Sunday, 26 April 2015

My 2015 adventure: Day 26 & 27

Chanzie's  2015

Travel Adventures:

Germany & Berlin

Hello you beauties!!

Time flies when you are having fun or when you are very far away from home...having the time of your life! I can't believe that it is time to go to Germany already... that means that 3 weeks have passed. To say I was very contemplative over the past few days is an understatement. Life can be so overwhelming but if you break it down and assess it piece by piece according to your own morals and values it becomes a lot easier to deal with and cope. Having great friends helps as well. 

So much has changed since the 19th March, I have so much to consider. No pressure but lots of pressure at the same time. I only have 16 days to make huge life decisions. 

So I decided to read Beyond Past Lives while on my way to Germany and this is what I gained from it so far. (It's a book I got for review ages ago on NetGalley) It really is such a fascinating read and has me thinking about my life and its purpose.

I am in love. I'm in love with life. Its so different to being in love with a person.  Yes it can hurt but its different. I've accepted life has its ups and downs. It doesn't necessarily make it any better but I can breathe through it knowing this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever. A high or a low. It's a balance to keep us on track. I love life. All of it and its lessons. Yes I am fortunate and blessed. Maybe my lessons haven't been as tough as others but its my life and I learn from theirs too.

I choose to stay positive and optimistic. I choose who to keep in my life. I choose to take the right path for me. I am the same but also not the same person I was last year this time. Last year I was a stressed depressed girl. I have grown. If you gave me the same situation now I'd be stronger and handle it better because I have grown as a person and learnt some very important lessons. There is always going to be someone who is upset by your choices. And that you always have a choice.

Every single person and conversation has taught me something and I am feeling so grateful. To those who have helped me and those that have taught me painful lessons. I have learnt to let go a little bit more and just enjoy the moment - that is huge as I have always been such a worry pot and to some degree still am. 

I have learnt to take step back and assess a situation with out emotions. This is still a challenge most times. I don't need to please everyone. I will consider you though and try my best not to hurt you. Will you grant me the same courtesy - maybe / maybe not. And that is ok. I can't teach you what I have learnt but neither can you teach me your lessons. And a big one... I don't have to be in control all the time!!!

Day 26 (Tuesday 14/04)

So it is fly to Germany day!!! I only got to bed close to 12 and had to get up at 5. Andrew was kind enough to drive me to the airport. I got there at about 6:30am, my flight was scheduled for 7:55 am. Thank goodness Vanessa checked me in the day before, when I got to the counter even the attendant was relieved, otherwise I would have been sent to the other line which had about 10 people in it!

From there I went and grabbed a coffee at the one and only restaurant after the check point. It was truly the longest wait for a cappuccino ever. The guy who arrived after me, received his coffee before me. I think my waitress forgot... grrr... I wasn't such a delightful tourist. 

Obviously my terminal would be the very last one... 21A. Germany is in the same time zone as South Africa. So the flight there is 'longer' than the flight back. From the UK I left at 7:55am and landed at 10:30am. On the way back I leave at 6:25am and land at 7am! It is just mind boggling. 

The flight there was a quick one. I was maybe one of 4 females on the flight. There were mostly business men going to a trade show in Hannover. I made a good contact with the guy sitting next to me. You never know when you might need to call in a favour.

The security police dude at passport control freaked me out a little when I got to him. The only thing I had with with me at the time were copies of Andries and Athena's temporary residency cards (Aufenthaltstitel). Thank goodness it worked! I didn't realise I had not re-printed the letter of invite as the German Embassy had kept it when they sent back my visa. 

Athena was there, front of the crowd waiting for me!! I really was so excited to see her as I haven't seen her since a few months before they life SA in 2014. From there we decided to explore Hannover a bit! Athena didn't really know the place either so it was an adventure for both of us. Driving on the other side of the road freaked me out quite a bit! I kept wanting to get in on the drivers side *rofl* 

Our first stop was to have a cooldrink at CafĂ© Barcelona. A strange little fact... the bathrooms are called WC's... strange!! From there we walked around the block two or three times and guess where we ended up.... Primark!! Shame the language is a huge barrier for me and they just carry on whether you understand or not. Eventually they notice the blank confused expression and convert to basic yes/no indication type communication. They are not pro tourists at all and some just refuse to even try communication beyond German. Athena ended up being my personal translator, well I let her do most of the talking anyway. 

It is strange and an overwhelming feeling to realise I am in Germany!! Apparently ATM's are a scarcity in the places we have been to. They are called 'Sparkasse'. 

On the way home we travelled via the Autobahn, it is beautiful! This is the only freeway without a speed limit - which seems so insane!! They do sometimes put up speed limits depending on traffic. You could go like 200km or more if you wanted too!

Why not be random when you are half way across the world?? I was telling Athena how I had not been able to workout for about 3 weeks and could seriously feel the difference. So she suggested we go to her regular Zumba class at her gym. It was so much fun and I got to meet a few of her friends.

You want to hear an insane story... there are no downloads allowed in this country, they monitor it all and can track you down and send you a bill. A scary story - friends of A&A got a fine of something silly like 7500 euros for downloading 3 episodes of a series. I have no idea how or where to do this but trust me I don't want to learn now either. 

For dinner Athena decided to make us a traditional German dish. She made Beef Rouladen for supper. I loved it, it was so good I am so going to try making it when I get home. 

It was supposed to be an early evening but we ended up chatting till about 11pm, still had to shower and I eventually got to bed close to 12!

A&A really did kit out the room for me! I slept on a double sleeper couch, it had a huge flat screen TV as well as an xbox!  Best digs ever!!!

Day 27 (Wednesday 15/04) 

So we got to bed a bit late but I slept like a champion.I woke up very disorientated and didn't know where I was at all! This is my 5th room I have slept in since I left home... 

We needed an early start, so we left the house at about 7:15am so that Andries could drop us off at the train station and make his way to work at Volkswagen. We caught one the fastest trains in Germany, The I C. On the way back we'll be on the fourth fastest train called the I C E which goes 330km per hour! I can really say I enjoy the public transport systems they have in place here and in the UK. I love driving but the trains are so much faster and get you to your destination faster. We hopped off at the Berlin train station. From there we walked and saw the dome thingy and Brandenburger gate. Its just magnificent and I would have loved to see it at night!! We also grabbed a quick muffin and mocha at Starbucks.

Athena is definitely one of my most interesting friends. I find it intellectually fascinating when it comes to psychology. She studied industrial psychology. I find everything so interesting. She is one of the most calm collected and got-it-all-together people I know.

We actually made good time and visited quite a few places like the Jewish memorial (Its a multi-dimensional art piece),from there we walked down Unter Dee Linden street which had many souvenir shops. I am sure you won't be surprised but we popped into the Mercedes-Benz shop! I bought the most awesome peak & playing cards. 

One of the things I miss from home is all my collections of perfumes. So we stopped in by Douglas and tested a million perfumes. I put on black opium which made me miss home a ton! 

The architecture is just breathe-taking. I love the detail in the older buildings that just isn't there in the newer buildings. I would go to Humboldr university just because it is so beautiful. We walked past the memorial of a man on a horse and stopped to chill and take in the beauty of the Berliner Church Dome - which is breathtaking. 

For lunch we had a fantastic sushi lunch! We popped past the most ultimate shop ever... Pylones. I literally wanted to buy everything in there, whether I needed it or not! 

Other places we visited were the Red Rathaus, TV Tower and the Poseidon fountain. We chilled in the sun a bit and had an ice-cream. After that we ambled through another mall, bought the most expensive bottle of water ever, before making our way back to the train station. 

We took a train from Alexanderplatz (S bahn) back to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, where we continued our searched for the large lollipop, it evaded us. We ended up buying the second most expensive bottle of water to find a bigger bottle next door for much less. To end our search we found the smallest lollipops in the world - very counterproductive! 

We then abandoned the mission to sit on a bench for an hour waiting for our train with aching feet eating the world's tiniest lollipops - true story.
Narrated by Athena, interpreted by Chene.

Ok we changed our plans. Instead of sitting on a cold bench for an hour, we went for the worlds longest cup of coffee at Vapianos. They actually give you a card where you load all the items you buy (coffee and food), this allows for individual bills. Very fancy me thinks!

Anyway we arrived in Wolfsburg at about 9pm, went to get Chinese chowmain take-aways and headed home. The portions are quite large but it was so good I had two bowls and there was still left over!! We were all super exhausted. 

Andries laughed at us as we were probably the only tourists who did not venture to see the Berlin Wall or have a German Beer in Berlin... It's ok I think we covered a lot of other ground!!!

Peace out

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