Traveling when young is the best thing you can do and experience. Without having much obligations like a family or children with the addition of an understandable job the opportunities to see the world are for you to do. Having been placed in such a position I did just that, traveled to countries I have always wanted to see. Fortunately for me I also had a couple of compatriots to come along on my adventures.
We plotted two cities together, Amsterdam and Berlin, with them venturing off to the Scottish Isles and Barcelona on other legs of the trip. The planning was a year in the making but as time dwindled down I couldn’t contain the excitement and fully looked forward to the trip. Did I expect anything to come out of it? Not really aside from spending a couple of days away with some good people, good scenes and good drinks. Simple and to the point for me. I did however wanted to immerse myself into the culture of these countries and sought out to do just that.
So where do we start?
First off thank you Geoffrey for being so gracious and spontaneous as to meet us on this adventure of ours. Not to mention hosting us in Germany even if you were sick 90% of the time!
I won’t bore you with the details but I think photos can testify to the fun and great memories formed during this trip along with what I learned between my ten days traversing some parts of Europe.
Between Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Berlin in Germany I have formed the following opinions of what to expect if you ever wondered as far as we did:
1) Every part of Europe I encountered drinks only bottled water. If you ask for tap they will look at you like you’re Cerberus. Bottled or nada is the motto. By the way their bottled water stinks. You’ve been warned.
2) Want to use public bathrooms? Prepare to shell out 0.50€ for each pee, poop and wipe. Surprisingly the facilities are all kept neat and tidy unlike the US counterparts, so it’s not too much of a nuisance.
3) Food service is slow, really, really slow. If you’re in a rush go to the corner store instead as they really take their time over here.
4) You can openly drink in the streets and no one really look at you funny. Both Amsterdam and Berlin boasts you to just buy a beer and wander with it around.
5) Not everyone in Amsterdam smokes weed, hash, reefer or a combo of whatever you can think of, but a lot do. You can basically smoke it anywhere permitted, maybe not dine in places though.
6) Get good shoes if you plan to walk around like I did. My tally is up over 80 miles of walking to see things during my ten days overseas. You could also bike, and the public transit system is bar none leaps and bounds better than what we have. Bus, train, boat, trams, we took em all.
7) Bring a battery pack with you as it’s more convenient than looking for outlets while out and about. You should also have converted to the correct outlets.
8) Invest in a city card of sorts for your city. A lot of cities have these deals where you pay a set amount and can have access to museums, public transit, attractions, exhibits for free and countless other things you can get discounts on. Be conscious of the time limits though.
9) Most of my encounters with natives were dealt in English as they like to converse on a tongue you’re comfortable with. Do try to learn little phrases though, shows them you’re actually more interested in their culture than just ordering a schnitzel in German.
10) Smile, but not too much. Apparently us foreigners do it too much. Cut that out.
Potsdam, Germany is a MUST VISIT if you’re in the Berlin are.
Spending time with your friends zipping across another continent is in itself an adventure that will have lasting memories. I want to thank the friends I had on this trip with me, truly without the crew the experiences wouldn’t be as sweet.
Before we even all left we had decided on plans for next summer’s excursion. I smell Greece & Italy on the menu 😉