Berlin and Zurich

On the morning of the 1st I took a train with my parents to meet my sister in Berlin for some sort of family vacation type thing. In the last several years I’ve found it increasingly frustrating to travel with my family, but it went better than I had expected. This was my first time in Berlin, and it’s an amazing city. It’s fascinating to me to see how exposed their history is; you can see it everywhere. Unfortunately I was only able to stay until Monday evening because I had to come back for classes, but I definately intend to go back sometime when I have more of an opportunity to see the city.
Here’s a funny tidbit that I doubt anyone will find as funny as I did. But anyhow, in Berlin my dad was looking for an ATM, which in German is called a Geldautomat. My sister, trying to be helpful, said she had seen a sign for a gelato-mat in the train station. Apparently she didn’t see the letter D in the word, and thought it was pronounced like the Italian word for ice cream.
Liz came back to Frankfurt Thursday night because her flight back home was on Friday morning. Some of my friends and I took her out, in an area completely across the city. The last tram that would take us back an area near here that we could walk home from left at 1:30. Only that was wrong and the last one only went as far as the main train station, which is still way across town. So at 2 am we started the hour long walk home and none of us were very happy about it. But we made it home, and she caught her flight the next morning so it’s all good.
After class Friday afternoon I hopped on a train again and went to meet my parents in Z├╝rich and see my cousins and such. I still think it was kind of a pointless trip. I arrived at 10 on Friday night, ate dinner, and then pretty much went to sleep not long after. Saturday my cousin showed us around some, but really all I saw was the Swiss national museum, which was extremely boring, and the Grossm├╝nster church. I love traveling by train, but I’ve been on so many of them recently that it feels like it’s becoming an almost weekely occurance. Which I guess isn’t a bad thing. So now my parents are gone too and I can relax and quit entertaining people. And get alot more sleep than I did when they were here. Boo for people who get up super early.
Yesterday I went for a really long walk, pretty much all over the city. But that was the first time I’ve been through the downtown business area of town during daylight hours, and it’s a much more interesting place than I had thought. There are all sorts of interesting office buildings, wacky sculptures, random parks, and a few much older buildings that look like they could be pre-war. We also ended up at the main train station, which is in the middle of Frankfurt’s red light district. That was the first time I’ve walked throught the real heart of the district, and it was pretty entertaining. A little reminiscent of Amsterdam. The contrast between that neighborhood, and the business district that it borders is rather striking.

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