A Weekend in Berlin

One of my goals for living in Greece for a year was to visit five other countries.  I don’t want to waste these cheap European flights!  So when Kaitlyn, one of my friends from Dallas, said she was going to Europe, and could we find a city that was cheap for both of us to get to, I said YES.  We wound up going to Berlin for two days, and I have…mixed feelings about the trip.

Kaitlyn arrived at the airport a couple hours before me and kindly waited for me to arrive so we could make our way to the hostel together.  We immediately hit a snag when we were directed to the most unhelpful help desk in the airport.

Me:  Um, hi!  We need to find the S-Bahn.
Help Desk Woman:  The S-Bahn?  The S-Bahn!?  This is the airport!
Me:  …I know.  But, uh, we need to take the S-Bahn to our hostel.
Help Desk Woman:  There is not S-Bahn here.  This is the airport, we have airport transport.
Me:  Okay, but.  The directions our hostel gave us say to take the S-Bahn, so is there, like, a way to get to the S-Bahn from the airport?
Help Desk Woman:  There is no S-Bahn here!
Me:  ….???
Help Desk Woman:  …But if you go out that door, there is a bus to your right that will take you to the S-Bahn station.

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Japanese-Themed Day in DC (with a special guest star!)

Yesterday Elizabeth and I ventured into DC! We decided to do a Japan-themed tour of the city, since Japan has been at the top of my to-go list forever, and Elizabeth went there last year. (Side note: I HIGHLY recommend this version of sight-seeing. By choosing a theme, your choices are naturally narrowed, and you don’t feel as much pressure to do and see everything.)

We started at the U.S. National Arboretum, which is so huge you have to drive to different exhibits. We were there to see the bonsai exhibit, particularly a tree that has been alive since 1625, and survived the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima. The tree’s caretaker later donated the bonsai to the United States in 1976 for our bicentennial in a symbol of goodwill. Walking around the bonsai trees, and listening to an expert describe it as “living art that is begun but never finished” made me much more appreciative of the practice. Plus they are so cute!   Continue reading