After reading the title to this blog, you may be wondering what the heck this blog is going to be about. I am not talking about some random stones and a plain cement wall, but about Stonehenge and the Berlin Wall!
Last week I knocked three things off my bucket list during my London to Berlin trip. Like most people, going to London has been a lifelong dream of mine. The trip started off a little rough considering I had a fever when I first arrived to London, but nothing some good medicine from back home and a long nap couldn’t fix.
After a one-hour and a half trip from the airport to the city center, my friend and I had to quickly figure out how to use the “underground” to get to our hostel since it was raining. Leaving the upper 70s weather in Madrid for the 50s in London was harder than I expected, but the views made it all worth it. From the Big Ben to Abbey Road, I fell in love with everything London has to offer. I really could see myself living there someday (if I was rich that is)! I saw everything I wanted to see (Big Ben, London Eye, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Abbey Road, Platform 9 ¾ , and Buckingham Palace), but after talking to some people in my hostel I realized I had missed so much. Hopefully I get the chance to go back one day and visit the British Museum, Oxford, and Cambridge.
The houses and buildings all over town are so pretty, but the euros-to-pound conversion was not so pretty. London is known to be really expensive especially since they use pounds (which is worth about $1.52 USD) so trying to stay on a budget was pretty hard. Since the underground/metro was pretty pricey I ended up walking almost everywhere — one day I walked over 10 miles!
On my last day in London I took a day trip to Stonehenge. I don’t know about you, but I first heard about Stonehenge during my early elementary school days so being physically there was really cool to say the least. I found it hard to wrap my head around the fact that those stones had been there for over 5,000 years. Definitely recommend taking a trip there if you visit London since it’s only about two hours away.
Next on the itinerary was Berlin. Let’s just say that if I knew German, Berlin would have been my second study abroad option. I just loved the history, culture, and people of the city. Before getting there I didn’t do much research so the only thing I was really expecting was the Berlin Wall, a couple of monuments and done. But there is way more stuff to see and do in Germany’s capital.
Luckily my friend’s friend is studying abroad there, so she was our tour guide for the whole trip. Without her, it would have basically been mission impossible getting from the airport to our hostel since everything is in German.
I had heard about free walking tours where the tour guide is basically a freelance tour guide asking for donations, but Berlin is the first city were I actually went to one. Berlin is basically a piece of living and breathing history, and I’m so glad I was able to go on the tour and truly appreciate all of it. The Holocaust Memorial was one of the most touching parts of the tour and just learning about all the history surrounding the Berlin Wall was nice. Unlike most memorials, the Holocaust Memorial had no names, no dates, and basically nothing to tell you what it represented. It was built in a way that made it open to interpretation; every person who walked through it could have a different experience and take on it.
Germany has taken ownership of what happened and the people have taken it upon themselves to educate the rest of the world.
Of course, Germany is also known for its beer, so naturally I had to check it out for myself. Although I pretty much hate beer, I have to say German beer isn’t so bad after all. After two short days in Berlin I decided that it definitely made it to my list of top three cities so far.
A week of fun was over and it was time to get back to real life: school.
The Spanish system is also different when it comes to finals; they give students a gap between the last day of class and finals. So my last day of classes was Friday of last week, but my first exam isn’t until two weeks from now! Even though I’ll finish school later than what I’m used to, at least I’ll have two weeks to study. Not looking forward to these next two weeks, hibernation mode to the fullest. Wish me luck!