Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 9:19 PM in 2013 Europe
I slept really well last night after the sleeper train the night before and hiking around with my backpack all day. This morning I got up, had a cup of coffee and then went out to get some food. Since all the markets were closed yesterday I didn't have a chance to pick up any breakfast food.
I went to Lidl and got an apple pastry for breakfast, lunch stuff (bread, strawberry preserves and fake Nutella) and some pasta for dinner. Back at the hostel I ate my breakfast and had some more coffee then set off for Checkpoint Charlie. Even though I have an unlimited train card, I wanted to get some fresh air and the walk was pretty nice.
Checkpoint Charlie is in the middle of a busy street surrounded by all kinds of restaurants, shops, street food vendors (Checkpoint Curry anyone?) and souvenir stands. There was also an outdoor museum with a lot of information about Checkpoint Charlie, the wall and the history surrounding it all.
From there I headed north and then got diverted over to Museum Island due to road construction. I saw the Berlin Cathedral and walked around some of the museums. I didn't go in any of them due to the entry costs being so high. Maybe later in the week I'll venture into one though.
One thing to note... for some reason there are a lot of... for a lack of a better word... gypsies, out around Berlin. I'm not sure what the scam is but I walked around enough today to pick up a sense for something not being right. Basically what happens is a young boy or girl will come up to you asking if you speak english. They have some kind of leaflets in their hand as well. All of this takes place in busy areas and their parents/cohorts aren't usually too far away.
I never acknowledged them so I'm not sure how the scam plays out, but I'm assuming they find out you speak English and either try to sell you some kind of leaflet or use it to distract you while someone else conveniently "bumps" into you and makes off with your valuables. I've read about those scams enough online to think that's probably what's going on.
Anyway, after museum island I went back to Alexanderplatz where I ate lunch and walked through a huge electronics store called Saturn. I was hoping I could get an actual European plug for my laptop so I didn't have to keep using my adapter. Unfortunately they didn't sell just the cord I needed.
I came back to the hostel and worked for several hours before making dinner. I overheard some people at the hostel today talking about how every Tuesday and Friday there's a huge Turkish outdoor market. It's within easy walking distance from my hostel so I'm going to head over there tomorrow and check it out.
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daily journal, germany, berlin
Posted from: Germany