Out of all the places we were scheduled to visit on our trip, I was most excited for Berlin. As a history lover, I was excited and curious to see how the city dealt with its tumultuous past. After a week here, I was been impressed with just how well Berlin opened up about its history. The city has done a great job commemorating those who died in WWII and explaining how the Nationalist Socialist party came to power. I could go on and on about the historical sites of Berlin,but I don’t want to forget the amazing cultural aspects of Berlin either.
In preparation for this trip, I was given lots of advice on what to see and do in Europe by my family and friends. Despite being inundated with information, I make search to seek out advice from my personal travel god: Rick Steves. In middle school, I remember watching Rick Steves and dreaming of going to all the places he went to. Now, I am living that dream. The program may be over ,but my journey is just halfway over. I am fortunate enough to be able to stay in Europe and roam for another month. With so much to see wherever I go, I always make sure to watch what Rick Steves did where I am and sometimes I follow his footsteps. In his Berlin episode, Steves traveled to the Mauerpark Flea Market. He warned that at times it can be extremely crowded, chaotic, and tourist,but I liked what I saw from the film snippet and had to see it for myself.
And boy was it insane. There were hundreds of people lounging in the sunshine,drinking, and enjoying their Sunday afternoon. I had to be very careful not to step on anyone.
I loved the craziness. In addition to thousands of people were hundreds of booths selling items ranging from food to vintage clothes to dinner tables. If I could, I would just furnish my house with merchandise from this flea market. Everyone was so happy and friendly;I could have stayed there for hours. While wondering the crowds, I ran into a giant karaoke session. Rick Steves had mentioned it in his show,but I thought I missed since I arrived at the market near closing time. The karaoke drew in huge crowds and it was fun to hear people’s interpretations of famous songs. —-Thats Justin singing!
I was about to leave when I suddenly heard a voice that sounded familiar. I thought,”No, that couldn’t be Justin, how did he get selected out of the hundreds of people here to sing?”,but it was Justin! He had wiggled his way to the front and somehow got chosen to sing. He sang “Can’t take my Eyes off of You” by Frank Valli ,and the crowd adored him. I was freaking out about it and everyone around me kept saying “you know him? Make sure to tell him he is good!”. It was insane;I was so happy for Justin.
It was a great way to end the trip. I am so thankful for all the opportunities this trip gave us. We were able learn academically ,while growing as people simultaneously. Of course, there were the ups and downs,but what adventure is complete without them? I would do this trip over again in a heart beat;i cannot believe it’s over. I don’t think I will ever be able to thank everyone who helped set up this trip and supported my efforts to get here.