I think Berlin is one of my new favorite cities. From Rome on Friday afternoon, my friend Amy and I flew easyJet into the city. We arrived around midnight and had to groggily make our way to the Pegasus Hostel so there wasn't much site seeing to be had. At the reception desk we had been told about a free 3.5 hr tour offered everyday by New Berlin Tours, so we went on that Saturday morning. Our first guide, Jaime, who lead us from the hostel to the start of the tour @ the Brandenburg Gate, turned out to be an architecture student too. He is also in his last year in architecture at a school in Germany and had many recommendations for great architecture to see. Our real guide, Paul, gave us a concise tour that lead us along where part of the Berlin Wall stood. From the Brandenburg Gate, in Pariser Platz, we could see the Reichstag and Siegessaule Statue, as well as the U.S. and French Embassies. The highlight of Pariser Platz was having my first Starbucks in about 2 months(It's got nothin' on Italian Espresso!) and seeing The Adlon Hotel, a.k.a. Michael Jackson Baby Dangling Hotel(yep, that's where it happened)!
The next stops were to Hitler's Bunker and the SS Headquarters. The site of the former bunker(it was completely distroyed and recovered with earth) and where Hitler ended his life is actually now surrounded by apartments where a few famous people such as Katerina Witt have lived. There is appropriately very little sign that it was ever there. This was in hopes that the site wouldn't become a shrine to the Neo-Nazi.
We stayed at Pegasus Hostel in an 8 bed(4 bunks) mixed room. It was decent; clean, quiet and in a good location for the price. When we arrived the first night after 1am all the other beds were full so we had the 2 next to the door. The next morning a couple people left and by that night those beds were full again. The last night there were just 5 of us in the room; 2 new guys, Amy, me and another guy who had been there the "entire" time. It wasn't until we were on our way to Praha that Amy and I realized we hadn't seen the one guy out of bed or his bed empty during our entire stay. It was so weird. We've been trying to figure out how this was possible and how he managed to see any of the city during the 2.5 days. We usually left the hostel by 10 and wouldn't return all day until between 22 + 24 each night and everytime we were in the room he was in his bunk above Amy. Thinking back, it was really weird that I never even saw him get up to use the bathroom! I hope he somehow had at least half as good a time in Berlin as we did!