The next day we decided to make a better attempt at actually seeing things in Berlin, though we didn’t get very far until about lunchtime since we went to bed so late. We found this great restaurant actually under the train station, with German food and domed ceilings and neat decorations. I did not order German food, however, but went for the good ol’ burger. It was literally about the size of my face, and delicious to boot. We went to the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Holocaust Memorial. I was curious to see how Germany would handle addressing the happenings of the Holocaust, and I was quite impressed: they fully owned up to the horror and the tragedy of it all. They gave voices and faces and stories to many of the victims and stressed that this should never happen again.
Sadly, this was Caitlin’s and my last night with Niamh (and Donal), as we were heading for Sweden the next day. So when we got back to the hostel the unfortunate task of putting all the photos on USB keys and balancing out expenses for the trip awaited me. No one was particularly hungry (how could you be after that enormous burger?), so we thought we’d grab a few drinks and bar snacks downstairs. The cook had left early, so we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant next door and got food instead, then doubled back to the hostel bar. Conveniently, we ran into a group of lads from none other than Gothenburg, Sweden who gave us some good suggestions for our visit there the next day. We also ran into our friends from the night before, and got to say goodbye to them. We headed for bed then, but I stayed up too late chatting to Niamh, since it will be quite some time before we’re together again face-to-face, and she’s been a great friend this last year. Definitely not our most cultural of stops, but nice to spend more time with people before saying goodbye.