Going to Berlin for me was my first experience getting out of my comfort zone and really getting a glimpse at the world on my own terms. Looking back now, that summer in Berlin was a turning point for me in developing more independence. While most of my friends were still in sororities and planning to study all together in Barcelona the next summer, I was ready for a change immediately. To save money I had dropped out of Theta (funny how this eventually would start a trend in the next year but at the time people thought I was crazy) and signed up alone for the photojournalism course with UF College of Journalism. To this day think it was one of the best choices I made in college! I made amazing friends by going abroad alone and I highly recommend that as an option to anyone who wants to fully push their boundaries. Below are just a few highlights from my trip!
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed in the Hotel Transit Loft on the east side of the city. Cool place with a lot of natural light, plants everywhere, and neat mosaic art. They have an artist who comes in in the middle of the night and adds art every once in a while. This was a great location because it was just a short s-bahn away from the Alexanderplatz plaza and walking distance to the Berlin Wall Memorial Documentation center and Friedrichshain Park.
CARNIVAL OF CULTURES
We were lucky enough to be in Berlin at the same time as the Carnival of Cultures festival that happens annually in the beginning of summer. Typically I’m not a huge fan of parades, but it was so awesome to be there for the celebration for all of Berlin’s cultural groups and I will never forget how fun this day was! This was also the day Jake and I would be come BFFs as we ditched the rest of our class at the parade to explore Viktoriapark and go to street parties with some awesome locals we met!
CHRISTOPH NIEMANN – ILLUSTRATOR, ARTIST, AUTHOR
While our course in Berlin wasn’t very structured since most of our assignment was to go out and photograph, our professor planned a group outing to visit with Christoph which was a very neat opportunity! We had the privilege of seeing his original illustrations as well as learning about his new app and book. Some of his clients include Google, MOMA, Amtrak and of course, the New Yorker. You would probably be surprised with how much of his work you have seen and not even realized!
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE SPOTS
- Ferry to Kladow island – Awesome day trip, this little village on the the island has such a different vibe than the rest of the city and taking the ferry was so much fun! Our professor took us to a houseboat restaurant that was so cool but I can’t seem to find what it was called… I remember thinking it would be cool to go back there on a date.
- Urban Spree – This was a really cool place we stopped at on our bike tour. Loved seeing all the graffiti and the featured art exhibit at the time was very cool. We did try to go back here one night to go out but it was a metal band playing…needless to say we didn’t exactly fit in 🙂
- Rosenthaler Platz – Jake and I did most of our blogging from St. Oberholz cafe (loved their fresh ginger tea) and there was some really cool shops around here!
- Museum Island – so much history and beautiful architecture here! Our tour guide pointed out real bullet marks in the wall of a building that was t
- Wok to walk, of course.
Have you ever been to Berlin? What were your favorite spots? I’m planning a trip back this summer with my boyfriend, can’t wait to go back!!