It feels really strange to be typing this post right now because I'm currently sitting in Newark Airport waiting for my flight back home to Chicago. It's been a long day but surprisingly doesn't feel too long, probably because of the change in time zones. I can't explain what first came to mind when I stepped off the plane back into the United States, but that's probably just because my mind is spinning a bit to begin with. Earlier I found myself rehearsing what I wanted to say when I walked into a shop before I realized that I could speak English again.
But to get back to business, here's a round-up of the tourist sights I managed to visit before I left my honorary hometown Berlin. These sights were fascinating, but what I'll remember more than anything are the last moments I spent with my host family and friends. It was a great end to the trip and echoes the next steps of my journey: I had to leave my friends back in Berlin in order to reunite with my family and friends at home.
After waiting in line for about a half hour, I was able to buy a cheap ticket (with my student ID) to visit the Pergamon Museum. Although the main exhibit, the Pergamon Altar, is currently not on display, it was still well worth the visit. The Gate of Ishtar was stunning as well as the five-legged human-headed, winged lion statues.
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer
My friend Joseph and I visited the Berlin Wall Memorial which I hadn't yet visited, despite being in the area nearly all the time. It was interesting to see another rendition of what life was like during the time of the Berlin Wall, and it made me realize that had I lived in West Berlin, I wouldn't have been able to go to classes at Humboldt-Universität due to the fact that the buildings would have been on the other side of the east/west division.
It would be silly for me to call myself a Berlinerin, even a temporary one, if I hadn't made time to visit the famous flea market that takes place on Sundays in Mauerpark. Although I didn't buy much other than a few gifts for my friends and some deliciously fresh mint tea, I had fun wandering around the booths with my friend Michaela and discussing the vast amount of merchandise that was laid out before us.
These were not the only sights I saw during my last couple of weeks in Berlin, but they represent the ones that I felt I absolutely had to see before I left the city. I feel that they are help capture the image of Berlin, a city which can be described as new, old, historic, thought-provoking, relaxed, comfortable, artistic, imaginative, expressive, unique, and welcoming, among a myriad of other possible adjectives. This is the city that captured my heart, the city, die an mein Herz liegt. Das ist Berlin.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>My name is Ali, and I'm a Political Economy major at the University of Southern California (Trojans!). Ever since I was a little kid and found out that there was such a thing as "study abroad", I dreamed about doing it. I'd stare at the famous Midwestern cornfields and wonder what it would take to go see the world. I loved the idea of picking up and leaving everything, even if it was only for a short while. Now, I'm living the dream and studying abroad in Berlin, Germany.</p>