April 11th, 2012
After we arrived in Berlin, our bags came late on the carousel. This prompted the speedy introduction to our tour guide Miriam and then a race to the hotel, where we would drop our bags, and then take the public transportation to the Schloss-Charlottenberg Castle. My first impressions of the Alper Hotel we were to stay at were not positive ones. The hotel smelled of smoke, and the hallways, staircases, and rooms themselves were cramped and dimly lit. However, there was no time to dwell on this: we had to make a 4 o’clock appointment at the castle, already 15 minutes behind schedule.
A half hour late for our appointment, we took a tour of the castle which was beautiful, but our jet-lagged bodies wouldnt let our eyelids stay open for too much longer, and soon enough our stomachs were begging us for food. Miriam led us to Maximilian’s: a Bavarian restaurant in central Berlin.
I don’t know if I can quite put into words how amazing the atmosphere was that first night. All of us sat at a long table and ate pork, brussels sprouts, and potatoes, finally taking in the first day. I think that’s when it really sank in for me that German was no longer just a language I learned in school. Then we took the U-Bahn back to the hotel, and turned in for a somewhat early night (making sure that we’ll had adequate Wi-Fi usage beforehand.)