So, after having been on numerous trips with our professor on various weekends, it was finally our turn as learning students to explore and travel on our own.
This weekend, a group of six of us decided on Wednesday that we wanted to go to Berlin for the weekend, starting the very next day. Lesson number one learned: plan in advance to prevent some stress. We looked up train tickets online and found the cheapest deal for a ticket. Lesson number two learned: how to use the deutsche bahn website. Then we needed a youth hostile. Lesson number three learned: how to shop around for the best price. Lesson number four learned: book everything with plenty of time in between. It is better to sit around and wait because you are early rather than curse yourself to no end by being late.
The only thing lacking from this master plan of ours: execution. We gave ourselves plenty of time but underestimated the power of the jerk in front of you in line… the one who essentially asks the desk worker to map out their life story for them. Also, we gave ourselves enough time to make it to the train station but forgot about how easy it is to decipher which train in actually yours. Everything ended up working out very well.
The next learned item on my list: how to work an S-Bahn (essentially a subway). I can now get myself from one end of the city to the other and I can take all the transfers I necessary, with many thanks to Kevin for teaching us. However, it helps to know where the transfers are, because it hinders your time frame when you wait on a train that will never pull into your current station. Nevertheless, we learned from our mistakes and made it to the youth hostile just fine.
The youth hostile was very nice, laid back, and comfortable. We got it very cheap at about 33 euros a person for two nights! That night, we continued on with our subway train knowledge and made it to a restaurant recommended by many a person called White Trash. It was very American, but very good. All in all, a great night. The next day we made the trek to Potsdam and spent the whole day walking around, seeing the park and the castles, and sitting in a few select beer gardens. Not a bad way to spend the day in my opinion. After making it home, and settling down for the night, we left the next day and wandered around Berlin and saw everything we’ve already seen once, but this time for a closer look. We found our way back to the head train station and booked the ticket home. Lesson learned: ask assistance in times of gray information… that is what they are there for.
Upon making it back to humble ol’ Wittenberg, we stopped by a beer garden to waste away the night and then made the half an hour walk back home. Today’s schedule… homework and a BBQ with the host family.