARC program which takes graduates abroad and helps develop their language skills and finds work for them in the country of their choice(within reason). I chose Berlin because I have always liked Germany, having visited Landsberg and Grunstadt in the South, and meeting some great people.

We all met in Llangollen, and stayed in a cosy hostel on the Main Road. There’s only 7 of us which is an odd number, and I much prefer even ones but I like our group. We all get on well and already have our in jokes (e.g peter davies!) I have always been a girly girl and Im so glad the two girls here are lovely and we always giggle together and the boys are polite and thoughtful (if a bit lad-ish on times)!

The flight went quickly, and we were all shattered in the taxi ride from the Airport.Only one of us lives in the East, and I really wish she lived closer, as the rest of us are in the West, and eve though we’re 20-30 mins away it seems a bit strange to me!

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My flat/apartment is Wunderbar,I have a comfy bed, a good small kitchen and a bathroom with a nice sized bath! Yeyy! Every day for 4 weeks we have a 4 hour language class starting at 8.45 which is early but I am slowly getting used to the early starts, even if I have finished my “lunch” by 12am!

So far the language doesn’t seem to be a problem for me, though the grammar part does scare me a little, but I think if I learn it and get my head around it Il be okay. I like the German language, so I am enjoying learning it, and fingers crossed by May I shall be fluent!

It already feels like we have been here a while,yet it hasn’t been a week yet and so many problems have hit us e.g internet connection, German sim cards, timing, lack of sleep and boilers…

The food here is so tasty, and I think “Kaffee und Kuchen” will become a weekly routine! My nearest supermarket is very close and not too expensive either, however I will eventually venture into LIDL and ALDI with my bags for life and stock up!

We are due to meet up with a group that came to Berlin in January, and Im looking forward to meeting and talking to them too!

So far, very good. I cannot wait to hear where my placement is, fingers crossed its as good as one of the boys (Dave t) as he is chuffed, and I hope I will be too!