Germany

BMW Museum

One day we decided to visit the BMW Museum in Munich, which is conveniently located right next to the sight of the 1972 Olympic Games. When we were there BMW had just released the new Z4, so there was a  giant exhibit on it. I think it’s a pretty nice looking car.

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One of the nicest bikes I’ve ever seen is the BMW HP2 Sport. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 euros, so it’s a little out of my price range (for now anyway).

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They also had one of the BMW F1 Series cars on display.

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Beer Gardens, Beer Halls, and Massive Steins (Munich in a Nutshell)

The first thing people always think of when they think about Munich is Oktoberfest, and rightly so. I really want to go back to Munich for Oktoberfest (which, ironically, is held at the end of September). While in Munich, I really didn’t do a lot except for take part in the typical German tradition of beer-drinking.  Bavarian beer is known to be some of the best in the world, and rightly so. I will be so disappointed when I get back to the States and have to drink Budweiser, Miller, or one of the other not-so-good American beers. One thing I did do was  a 4-hour free walking tour, so here’s some pictures from around the city.

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At noon everyday, these figures would come out and dance in the tower of this palace.

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This next picture is the most famous (and most expensive) beer hall in Munich: Hofbrauhaus.

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The average price in Munich for a liter of beer (called a mas) was somewhere around 6 euros, but here it would cost you around 7.50 euros for the same thing. Seeing as how it was a big tourist trap, we didn’t visit this beer hall and instead went to a couple recommended by a couple of locals from the area. In case you were wondering, here’s what one of these steins looks like fresh from the tap.

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One of the coolest things I saw in Munich was an artificial surf. I’ve never seen anything like it, but it was really busy.

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This next pic is of the Chinese Tower, which is one of the better beer gardens in the city.

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Berlin Zoo

The Berlin Zoo is supposed to be one of the best in the world, so I figured I’d spend most of my last day in Berlin there. I went with my friend Wendy who I met at my hostel. It definitely would’ve been boring had I walked around the zoo all day by myself.

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Look at this guy. Badass all the way!

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Look at those eyes!!

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In case you can’t tell this is a panda bear as relaxed as he could possibly get.

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I think this was one of my favorites. At first I thought it was a cheetah, but then realized it was some type of leopard I believe.

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Then we found a fun rope bridge to run across and almost fell into the stream.

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When you thought you would only ever see kangaroos in Australia, guess again. You just have to come to the Berlin Zoo.

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When we went into the pengiun house, it reminded me of the Happy Feet Walk It Out video on YouTube (Jen!!!)

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Next, Mr. Polar Bear.

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My other favorite animal: the Bald Eagle!!

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This was the first time I saw elephants up close and they were pretty funny. There were 4 or 5 adult elephants and one baby running around rolling in the hay. It was really funny to watch.

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This next guy loved being in front of the camera and getting his picture taken. He even smiled for me once! I think he’s ready for Hollywood!

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There was a room full of ropes and things for this next monkey to swing around and he went to town on them. He was doing all kinds of acrobatics for us. I think he was just trying to show off for the girl monkeys. I have a short video of this guy swinging around, but here’s a pic for now.

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Last but not least I couldn’t have left without doing my photo-op with King Kong on the way out of the park. That completed the day.

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Reichstadt

The Reichstadt is like Germany’s congress building, the center of the German government. It’s a pretty cool building with a dome in the middle to be able to look down on the government officials, so that they know they are always doing the right things for the people on top of them: the public.

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The inside is really cool too.

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Other Pics from Berlin

I wandered around Berlin a lot like I do in most cities, so here’s some pictures that don’t really go under any other heading.

This first guy was outside a little cafe I went to one day.

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Next, I was pretty surprised how many random beaches Berlin has,  most not even on water. For not having any kind of coast, there sure is a lot of sand throughout the city.

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I found these people kind of amusing as well.

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I also happened to run into Prince Charles one day while wandering around aimlessly.  There was a huge crowd around so I walked up and didn’t know what was going on until I saw him walk out of the what was apparently the British Embassy, so that was kind of exciting.

I stopped by an small art gallery one day down the street from my hostel and here’s one of the paintings I thought was really cool.

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Sorry I know this post is random, but I said that at the beginning. Enjoy!!


Pub Crawls and Other Mischief

One thing Berlin is known for is their nightlife, and deservedly so. Like a couple of other places I’ve been in Europe the clubs don’t really open until 1:30 or 2:00 am, so when I say I saw the sun come up almost every day I was in Berlin I’m not really joking at all. This is part of the reason I originally had booked 4 nights here and ended up spending 10. I went on a couple pub crawls during my time in Berlin because its a good way to get to know the city and where to go and where not to go on other nights. Here’s some pictures from some different nights out on the town.

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Then back to the hostel for the after-party!

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Somehow later in the night we managed to find a playground with a fantastic trampoline.

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Good times in Berlin!!


Views from Atop the TV Tower

The tallest point in Berlin is the TV Tower. Me and a friend of mine paid to go to the top to take some photos. Once near the top, there is a restaurant that is a level higher which would equal better pictures. I asked the woman working the line how long the wait was. She told me we needed at least a 2-hour reservation, and this was at about 4:00pm. I asked her if we could just go up for a drink and not eat, and she told me an hour for that. After I kept pestering her about it she finally let us up right away. When we got up to the restaurant and sat down at our table, we realized after a few minutes that we were moving. The restaurant rotated like some of the ones in Vegas. Apparently, it does a full rotation every 20 minutes. As me and my friend were sitting there, we were joking about how it would be funny if we were to stay long enough to see the sunset, but we didn’t actually think we would do it. Funny enough, after chilling and talking over a couple beers, we began to see the sun go down. First here’s some pics of Berlin from high atop the tower.

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Now for the better part: the sunset!

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East Side Gallery

As I mentioned before, the East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km stretch of the old Berlin Wall where each section is spraypainted by a different graffiti artist. Here were some of my favorite sections of the wall.

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This was probably one of the coolest things I saw in Berlin.


Berlin

Berlin has been one of my favorite cities so far. There’s so much to do and so much different than what you would think before you get there. I always thought of Berlin as the capital and everyone being serious and unfriendly, but that’s not the case at all. It’s a really nice city to just walk around and explore. Here’s some picture from the free walking tour that I did the first day I was there. First is the famous Brandenburg Gate.

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Then this is the giant Holocaust Memorial in the center of the city. There is something like 1000 of these blocks of all different sizes. Nobody really knows what they’re supposed to represent, though.

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This was old Soviet propaganda that was used to make people believe in Socialism. You can see this type of thing in a lot of different places throughout east Berlin.

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This is one of the only remaining parts of the Berlin wall besides the East Side Gallery.

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I forgot what this next thing was, but I liked it.

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Next is the Berlin TV Tower, which I went to the top of and have more pictures from.

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There is a ton of graffiti around Berlin and most of it is really really good. The East Side Gallery is probably the best example, which is a 1.3 km stretch of the Berlin Wall that each section is spraypainted by a different artist and most of them are pretty amazing. Here is an example of some of the great graffiti work around the city.

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