Monday, April 1, 2013

Living History

Happy April everyone!  I hope all of you that celebrate Easter had a lovely one yesterday, I sure did.  Since my last post, I’ve been to Berlin with my sister and upon returning to Oslo had a visit from a fellow USFer.  Germany was marvelous, as was having two familiar faces around.  Here’s the lowdown of my week:

Tuesday: I had class, so my sister went off on her own to see a good number of museums around the city.  Then she and I met up with a friend to go out to dinner.  Eating out at a restaurant in Oslo took a visit from my sister to happen.  Getting food instead of cooking is not cheap.  Took full advantage of this rare occasion.  After dinner we headed back for tea and then I had to get some sleep to get up early for my flight!

Wednesday: BERLIN!!!  This city has been on my bucket list for years and finally going was the experience of a lifetime.  As the title of this week’s post goes, I felt the history all around me.  We made our way to Plus Berlin Hostel to check in after I managed to take a nice nap on the plane.  Plus Berlin is a frickin’ amazing hostel; it’s so huge and nice!  And the main reason I chose to book it was its location: Plus Berlin is about three blocks away from the largest remaining section of the wall.  And after dropping off our luggage, the wall was the first thing we went to.  Like I said, a check off on the bucket list.  Walking the wall was surreal.

After my stroll along the wall, my sister and I went out to dinner and then tucked in pretty early.

Thursday: Museum day!  We went to six different Berlin sights:

·         The Anne Frank Exhibit
·         The National Gallery
·         The Berliner Dom
·         The German History Museum
·         The Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie
·         The Jewish Museum

It was a tourism packed day and I loved every minute of it.  

Friday: Shopping day, Good Friday style.  A lot of stores and restaurants were closed on our third and final full day in Germany.  But first we started off our day at the German Parliament.  With an easy online registration, we were able to go up to the glass dome for free, yay!  With this visit, I’ve been to three parliaments while in Europe.  I’m quite a happy Politics major.  Anyways, as for the consumerism part of the day, we luckily went to Alexanderplatz which is a big square right by the Berlin TV Tower.  There were rows of booths filled with artisan crafts, souvenirs, and food.  There were plenty of people milling around as well, they must have had the same idea of shopping on Good Friday as we did.  The best place in Alexanderplatz for me was the beer garden!  Glad I got to one before leaving Germany.  I sipped a glass mug of hot red wine, which was great since the weather the whole time we were in Berlin was stormy and even colder than Oslo.  Apparently this winter is the coldest Germany has experienced since 1891… oh well.  After having wine at the beer garden, ha, and a little shopping at the booths, including a great jewelry one, we headed back to eat at the hostel where I made sure to have a pint of Berliner Pilsner.  We went to bed early for our flights the next morning.

Saturday: Used the shuttle service through Plus Berlin to get to Tegel Airport around 4:30am since my sister’s flight to the states departed around six.  Our stay at Plus Berlin was awesome, if anyone is planning on going to Berlin, I highly recommend this hostel.  Anyways, I got on my flight at 8:20am and got to Oslo at about ten, then stayed in international arrivals to pick up Katherine just around eleven.  She’s my friend from SF who is studying in London this spring (I visited her on my UK trip in February, and now it was her turn to come up to Norway!).
I took Katherine up to Sogn and after settling her in at the student village we headed downtown to do a loop of the city.  We hit up Aker Brygge, Oslo’s main pier, and then Akershus Castle.  Then the Opera House Roof and back down Karl Johans gate to get back on the T Bane.  We had a quick dinner and then headed to my friend Heidi’s place for a house party.
Sunday:  Easter!  We made sure to get some museums in for Katherine so we met up with a friend of mine and the three of us made the holiday an art day with the Munch Museum and National Gallery.  Then we grabbed a late lunch at one of the open coffee shops.  After that, I had to get back to my room to work on a paper but the others went out to Sognsvann, a lake near my student village.  It must have been beautiful on a gorgeous day like this one, I was envious. 

I worked on my essay for a bit and then there was an Easter dinner with a two of my roommates and their friends and after food my pair of friends of the day and I headed out to BLÅ for some Oslo night life.  

Today (Monday):  With today being Katherine’s last day in Oslo, we got in two more plans.  First we went to the Opera House for a free concert with a group of friends.  Something free… in Oslo… best thing ever!  The pianist and violinist were both great, and it’s cool that I’ve now been on the roof of the Opera House as well as inside of it.  After some wonderful live music, the group of us headed back for a fun belated Easter brunch at one of my friend’s kitchen in Sogn, concluding Katherine’s time in Oslo.  She got great three days of weather, it was so sunny!

To wrap up this week, below are pictures from Berlin and a couple from Oslo!  Bergen will be the highlight of my next post!

A great new memory

Inside the Berliner Dom

Checkpoint Charlie

The glass dome

 A chilly day outside Parliament

Hot red wine, yum

Akershus Castle

Concert at the Opera House

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