Monday, June 9, 2014

Plants and Wildlife and Memorials (Oh My!)

Greetings once again from Germany! I've been pretty busy lately, so this post comprises the past few days I've spent here in Berlin. Fair warning, this post contains a ridiculous amount of pictures and not too many anecdotes, but my mom wanted to see a bunch of photos from the botanical gardens (Botanischer Garten). Here it goes.

Friday after class I went with Maren and a classmate, Heidi, to the botanical garden. It's a surprisingly short walk from my classes, and I'm so glad I went. Here's a few pictures.

 I can't resist a lovely patch of lavender.

Some pretty roses and such.

A building in the rose garden. I think it's beautiful with the flowers on the side.

Our buddy the Fantastic Mr. Fox. He was hunting a field mouse.

A little group of wild ducklings.

I've got some crazy eyes going on, but finally a picture of me and Maren.

Inside one of the buildings at the botanical garden. I felt like I was on a jungle safari.

Maren on one of the coolest paths I've ever seen.

Maren posing with some flowers.

The awesome path again.

Observe the wild Maren in her natural habitat.

Once Maren and I do some picture sharing, I'll upload a few more of me at the botanical gardens as a just for fun post. But for now, we continue on to Saturday. On Saturday, Maren and I extended our exploration of the city to Potsdamer Platz. We also experienced a bit of a freak increase in temperature. It's been in the 90s (Fahrenheit, obviously) for the past few days. And therein lies my mistake of the day.

Saturday's Mistake of the Day: I wore jeans to go exploring in 90 degree heat.

But hey, I got some awesome pictures and great experiences to show for it.

 Here's a picture looking up in the Sony Center. Maren says they light up the dome at night with different colors, which sounds pretty cool. I'll have to go back in the evening and check it out.

A view of the Holocaust memorial in Berlin (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas).

They're a lot bigger than they seem. It's very sobering to be in their shadows.

The Brandenburger Tor.

And again.

The Monument to Sinti and Roma (Denkmal für die im Nationalsozialismus ermordeten Sinti und Roma Europas). The monument consists of a small, calm pond surrounded by cobblestones, many of which are engraved with the names of concentration and death camps.

 The Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten (Sowjetisches Ehrenmal).

The Berlin Victory Column (Berliner Siegessäule).

After all our sightseeing, I got to meet Maren's mom and sister and enjoy a delicious meal with them.

Yesterday (Sunday), I was supposed to meet up with the other study abroad students for a tour of the Reichstag. I was so excited and ready to take some awesome pictures, but my mistake of the day prevented me from actually achieving this.

Sunday's Mistake of the Day: Once again (and quite stupidly) underestimating Berlin's transportation system.

Yeah, you read that correctly. I didn't actually make it to the Reichstag. The first train was totally fine, but I could not for the life of me find the bus stop that I needed to get to the Brandenburger Tor. After hopelessly wandering around and missing the appointment, I decided to stop and have a beer at the first place I saw. It just so happened to be called the Einstein Cafe. Now I'm pretty sure Berlin is just mocking silly old tourist me.

Today was a national holiday, but I still had a class to attend. Also, in case you guys didn't know, I'm in class from 9 to 3 or 3:30 most days, so you can see why I might not update my blog as often as I should. Anyways, that leads me to today's mistake.

Today's Mistake of the Day: Underestimating just how many stores and shops would be closed due to the holiday.

So as a result, I didn't have breakfast, but fortunately I ferreted out a place for lunch and another for dinner. My host family was out of town this weekend, so I had to fend for myself for a bit, but I think I did ok. Anyways, that's been my weekend in a nutshell.



  1. I love, love, love the pictures, Catie!! I am jealous of the Botanical garden visit. :) Thank you for sharing them with me. -love Mom

    1. Thanks mom. Maybe one day we can come back to Berlin and see them together!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to update your were beautiful and informative. Hope you get a cool wave there and we need one too. Love pop & gram

    1. Glad you like them. I love you guys.

  3. Catie, thank you for sharing your adventure. This is as close as many of us will ever get to Germany so it's fun to live through your (mis)adventures. Once you figure out the transit system, you'll wonder how you had any problems. Happy late birthday! Love, Catherine

  4. I could be mean and just steal the pictures from your blog without sharing the stuff that is (still) on my camera *evil laugh*.

    By the way, when do you come over for dinner?

    Liebe Grüße, Maren

    1. You and your nefarious picture stealing schemes!

  5. I love love love the water path - I want one! And, I sure would like to take a nap in the lavender patches. Just the thought of the Holocaust Memorial saddens me. I'm glad it's not all work and no play for you - at least you have enough time for the sight-seeing. I love you sweetie! (Aunt Sherry)

    1. Yeah, the water path was really cool, but I can't help but wonder how many people have fallen into it. I love you too.