Sunday, October 26, 2014

Snapshots of Berlin

I was strolling through the center of Berlin the other day when I passed a man wearing nothing but underwear and a horse head. He was leisurely playing guitar in front of the East Side Gallery, the largest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. Now usually this would signal a red flag in my brain and raise lots of questions about this man's sanity. But in Berlin, I didn't even think twice about Mr. Underwear-Horse-Head, who my boyfriend hilariously called "the Naked Cowboy's lost steed." Berlin is a strange, strange city. But I absolutely love it. 

My semester abroad is filled to the brim with traveling. I've been to Prague, France, London (post to come soon!), and countless cities in Germany. I'm going to Copenhagen, Budapest, and maybe Austria. Traveling is one of my passions and I'm so happy to see the world, but I realize I can't lose sight of the amazing city I'm living in. 

Between travels during my mid-semester break, I was alone in Berlin for a few days, since all of my friends here were scattered across Europe. I took the time to delve deep into Berlin, exploring the mandatory tourist attractions I have yet to visit and getting a real feel for life in the German capital. My adventures reaffirmed how much I adore this city. 

In an effort to share my love, here are some pictures of the city I've been calling home for two months now. 

Many reminders of Berlin's rich history are displayed around the city today as tourist attractions. One such attraction is Checkpoint Charlie, the old crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin.

Berlin is full of famous monuments, like the Brandenburg Gate.

The horse-underwear-man I mentioned above. The strangeness of Berlin is oddly refreshing.

Berlin has an amazing nightlife, with no shortage of pubs, clubs, and bars. Here, my friends and I are relaxing at the House of 100 Beers (Haus der 100 Biere). 

Although the Berlin skyline isn't as famous as that of New York City, I still find it beautiful.

The Ampelmann is the iconic pedestrian traffic light symbol in Berlin, originating from East Germany. The Ampelmann is rounder and cuter than normal pedestrian light symbols.

Berlin doesn't have a shortage of beautiful buildings, like the amazing Berlin Cathedral.

Berlin is full of art and culture. My friends and I saw  an opera called Die Zauberflรถte (The Magic Flute), which was better than expected and surprisingly modern.

Even though I've been in Berlin for two months, I still get surprised by the city every day. After seeing the opera, my friends and I stumbled upon the Festival of Lights in the middle of the city. Seeing the Brandenburg Gate, an old and iconic monument, lit up with lasers was a truly amazing contrast between modern life and the past.