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Steph’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 20 Apr 2008

Location: Berlin, Germany

MapWell we have had a fun-filled couple of days in Berlin. The weather cleared up mostly, but it is still pretty chilly. We´re becoming quite the experts at layering clothes for warmth. I think last night I had about five different layers on.

First of all I just need to report that I think Matt may have found his spiritual home in Germany. Beer is comparatively cheap here and you should have seen his face when he saw he could buy a half litre bottle of Becks in the supermarket for 1.50 Euros - priceless! We´re also going crazy eating too much wurst, cheese and German pastries! But we´re doing so much walking we really need the energy!

Yesterday we went and took a tour of Schloss Charlottenburg, which is a Prussian palace. Very beautiful with amazing gardens. Once we find some time to upload our photos you can take a look. Last night was the final of the German Bundesliga soccer and the match was played in Berlin. There were fans everywhere - all in their team colours, chanting and drinking beer on the street. So Matt and I thought we would get in on the party and so we went and watched the match on a big screen in front of the Brandenburg Gate. There were thousands of people there and about just as many police but it was a great atmosphere.

We were standing there watching the match and this German TV crew came up to us and stuck a huge light in our face and a camera as well and asked us in German if they could ask us some questions. I think we were both a bit stunned and I had a mental blank and couldn´t remember any German words. Then suddenly my trusty year 10 German came flooding back and I said that we came from Australia. So then the interviewer started talking to us in English and asked us what we thought of the game and how we were enjoying Berlin. Clearly they wanted our expert opinion! No idea if we were actually on tv or not but that was all a bit random.

After the football last night we had a more sobering day today. We went to the site of the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp used during WWII. It was a very sad place to visit and imagine the conditions the people interned there were subjected to. Nonetheless we were glad we went because as our guide said it is important not to ignore or forget that period of history.

Today we also took up the challenge and climbed all 282 stairs of the Victory column in the middle of the Tiergarten - huge park in Berlin. I don´t think our legs have recovered yet.