Easter In Berlin

Three friends, Marthe, Heleen, and Paula, invited me along to Berlin for the weekend. Marthe arranged a ride Friday afternoon from Amsterdam to just south of Berlin, then we hitched into the city and met Heleen and Paula at the Brandenburg Gate around midnight. The hostel at which we hoped to stay was booked up, so we found accommodations elsewhere, but we got in for our final evening and loved it.

If you're ever in Berlin, the Circus at Rosa-Luxemburg Platz is excellent. It's a classy and mature atmosphere. Large, clean, comfortable rooms with a good cafe downstairs. Only 18euro a night. Marthe abandoned us for some other adventure on the second evening, but she footed my entire bill anyway (since I had initially said I couldn't afford to go with).

With Heleen as our guide, we wandered about and saw major landmarks; Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, Potsdamer Platz, etc. I particularly liked the Gendarmenmarkt. (When I get the pictures, I'll post them). I brought my books and did some studying. We even went bowling! One can hardly beat German beer and a game of 10-pins for a good time. I relished the goulash soup, and finally had a decent schnitzel. I didn't get my fill of spaetzle, I'm afraid to say.

We met some very nice people at the hostel and stayed up til early Monday morning playing cards, and billiards, and chatting. Monday early evening Paula and I went out to a gas station in the southwest of Berlin near the autobahn and started thumbing it. We made a sign, and smiled enthusiastically (tips here). Eventually, we were on the road.

We had four rides and it took us 12 hours to get back to Amsterdam. Much thanks to Mike the naturopath, Michel the military helicopter pilot, Gregoire the civil engineering student, and the last gentleman who took us the farthest when our spirits were lowest and whose name I was too exhausted to even ask. You all made my first European hitchhicking experience a blast. And thanks to dear Paula, whose charm and German skills made things go smoothly.

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