I did not make it down for breakfast on 4/16 and I really wanted to because Jan and Inga were leaving first. Luckily I did manage to pull it together before noon and make it downstairs before they left. Max even saved a little something for me from breakfast. Next Vanessa, Javi and Silla left. It was probably only 2pm but it was time for a nap. Peter was gone when I woke up. The remaining group was in the Game Room in the basement of the Pegasus Hostel playing pool and foosball, drinking and smoking. I was hungry and so I went to the Doner Kebap place for a börek. I had no idea what it was when I was eating it but it was pretty good. Mostly pastry. After I'd finished eating, Darren and I played a game of pool against Hary and Linda. We won! Claudia met us at the hostel at 6pm and we all hung out until 7:30pm when Tilman and Linda left for the airport.
For dinner, alot of places were closed since it was Easter Sunday. Ida, Darren, Melissa, Anthony, Claudia, Hary, Max, Vince and I went to a Greek restaurant. I had a semi-sweet white wine (turned out to be a Greek summer wine) and a gyro dish. I had originally ordered lamb cutlets but when it came, it wasn't cutlets but cuts of meat. So I made Darren trade with me. Ida saw an old co-worker at the restaraurant haviing dinner with his girlfriend. We all received complimentary ouzo after the meal. I think Ida was the only one who liked it. Then we went back to the hotel. We sat in the common room and played "who am I?" (Michael Jackson? Jesus Christ? Nicole Kidman? Tiger Woods? Shirley Temple? Mao Zedong?) and a few rounds of Uno. By then it was 3:30am, so we all went to sleep - an early night!
In the morning, Darren, Max and I said good-bye to Ida and Melissa. Max and I went for a walk, hoping that by 11:30am, the other three guys would be awake and ready to go out.
We passed by a church that had been converted into a kind of concert hall, walked through the cemetary next to it - all the plots were really small and it was very quiet. At 11:30am, we went back to the hostel but only Darren was ready to go out. He had left a note for the guys to meet us later for lunch at 2pm.
The three of us took the subway for the first time sans Germans and headed towards Checkpoint Charlie. Stopped for Starbucks on the way. Was sidetracked by a cool building, which turned out to be the Museum für Kommunikation Berlin (we only went to the gift shop since you had to pay to get in). Made it to Checkpoint Charlie, took some pictures, stood in line for the Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie but didn't go in because the entrance fee was 9,50 EUR. Instead we went into the giftshop and Darren got a piece of the wall for his brother. We kept on walking, stopped at an ATM (as it turns out, cheaper than changing money at the airport), and went into this awesome chocolate store, Fassbender & Rausch. They had a huge Titanic made out of chocolate in the window. Max and I bought a little chocolate for ourselves and some for Gretchen who was looking after Erin and Brookline while we were gone. My feet were killing me from all the walking and so after we left the store, I began walking very slowly. We passed the Berliner Ostermarsch (couldn't tell if it was a parade or a political rally) on the way to meet Anthony, Hary, and Vince at the Sony Center. Max took a picture of me and Darren outside the Canadian Embassy.
For lunch, we went to Andy's Diner & Bar for lunch. It was one of the few places during the whole trip that was not that smoky. There was only one person in the whole place smoking. It was such a relief! Most of us had hamburgers since all the food on the menu was American anyway. After lunch we walked to the Berlin Jewish Musem. I looked all over for something about knitting but this was the best I could find:
After we left the museum, we sent a text message to Claudia to meet us back at the hostel at 7:30pm for dinner. We went to Gruss Gott im Alpen-Wirt, a very German restaurant only one block from the hostel. Very good food. Darren and I started bickering across the table (in fun) like brother and sister (according to Hary). Claudia had to leave after dinner and said her good-byes to me and Max. The rest of us stayed for dessert and more beer. We returned to the hostel, played Uno, had some more döner and Turkish pizza around midnight and called it an early night around 2:30am since me Darren, Max and I were leaving in the morning.
On 4/18, I woke up early because of Max's Blackberry. Once we were ready, we stripped the linens (as the hostel requests) and brought them downstairs before we had our breakfast in the cafe. Darren was able to go across the street and get an open-faced egg sandwich from a place that had been closed all weekend for Easter. After breakfast, Hary, Anthony, and Vince were all awake to see us off. Max, Darren, and I took a cab to Tegel around 10:15am. Max and I checked in - the security was a guy named Andrew Hoffmann from British Columbia who checked our passports. We said our good-byes to Darren and went through security - WAY too initimate of a pat-down. Felt like she was rubbing down a horse. Ugh. Had no problems with our flights and we were back in DC on schedule.
Did I miss anything?