The Last-Minute Tourist: Part I

Ali DeGuide
July 30, 2015
Photo of Paintings by Therry Noir at the East Side Gallery

After a crazy two weeks consisting only of studying for an exam and writing a final paper, I was finally set free this week. After clicking submit and sending the paper to the interwebs in search of my professor, I felt a wave of relief rush over me. The thing that had been weighing on my mind was finally gone! But alas, this relief was short-lived, for it suddenly dawned on me that I had less than two weeks before I returned home and left my new home Berlin behind. It's a funny thing how time works - time flies when you're having fun but crawls inch-by-inch if your day consists of sitting at home with a textbook. Though I knew the clock was ticking and that the last few grains of sand were trickling through the hourglass, this meant little to me when I couldn't see the light at the end of the coursework tunnel. Pardon the mixed metaphors, but I was in a mixed-up state of mind.

When the work for my Humboldt classes was said and done, I knew that I was (mostly) free to catch up on the other tasks I'd been neglecting - mainly enjoying Berlin (I say mostly because I still have one class left, but it's much easier to handle one course as opposed to three). I made a pact to go see one "tourist-y" site every day since I've been needing to fill in the cracks of my Berlin record. As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, it always seemed as if there was more time and the need for sightseeing, though of utmost importance at the beginning of my stay here, began to dwindle as I settled into the city. Sightseeing became synonymous with tourism, something I wanted to avoid for a bit while I sought to live life as a native of Berlin. In the back of my mind I knew that I would finish seeing the monuments and museums someday, but that someday was always far, far away from wherever I currently was.

As you can see from the photos below, I've been successful with my last-minute tourism. I was also glad to find out today that I am not the only one who still hasn't seen some of Berlin's famous sites. A friend of mine admitted that she too hadn't yet done everything she wanted to do, so it looks as if I have a partner for my upcoming whirlwind farewell tour. Below you will find two of the sights I have visited as well as a bit of information about them, courtesy of my Rick Steves' and Lonely Planet travel guides:

East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery is an open-air gallery consisting of remnants of the Berlin wall which are covered by colorful murals such those seen in the two photos here and in the featured image. The featured image for this post showcases the section of the wall painted by Thierry Noir, and the photo below is of the section of the wall painted by Birgit Kinder. The license plate of Kinder's famous "Trabi" features the day the wall fell, November 9, 1989.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Gedächtniskirche)

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located along one of the main shopping streets in Berlin, Kurfürstendamm (Ku-damm for short). It was bombed during World War II, which led to the construction of a new church next door. This church has hexigonal shape and includes the stunning blue-lit interior seen below:

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Student stands in front of the "Liebe" statue at the Kulturbrauerei
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The Last-Minute Tourist: Part II

Part II of my last-minute round-up of Berlin. Includes the Pergamon Museum, Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, and Mauerpark Flohmarkt.

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Ali DeGuide

<p>My name is Ali, and I&#39;m a Political Economy major at the University of Southern California (Trojans!). &nbsp;Ever since I was a little kid and found out that there was such a thing as &quot;study abroad&quot;, I dreamed about doing it. &nbsp;I&#39;d stare at the famous Midwestern cornfields and wonder what it would take to go see the world. &nbsp;I loved the idea of picking up and leaving everything, even if it was only for a short while. &nbsp;Now, I&#39;m living the dream and studying abroad in Berlin, Germany.</p>

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