So we've had a busy but great set of days here in Berlin. On Wednesday we set out on a 5 hour bike tour. It was a great way to see this big, flat, and spread out city. Our guide was great, and we learned a lot about the history here, he even drew maps on the sidewalk in chalk so that everyone could picture how the country was divided after WWII. Then yesterday we went to the Checkpoint Charlie museum. It was incredible how much they had collected there, the museum founder began the collection the year after the wall was built. The result was both really interesting and a bit overwhelming. The stories and photos of escapes, attempted and successful, really showed how awful it was to live in East Germany then. We also went to a free outdoor museum called the Topography of Terror, which discussed the Nazis in Berlin through WWII. Last night we headed out on a pub crawl. They do these tours in a lot of the cities we've been to, so we figured we should try it once. The group was pretty fun, the guide was great, and he showed us around to 4 bars and a club. Fun times. Today we managed to still get out and do some more sightseeing and more walking (this city is huge!) despite the late hour of our cultural studies last night! We went to the Jewish museum, which was really amazing. Neither of us had ever seen a museum so architecturally interesting and representative, and the exhibits were incredibly well done also. Berlin has been a great way to end our time in Europe. The history is astounding, the architecture is varied (a lot of it is terrible), and its population is very young and diverse. Despite its dark past, or maybe even because of it, it is now the gay/lesbian and techno music capital of Europe. Quite a place.
Off to Frankfurt tomorrow and the airport on Sunday. A very different adventure is about to begin-more from Asia!