Wow - writing a blog write now is the ABSOLUTE last thing I should be doing, but then again I guess I can afford myself a small break from studying. Tuesday we have our first test for German and "ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch und muss die Worten und Sprache lernen!" You should know I didn't have to look up any of those words - a small sign of progress for 7 days of German class.
Recapping the last few days, Friday night was great. Remi and I met up with our sprachpartners, a couple of German girls around our age and went out for dinner and drinks and then to a club afterwards. It was a great time and is extremely nice to hang out with locals that know the area and can show you the spots worth going to. After 4 hours of sleep, I miraculously woke up Saturday morning and travelled to Potsdam for my field trip class. Potsdam is only about an hour by train outside of Berlin so it's easily accessible. We had a guided tour of Schloss Sanssouci - the iconic Potsdam castle built by Frederick the Great. The inside of the castle was incredible - not very many rooms but an unbelievable amount of detail paid to each. In particular the designs in the marble floors and ceiling artworks were the most remarkable. Unfortunately cameras are strickly forbidden inside so I can't share with you any of the pictures I wish I could have taken. Outside Sanssouci, we had a great time sledding without sleds down the iced-over ramps leading up to the castle. It's pretty remarkable what you can do with a pair of flat bottomed shoes and a smooth coat. After touring the grounds of the castle, a group of us trekked to the downtown Potsdam Dutch quarter and had a great meal. Note to anyone considering travelling to Germany: do not assume you will pay more for beer or wine. At least half of the resteraunts I have eaten at served wine and beer cheaper than water or soda. For a group of college students, you can imagine why most of us seem to love Berlin. Today (Sunday), I went to a vegetarian cafe in East Berlin for a phenomenal brunch. Afterwards, I met up with some friends at another cafe in Charlottenburg to study German and then went to a great Thai resteraunt for dinner. Another note: food is cheap, even eating out. I can easily eat lunch and dinner every day for max 3 euros total (groceries) and can eat a fairly nice meal out for only 5-8 euros.
Other: Life here is not necessarily hectic, but is incredibly busy. I've decided that apparently the city that never sleeps also exists in Europe, and unfortunately for me I'm suffering from its wrath. However, you should not think that I'm complaining. When you have a great night dancing in the club until 7 in the morning and then get up the next day to go and tour 18th century castles, you would have to say life is pretty good. That being said, I'm going to bed. Ahhh...8 hours of sleep and then off for another entirely full day. Wouldn't have it any other way.
Take care back in the states.