I have never missed the ocean more than I have today. It is currently 33° and nearly 7pm! Every single instinct is telling me to go jump in the sea but I can't… because it is no where in sight. How do people who live in land survive? What about in the desert? I am not cut out for this.
A positive is that if this were New Zealand, it wouldn't matter how much sunblock I put on, because no matter what I would still get burnt to a crisp. But yay for Europe's less harsh UV rays, because there is no sign of sunburn anywhere on me… even on my feet, which I forgot to sunblock.
I started my day with a trip up the Berlin’s famous TV Tower. It’s viewing platform is 203m above the ground and gives you an almost aerial 360° view of Berlin. I love seeing cities from above, so this was pretty freaking cool. And it was also air-conditioned.
I spent my afternoon with Song, one of the girls from my hostel in Brussels, and her friend Mikayla. We had lunch at a Bavarian themed restaurant, which was a bit ironic as we are in Berlin, not Munich, but it was great! I had baked potatoes and salad. Surprisingly, for a city that is famous for it's sausages and meats, vegetarian and vegan food are easy to come by. I thank all the infamous Berlin hipsters for that.
After this Song and I went to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Mikayla couldn't come but it was her suggestion, as it's one of her favourite landmarks in the city. Neither of us had ever heard or read anything about it before, but she told us it was a church that was badly damaged by bombing during WWII and the spire was never fully restored.
Getting there required a trip on an S Bahn train at peak hour, and that was an experience I never want to have again. Being packed in like sardines in 30+ degree heat with literally no room to move, and zero personal space was… interesting. But not in a good way.
Eventually we arrived though, in one piece but stickier than I'd ever been before in my life.
It ended up being worth the mission, though. The church spire still had large holes in it, and the restored part was turned into a memorial site. It was really crazy to see real life damage from the war, and not a mock up or reinterpreted. If I hadn't had been told to visit here by someone from Germany I would never had known it existed, which is something I think is great about traveling solo. If I was with another person I would be much less inclined to talk to other people, and therefore wouldn't have met a lot of people like I have.
Another example happened of this just tonight. An Australian girl in my dorm and I got talking, and ended up grabbing dinner and a drink together at the bar downstairs. It’s great to get out of your comfort zone, not only by visiting places so far removed from what you are used to, but also talking to strangers. As it turns out, most other people are in the same boat as you and everyone is willing to talk. Also, everyone seems to love a Kiwi! :P
Tomorrow I think I am going to meet up with Song and Mikayla again, but most importantly I am going to watch the Super Rugby final!!!!!! Live!!!! From Berlin!!! Did I mention that my hostel is attached to a sports bar renowned for showing international sports? I asked, and they said they were going to play the rugby. What are the chances?! It's obviously meant to be. Now I am slightly less depressed that I can’t be back home to see what is literally my dream final play out. Just slightly. Go the Canes!