Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Yesterday was great.  I went to an American bookstore (Books in Berlin) and found two great travel books for Austria and Turkey.  The bookstore owner was friendly, albeit a little disheveled, and gave me a good price for both.  I was/am a little anxious about not having travel books for Hungary and Slovakia because I won't understand the language at all.  Elena recommended one other bookstore and I think I will try to visit it tomorrow.  Today, my goals are: bank & train tickets.

Yesterday, I went to Aldi and got some batteries for my camera and I went on the "Red Berlin" walking tour.  It was really fun and I got to see a lot of places that I didn't know about and got a better understanding of some of the difficulties/benefits of living in the GDR (DDR).  The travel guide's name was David and he showed us around a lot of East Berlin.  We ended up at the East Side Gallery, which I particularly enjoyed.  The commissioned artwork is great and has some powerful messages against fascism.

Jane arrived this morning and we had a nice breakfast.  I'm starting out a little later today because I want to book my hostels for Budapest and Bratislava.  Having never been to eastern Europe (except Prague), I'm very curious about what it will be like.  In my mind, I have a great big map only the edges are white and hazy.  With each travel experience, I am trying to fill in a little more of that map with knowledge of a city, of the people, of the cuisine, of the culture, and of the language.  This trip to Europe will be very exciting and productive, I think, so long as I don't lose my nerve, in filling in some key spots in Europe.

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