Day 19: Auschwitz

Today we got up really early to go to Auschwitz. We paid for a tour and they picked us up from the hostel at 8am. It took us about an hour to get there and they showed a short Auschwitz documentary on the bus.

We got to Auschwitz 1 and we had headphones and a battery pack so the tour guide could talk through the headphones and we could hear everything.

After Auschwitz 1 we went to Birkenau and had a tour around there too.

We wasn’t going to do a blog about this but we think it is so important that this is remembered as the place it was. It was so upsetting but so mind blowing that you can’t even imagine the conditions that the people were in.

We learnt some very educational and interesting things. Things you wouldn’t even dream of.

We’d recommend everyone to go there to show respect for the thousands of people that died there and and to remember what happened so it will never happen again.

‘For ever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, where the nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women and children, mainly Jews from various countries of Europe. Auschwitz – Birkenau 1940-1945.’

We got back to the hostel at around 3:30pm and we went for a wander to the cloth hall and bought postcards before going to costa for a hot chocolate and a mocha. It had been such a draining day, emotionally, that we were so tired and it was only 5pm! We went back to the hostel and wrote our postcards.

While shannon cooked tea I went to the spa next door to buy some wine and we had a glass, we’ll actually a mug, of wine with our tea. I then carried on drinking and shannon went to bed. I ended up watching a cosmos programme with a guy who I think was high and loved stars. I don’t know how I get into these situations but I watched 2 hours of stars. To be honest it was quite interesting.

I then realised shannon was still awake so I dived on her. And the guy on the opposite bed was awake and he started laughing uncontrollably. I think he was also drunk and he’d just left this girl he liked in a club because she was with another guy. He asked for our help and we called her and text her saying ‘where are you’ on his phone (she didn’t answer either) before realising that he had already called her and text her three times so he looked super desperate now. This had us all in stitches but we had to be really quiet because we were still in the dorm with other people at like 2:30am.

Eventually the drunk guy fell asleep and so did me and shannon. Now we’re ready for our last day in krakow!


Day 18: today we found someone really special

Last night we slept okay until 6am this morning. One of the guys in our room had an alarm on his phone that kept going off every 10 minutes. The worst thing was that he didn’t even wake up for them! A girl got really annoyed every time and at first was like ‘dude, your alarm is going off’ and ended with ‘TURN YOUR ALARM OFF YOU F***ING (naughty word)’. Mine and Shannons alarm went off at 8:15. We had already packed the night before, and we headed to the train station to catch the bus to Krakow! It was really weird weather and mist covered the top of the buildings in Warsaw!

We found our platform and we were on wagon 4, seats 16 and 12. And we were hoping this meant we were on a table opposite each other. Oh how we were wrong! We got on and we panicked because there was loads of people and we had huge bags and what not. So we just grabbed all our bags and got them on there and waited for everyone else to sit down before we sorted ourselves out. We got on and realised our seats were at the other side of the carriage, typical, so we made our way through the train. We weren’t sat near each other! We both had a window seat at opposite sides of the train and we both had someone sat next to us in the aisle seat! The worst thing was, and pretty stupid on our behalf, was that when we were all settled and we had moved the aisle people to sit down, we realised I had Shannons backpack and she had mine!

So she ended up reading my book and I ended up listening to music with Shannons headphones. Shannon also had the food so I had to sit on a train for 2.5 hours with no food. We did get a free tea though so that was exciting!

A boring 2.5 hours journey later and 1000s texts back and forth from myself and shannon to each other, and we’re in Krakow. We follow the directions from hostel world to get to the hostel and I’m amazed. Krakow is LOVELY. I love it! The people at the hostel are so nice as well. The lady on reception gave us so much info!

We took her advice and went to a place called ‘milk bar’ for dinner. It was packed in there, and people were sharing tables with everyone else just to get a seat. No wonder, the food was so nice. We both had tomato soup for starter, then chicken, potatoes and side salad for main and had a drink each, all for the equivalent of about £10 for both of us! It was fab!

We then went on the free walking tour around the old town which is where we’re staying. It was so interesting and we learnt so much about the place. I seriously want to live here, it’s beautiful! We went to the market square and saw the guy playing the trumpet on the hour at the top of the Church, we went through the cloth hall and to museums and galleries. It was great! A bonus for shannon was also one of the guys on the tour, who she took a liking to his accent. He was from London and he did sound pretty cool and I think if shannon could marry a voice then it would be him!

I don’t know why but I wasn’t expecting it to be as nice as it is. I love it here. I think it’s slightly overtaking Budapest for my favourite place (so far!). So we go on the walking tour and we end up at the castle. We go inside and it’s so nice!

The architecture is just amazing!

So near the castle there is a statue of a dragon and straight away we’re like ‘omg we might see toothless (from how to train your dragon) and we go down to the statue which we couldn’t really see because it was dark so we might go back there on Monday. But there were some stalls outside with little teddy dragons and were like aww we should get one. However…shannon looks up and her face is priceless. There was a mixture of shock, happiness and utter speechlessness. I follow her gaze…and it’s only TOOTHLESS TEDDIES! We were so excited!!!

There was three left on the stall so we bought all three because we couldn’t leave one on its own, I know, so sad! But it was such a happy day because we found Toothless! – I don’t think people will believe we’re 22 and 21 years old!

So we brought Toothless back to the hostel and bought some food from the spa on the way home. We got to the hostel and checked in. The people in our room seem really nice but half of them are still out at the minute so we might be woken up really late!

We had some food tonight and watched 2 episodes of stranger things 2. It’s so good! My mum facetimed because she’s currently getting drunk at my grandmas 75th birthday party. Sorry I couldn’t be there and I hope you all don’t feel too rough tomorrow!

But it’s sleep time for us because we’re going to Auschwitz tomorrow, very early.

Day 17: the afternoon after the morning before

We were going to say ‘the morning after the night before’ but we stopped partying at 7am so technically it’s the afternoon after the morning before! We got up and was ready to go by 11. We was meant to meet one of the guys from last night at reception to go for breakfast but he got in touch and told us where he was, so we could find him at the breakfast place. We was in no state to navigate around before getting food so we got rid of that idea and we went back to that beautiful steak place we went to the other day. Once again it was lovely!

We had to make the short trip back to the hostel after because stupid hayley left her money in the hostel. We also facetimed jon for a bit at work and showed him some of Warsaw! So mission one was complete, getting out of bed. And now mission two, steak for breakfast. We were literally women on missions today, trying to get through the day without throwing up because of last night. (See the previous blog, it was a great night!).

We got the tram 7 stops away to go to the neon museum. This was not as fun as it sounds at all. There was just signs everywhere in neon and the bright lights were not great with a hangover. We swiftly left after 10 minutes of walking around the small museum.

From the museum we had a lovely walk along a lake that was in a park. But it did start to rain and we didn’t have Claire (the unbrella) again! Just our luck! But the park was lovely and they had weeping willows everywhere and it was just so nice and relaxing. I think the fresh air did us good.

From the park we went to the stadium. It was so cool! And huge! We ended up walking nearly all the way around the stadium which took a while and then we ended up at a bridge and there was a beach! Highlight was the park with a zip wire! We tried out some of the gym equipment in the park which was quite funny and we danced to ‘can I have this dance’ from high school musical on a random stage. If people didn’t think we were lesbians before, they do now… we’re not by the way!

We made our way up to the bridge and had to walk back towards the stadium and at this point it was dark. The stadium lit up! It was amazing!

We made the long trek back to the hostel and we went to a shop to buy tea. We got dumplings which are very popular here and we had no clue what was in them. Surprise dumplings!

We found a costa which was really needed. I was nearly falling asleep. I got a mocha and a cookie and shannon got a hot chocolate and a brownie. I went to the toilet in here and THERE WAS POO ON THE SEAT! I ran back upstairs and someone passed me and I really hope she didn’t think I’d pooed on the seat, but I told the staff and they cleaned it up straight away which was good!

We went in a few more shops on the way to the hostel. We’ve had a chilled night tonight. We had a shower, had tea (the dumplings had tuna in them, they were actually really nice!), we packed for tomorrow because we’re moving on and now we’re watching cuckoo before bed.

Considering how bad we felt this morning, we’ve had such a productive day! Currently on 22,000 steps! Even though nearly 5000 of them were between 12am-7am! Crazy.

This has been a few days I’ll never forget.

Roll on tomorrow, when we move on to krakow!

Night 16: ducks have green heads

We’re going to do a single blog post purely about last nights antics because we were up all night. Drinking from 8pm until 7am! We haven’t drunk in a while and we went all out and got very very very drunk.

So it started at 8, happy hour. £1 beers! We don’t even like beer but we drank it because it was so cheap, until 9pm. Then for the rest of the night we were drinking cocktails and vodka with orange juice and grapefruit juice and basically everything. Polish vodka is lethal.

So we started quite well, and we were chatting with some French people near us but they went to another party, but we stayed for the music quiz which was starting at 10. By 10, we were merry. And we got a team together for the quiz. There was me, Shannon, an Australian called Jacob, an Brit called Tom, a polish person called Andy and a guy called Tiago (but I called him Diego all night- and kept saying ‘like the tiger from ice age!’)

For the music quiz, they played a song and the first team to clap twice got to say who sings it and what the song is called and you get a point for each. If you get it wrong then the other team can answer. It got VERY competitive! Surprisingly I was quite good at it but only when it was the cheesy songs like Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé.

Proudest moment of my life so far, I’ll be definitely telling the grandkids about this when I’m old, I went to the loo and when I came out I was walking towards the table, and the start of Katy Perry, I kissed a girl started. I clapped twice, spun around and shouted the answer like my life depended on it. The song was literally on for 2 seconds. Sad or clever? I’m going to go for clever! So we were winning by quite a bit but unfortunately we ended up losing, because shannon said that the bar lady spoke Spanish because she was from Brazil, when she actually spoke Portuguese. She got offended and took 5 points from us! So we ended up losing, but I really don’t think we needed the extra free shots!

We had a dance after this and I rang my mum every time a good song came on that she liked and we got the whole place to sing happy birthday to Lee because it was 1am, so lees birthday! (Happy birthday lee!). So, sorry mum for waking you up a few times! Shannon then told me she fancied the bar man. So been the best and subtle wingman ever, I go over and I say ‘are you single’ and he said ‘yes why’ and I said ‘Shannon fancies you’ – straight to the point – and he looks a bit erm undecided and he says ‘I’m gay’. Ah well, I go and tell shannon thinking she would be gutted…her exact response was ‘ah okay brill, more of a challenge then!’ She followed him around all night like a lost puppy, but to be honest whatever she did kind of worked and he was being a complete flirt back. It was hilarious to watch but nothing came of it in the end. Probably, you know, because of the fact he likes boys!

The bar shut at around 2 but we were all not ready to finish partying. We found some more friends in reception and I was talking to a guy for a good few hours about how he looks like Draco Malloy. He was Polish and he was copying the Hull way of saying Draco. Like draaay-co. It was hilarious.

We then got the staff to put on music and was making people dance to Macarena and other cheesy songs. Until 5am when someone complained about the noise, and then someone else did at 5:30, then someone called 5 times and complained and threatened to ring the police. I think this was our time to stop with the noise. We apologise everyone! I’d just like to clarify though, it was just us, there was around 20-30 people there! We have a hilarious video that Joe (the gay bar man Shannon fancied) took, I’ll try and add it on the end of here.

At around 6am we went out and looked for a kebab shop and we went with Diego. People were actually getting buses to go to work and we were smashed, wolfing down a chicken kebab, smearing it all over our faces. But it was well needed!

We ended up going to bed at 7am.

This morning we looked back on our phones and we realised we had some videos from the night before. A lovely one of shannon laid on the floor and our friend Jacob asking her if she’s okay before trying to do loads of different accents. Then there was another one were Draco was wearing a crown and he was saying he was going to execute me (don’t ask) and he said ‘if you give me a valid reason to not kill you, then I wont’ my response to this was: ‘don’t kill me because ducks have green heads’ DUCKS HAVE GREEN HEADS. You can see the confusion on his face! I’m trying to tell him that ducks from Yorkshire have green heads. WHAT?! At the end of the video he says ‘the only valid reason you have for me to not kill you is because ducks have green heads!’ In which Jacob replies ‘why do they have green heads’ and Draco says ‘because they’re from f***ing Yorkshire!’ Its brilliant honestly, weirdest but best night we have had in a while.

Also, when I woke up I realised I had lost my key. This key opens the corridors, our room and my locker. Damn. So I go to reception and tail between my legs I tell them I’ve misplaced my key. She tells me to wait a sec before going to the common room. She comes back and says ‘there is a guy through there that wants to speak to you. At this point I’m very confused and I go to the common room. It’s only Jacob from the night before with my key! He doesn’t know how he got it but when he tried to check out this morning, they replied with ‘you’re not hayley?’ HOW STRANGE! But luckily I didn’t lose my key so hooray!

So after 3 hours sleep we were ready for the day ahead, check out the next blog for the next chapter of the hayley and shannon tour!


Day 16: I like ducks!

Last night I slept for literally 10 hours. I remember thinking ‘I can’t sleep’ and then was basically knocked out for the whole night. It was bliss. I even slept through the annoying squeakyness of the bed!

We wandered out of the hostel today at 10:30 and we walked towards the old town of Warsaw. On the way we walked through a really nice park and saw the tomb of the unknown soldier. We also saw a water fountain but it wasn’t on because the cold will crack the pipes.

We then made it to old town, kind of by an accident and kind of following the map. Old town is sooooo nice. Literally one of my new favourite places in the world. It’s so pretty. We bought postcards and had a wander around and I fell in love with Warsaw.

We found a nice bar to have food in and I had chicken fillets, chips and salad. Shannon ordered dumplings with ricotta and she had so little food. It was hilarious. I had so much food and shannon had six tiny dumplings and a sauce that we didn’t even know what it was. So being a nice friend, I gave her some of my chips.

We had a bit more of a wander and saw some famous stone steps and the famous statue of the little boy.

After this we went to a fountain park. Sounds cool, but as I mentioned earlier, no fountains have water in at this time of year so it was a bit pointless! But we did find a geocache yey! It was inside what looked like a bolt, on a bench, which was really cool. We also saw a statue of a dragon and it didn’t have teeth, so today we saw Toothless (from how to train your dragon) and this excited us more than everyone will realise.

We left the fountains-with-no-water park and saw a few more monuments on the way to the museum of the history of Jews. We got there and it looked so so busy full of school kids so we skipped going in and made our way to the hostel instead.

We went to a cafe Nero on the way to the hostel, which isn’t against our rules of not going to anywhere we have in England (minus McDonald’s) because it was a ‘green cafe Nero’. They’re everywhere and we wanted to know what the difference was. We both got a mocha and shannon got a piece of chocolate cake and I got a meringue thing. It was lovely! But we still didn’t know the difference between ‘green cafe nero’ and cafe Nero. We had a few conversations in here which may add to the point that we’re weird. We were talking about how old the kids are in stranger things. So we looked for ‘eleven’ and this happened…

Shannon: 14

Hayley: lower

Shannon: 12

Hayley: higher

Shannon: ……….

She didn’t know..what? THIRTEEN! We will blame the tiredness. Yes, the tiredness! We also talked about how I like ducks.

After green cafe Nero we went back to the hostel and wrote postcards and had a shower. We watched cuckoo while our clothes were being washed and we’ve just had tea. Spaghetti, sausages and cheese, it was surprisingly really nice!

Tonight were meant to be going to a music quiz at the hostel. If we’re still awake. It starts at 10pm!! Why so late?! But we will try and be sociable!

But more about that in tomorrow’s blog!

Roll on tomorrow!

Day 15: we’ve been awake for 35 hours…

The bus journey last night was a nightmare. Like, it had everything you needed, toilets, wifi, a screen in the back of the seats with hundreds of movies and music and audiobooks. It was fab for that, but the seats were so uncomfy! I literally didn’t sleep at all. And shannon had short naps throughout the night. I watched cars from 11-1 and then secret life of pets 2:30-4, with music in between and then listened to some audio books. I listened to Snow White and then listened to the boy in the paper boat which was meant to be for children but it reminded me of IT. Don’t get me wrong I really tried to sleep. I just couldn’t!

So it was 6am finally and we arrived in Warsaw. We were fine until the woman over the tannoy said ‘be careful of your belongings because there are a lot of pick pockets here.’ In our tired state everyone became predators. But we were fine! A very rude woman told us how to get tickets and where to get the bus from, even though her facial expression suggested she would rather do anything than help us.

We managed to get the bus, hooray! And we got off at the right stop and attempted to find the hostel. I had already warned the hostel we were getting an overnight bus so we’d be early and they kindly said we can chill out there when we get there in the common room. So we made our way there and we found a hostel which we thought was ours. We were gutted, it was horrible and the guy at the desk was so absolutely rude we couldn’t believe it! Eventually he was like ‘you’ve not booked here, you’ve booked at patchworks which is across the street’ hallelujah, he was right! We got to patchworks and it was colourful and welcoming and the sofas were so comfy!

We chilled from 7am-10am and finished series one of stranger things, it’s so good! We were trying not to sleep because we want to be able to sleep this evening. So at around half 10 we put our big bags into luggage storage and made our way out into Warsaw.

We went in a few shops and had a look around and we started to get hungry. We mentioned having a steak and then I was hooked on the idea. As if by magic, a steak house called the British Bulldog London Steak House was in front of us. I was so excited. I ordered the fillet steak, medium rare, with chips and coleslaw and shannon got the sirloin steak, well done with chips and vegetables and oh my…it was THE nicest steak I’ve ever had! I honestly think we will have to go back there before we leave Warsaw because I can’t part with Poland without having another steak from there…honestly it was that nice! (And so cheap too!).

After this we went on a hunt to find a theatre performance to book because that’s what we’ve been doing in every country. Unfortunately the only thing on is called Pilot and it’s in Polish without English subtitles so we’re going to have to give it a miss. Apparently there are some castle illuminations on this week though so we may go there one evening instead.

When we were wandering around we found the most amazing thing ever. We found a cafe based on friends the tv programme. It was amazing! They had pictures up and sayings everywhere and the sofa they sit on in the middle of the coffee shop and it was called ‘how u doin’. Initially someone was sat on the sofa but as soon as they moved I grabbed our bags and made shannon move over to the sofa. It was too good to resist!

After parting from the friends cafe we was going to go to the national museum but heard it was very arty which isn’t really our thing so we went to a park instead. It was so pretty! With weeping willows and ducks and squirrels and a lake and a bridge! Some of it was actually breathtaking.

We tried to find a geocache and failed miserably. We will find a polish one!

By this time we were starting to get tired and it was 3pm so we could now check in to our hostel. We realised we had walked 2 miles away so we walked back, ignoring our shutting eyelids. We made it back to the hostel and checked in and got our bags. Our room seems nice. The bed is squeaky, again. Why is our beds always squeaky?! We went to a supermarket and got some food for tonight so we had spaghetti (still the same pack we bought in Norway), some tomato sauce and sausages. It was nice! We then got some maps for krakow and budapest and planned some walks for there and looked at the free walking tour tomorrow.

We then had the best shower in the world. We had a full day in Berlin yesterday, got straight on a night bus to Warsaw and then spent the day in Warsaw today. So the shower was definitely needed. It did keep going cold for like 2 seconds every 15 seconds though which was weird and caused shannon to laugh at me yelping every 15 seconds from the next cubicle. But it was still very very needed.

Before bed we watched two more episodes of the Auschwitz programme because we’re going there this Sunday. We still have one episode to watch and I hope we will be able to watch it before Sunday.

But it’s bed time now, at 9:30, and a very needed bed time too, after being awake for 35 hours! I have already turned the lights off in our room, I don’t really care if the people in here don’t like it. I can’t function without sleep! I’ve also shut the windows because it is freezing in here! Tonight I am a woman on a mission for sleep!

So goodnight, and roll on tomorrow!

Day 14: getting ready for the night trip

We had a lovely night sleep last night and we (or I did, don’t think shannon did) had a lie in until 10. We paid for late check out at 1pm because we had to get a bus tonight at 10pm to have the overnight trip to Warsaw.

So by 1pm, we were showered, fed and packed ready for the day in Berlin before the bus.

The first stop was the bus station. It is about a 30 minute underground ride to the bus station so we went there to put our bags in a locker. Luckily there was lockers and it was only €5 for 24 hours and it was so big we could fit all our stuff in one! The first mistake I made today was leaving Claire (the adopted umbrella) in the locker because it did rain later on.

After dropping the bags off we went a few more stops to the old Olympic Stadium, which was actually a lot cooler than I expected it to be! We were practising our sprinting, well shannon was and I was practising my speed walking!

After this we went to Hitler’s Bunker which is actually a car park now but it was still an interesting read, this was followed by the Holocaust Memorial which was sad but myself and shannon didn’t really understand the actually construction. Like we understand the story just not the memorial. Anyone that reads our blogs will know we try to be cultured but it doesn’t always work.

After this we wanted to go to Reichstag and on the way we saw the building thing that is pictured everywhere. We were happy we saw this because it’s on our postcards and we didn’t know where it was. We also saw three buses that were stood upright. And a man walking around with a bum bag and a speaker playing music, we stayed away from him!

We got to Reichstag and it’s like a high up glass dome which we thought you could go in for free. However, when we got there, there was a queue and you had to have your bags and passports checked and everything and we were so scared that we walked away! This is the part of the day we’re it started raining so we found a coffee shop. We got a coffee and a ‘laugenbrezel’ or something like that and it’s a German pretzel with salt on it. It was pretty gross to be honest. However, my ex, who is part German, did recommend it so maybe he did it on purpose…

While we were at the coffee place I got chatted up by the guy who collects tips at the toilet. I got scared and ran away and told him shannon would come and talk to him instead! Friendship goals.

When we got away from toilet guy we wrote our postcards and kept an eye out for the postbox. We went to a souvenir store and I bought a little teddy so jon the mammoth is no longer lonely. I now have George the Berlin bear.

Then the coolest thing happened. We went to checkpoint Charlie.

At first glance checkpoint Charlie doesn’t look like anything special and I kept going ‘i don’t get it’ but we read a bit about it then understood. The coolest thing about it was that you can pay to get your passport stamped! Of course we did it and I’ve never been so happy to give up €5! The German guy who stamped our passport had obviously been to England before, as when he saw shannon was from Leeds he started chanting ‘Leeds Leeds Leeds’!

We spent some money in the shop and then went to the crossing shop. They actually had a full shop about the different crossings, like the green men and red men at crossings, from different places. It was really cool!

Next stop was a nice food place called Vapiano. You go in and you get your own card and that’s what you put your bill on so you can pay at the end. You either go to the pasta counter or the pizza counter or the salad one. We got a pizza each and shared them and 2 drinks. We passed some more time before the bus by unfollowing loads of people on Instagram (sorry some of you).

Shannon then got a text from ecolines (our bus) saying something like ‘please enjoy your journey’. It was only 8pm and the bus is at 10pm but we still started to panic. We drank the rest of our drink, went to the loo and left.

We went back to the underground station and got the long train to the bus station. It was now 9:10. We went to the lockers and got our bags and found the platform. I don’t have a clue why we were panicking because we then had 40 minutes!

The bus came a little early and now we’re on here and ready to be on here until 6am tomorrow. This bus is amazing though. They have screens in the back of every head rest with 100’s of movies on and music and books and wow. I’m amazed. They have wifi and plug sockets and toilets. It’s basically a bus hotel! The seats aren’t amazingly comfy though so I doubt I’ll sleep much but we can have a chill day tomorrow! So on to Poland we go!


Day 13: regretful theatre trip

Today we woke up when we woke up. No alarms. No set time. Just a natural wake up. Fabulous! We were up and ready for 10:30 and our first stop was Alexanderplatz. Our mission was to find the mammut store, find the trampolines in the floor and find a bagel place that I went to last year that does really nice food. 

So we eventually found the mammut store and we were amazed by the teddy mammoths. We love our teddy mammoths! The people at work will be proud that we associated with climbing stuff! So that was mission one accomplished. 

Mission two was shortly accomplished after this as we found the cool trampolines in the floor! We should have these in England, and if we do then people should tell me where they are! 

Mission three was a funny one because we accomplished this completely by an accident. We had wandered around for a bit and I couldn’t for the life of me remember where this stupid place was for bagels! So in the end I spotted a nice looking place and I said to shannon, we could go somewhere else instead, like that place over there: Coffee Fellows. We walked in and surprise surprise it was the bagel place that I went to last year! How strange is that! It was lovely. We got a bagel with chicken and had a hot chocolate each. However, birds fly around the cafe and I didn’t know whether to duck and hide under the table or feed them bits of muffin. I had mixed emotions. 

After Alexanderplatz we went to the the theatre to pick up our tickets for tonight that we booked a few days ago. It’s a show called ‘America’ and it’s about a guy who gets kicked out of his home and goes to live with his rich uncle before falling out with him….BASICALLY the fresh prince of bel air right? WRONG. I’ll get to that in a bit. We went in to pick our tickets up and when we booked them it said ‘if you need tickets to have a clear view of the English subtitles buy ones from price group 3’ so that’s exactly what we did. When he gave us the tickets today he said ‘we have big chandelier so you won’t be able to see subtitles, have a good evening!’ Oh. I went marching back in the theatre (I actually marched because I needed confidence) and I told him we’re not wasting our night in Berlin at a theatre we do not understand, so he moved our seats. Very nice man! 

So from the theatre we went to the Berlin war memorial which was extremely sad and interesting. It isn’t a good place to get ‘hello’ by Adele in your head though…but still very interesting. And we can’t believe how recent it all was either! 

From here we walked back to the underground and went to find St. Hedwigs cathedral. We literally just wanted to go here because it says ‘hedwig’. If you don’t know who hedwig is then please leave now…

On the way here we found a Christmas market and we got a crepe with Nutella and banana, yum. 

Anyway, so we’re on the underground and we stop at a station and we still have like five more stops to go when I see a sign that said ‘st hedwigs…’ so I was like it’s here there’s a sign! So we jump off the train, then we realise the sign said ‘st hedwigs Krankenhaus’ which actually means hospital in English…we are stuuuuuupid honestly. This was shortly followed by me trying to film the train coming, quickly realising the noise of the train was coming from behind me and I was filming nothing…

You’ll be happy to know we eventually did make it to st hedwigs cathedral and we saw some more beautiful buildings after that. We then went for a drink and shannon had a mocha and I had gluewein with ameretto, very nice! We then walked the short distance back to Alexanderplatz and went to primark. I’m not kidding you, the whole of Berlin was in primark. It was so busy! We got some stuff and then went back to the hostel to get ready.

We got ready and went to the hostel bar for happy hour and had a few cocktails. Before rushing to the theatre because we were going to be late. It was honestly the most weird thing I’ve ever seen. More weird than the ballet and more weird than anything you can imagine in your life. It was easy-ish to follow but those parts were so boring. Every scene was slightly different but the characters all ended up stripping, every time! I still don’t know why! But honestly, it ended with the cast wearing gold Lycra, bathing in tubs of bubbles and singing ‘suicide is painless’. Literally we left and we had no words. There was no break in the middle so we couldn’t run away, and it was honestly the weirdest thing. I’m still speechless. I’d love to know what everyone else thought of it…

Anyway, we’re now back at the hostel and shannon cooked us pasta and sauce before we go to bed because we kinda forgot to eat. It was very nice. Now bed time! 

Roll on tomorrow! 

Day 12: hamburger in Hamburg!

Last night we slept okay and the people who came back to the room late stayed quiet so myself and Shannon were happy. We got up at 9 and by 9:30 we were ready to check out and have breakfast. Luckily they had lockers there, so we could leave our big bags there. We basically had one full day in Hamburg today before the bus to Berlin at 5:45. 

We had breakfast and made our way out, following possibly the worst map in the history of maps. We made it to the first place, The Rathaus, which was a cool building. Then we walked towards the Hamburg city museum. On the way we soon realised that nearly all the shops are shut on a Sunday. How weird is that?! But it’s not like we’re exactly girly girls so it didn’t bother us that much. 

We got to the museum and we paid €6 to get in and walking around here is when we realised we were completely Museum’ed out. They’re literally all the same. Some guy started building a town then there was a fire and everything burnt down and then they rebuilt it. It’s like, surely when the first great fire in a city happened all the other cities would learn from it? But anyway, it was a slightly cooler museum than the rest though because it had a model railway. At one point in the museum we were watching this video about the port from 900-2017. We were watching and reading and we were engrossed. A snotty annoying little child runs over and starts pressing buttons and changes the video! After about 10 minutes – we got to 1950 and we don’t know what happened to the port after that…bratty little kid! 

After we were museumed out we walked to Reeperbahn which is famous for its sex shops/clubs but it’s also a very touristy place. We have been frequently buying postcards in all the countries we go, but our parents will be glad to know we refrained from buying boob covered postcards! 

After Reeperbahn we walked to st Michaels church but by this point we were getting hangry (hungry+angry) and we walked down to the front to find an eating place. We eventually found a pub like place and I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger burger. I got a hamburger with jalapeños, nachos and salad in the burger and chips and shannon got the classic hamburger with chips. We were so full! We also had hamburgers in Hamburg which made us happy. 

After our lovely meal we walked to a gothic style church called St.Nicholai Church and we paid €5 euros for the tower (76m up) and the museum. I wanted to do this because I came to Hamburg last year and also paid to go to the top, before discovering that scaffolding covered the whole of the top and you couldn’t see a thing! Luckily today we had no scaffolding, just freezing cold wind, but we survived. 

We came back down and went into the museum, which we were dreading because we thought we were all museumed out, but it was actually so interesting! It was about the air raids during the war and the evacuation and the demolishing of Warsaw and auschwitz etc. We spent so long in there and both found it so interesting! So money well spent. 

By the time we left there it was 4pm, so we made our way back to the hostel and we got a coffee when we got there. At about 5, we made our way to the bus station with all our bags, ready for the next journey. We stocked up on food (a chocolate croissant, grapes and haribos) and we got on the DOUBLE DECKER flixbus – sorry, I’ve never seen a double decker flixbus – and found a seat ready for the journey. On the bus we watched another episode of stranger things and we listened to music before arriving in Berlin at 9pm. 

We got to the bus station and then had to make our way via the underground to our hostel. We got to the underground and this lovely Australian backpacker gave us his bus ticket because he had two days left on it and was leaving Berlin, how nice! So shannon bought one ticket and we made our way to our stop. It took ages! There must have been about 15 stops before ours. We sat opposite each other on the metro until we realised our bags were too big to do that and we nearly killed an old woman as she dramatically threw herself over our bags. I swear she did it on purpose, to make a point that our bags were slightly in the way. So we sat slightly staggered so people could get past easier. 

Anyway, next stop is the hostel! So far so good! We check in, we get free bed linen and towels, we get a free drink in the bar, you get a free hairdryer, LITERALLY everything you need! The guy at reception is also really nice. We did have a right palava though, trying to get our bed linen on the beds when some of the girls in here are asleep. It was pitch black, but we struggled through! 

We needed to plan for tomorrow so we used the opportunity and went to the bar to get our free drink. When we walked in, every single person turned around. Probably because we’ve been on the move all day, we had hats and scarves on and trainers and no make up and hair not brushed etc. But OH WELL. We sat and chatted and planned our day tomorrow. 

So now we’re tucked up in our beds in our dorm and we’re ready for the packed day we have tomorrow. We have a few things planned and we have booked theatre tickets for tomorrow night…oh come on, it’s a tradition to blow the budget on the first day! 

Now I’ve finished writing this, and I’m going to go to sleep, a girl has just starting snoring in our room and one is sleep talking…just my luck!

Roll on tomorrow! 

Day 11: surprise ferry trip! 

Last night I slept a lot better and I think it was due to the towel trick! We got up in Copenhagen at 9ish and had to queue to check out! It’s so stupid because check out is 10, breakfast finishes at 10 and the walking tour starts at 10, so it’s like chaos! 

Today was the first day we used public transport in Copenhagen. We got a ticket for the metro and made our way to Christianshavn. The first stop was the Church of our Saviour. This is so cool! It’s a church (obviously) with a spiral on the top where you can walk up the spiral on the outside…here is a picture so I don’t have to keep trying to explain what I mean. 

It was really cool! We realised how unfit we are though when we had to climb 400 stairs to get to the top! 

Next stop was a coffee place where we had an iced coffee. It was so nice! We then went on a hunt for a postbox for postcards where shannon ended up throwing half of hers on the floor and I was literally crying with laughter and looking back on it now it wasn’t even that funny…

Anyway, we then walked towards the centre and contemplated buying two spoons from a shop to buy ice cream and eat on the bus but willpower won! 

The metro was next, and we got the underground back to the hostel to pick up our big bags, ready to move on. We walked to the bus station, which is connected to the train station. I went over to a guy who worked there and I asked ‘excuse me (in the most polite voice) do you know where I get the flixbus from?’ And he shot me down completely. His reply was ‘I deal with trains not buses’ so I said ‘surely you know where the bus station is, could you please tell me where it is?’ And he honestly replied ‘flixbus isn’t my company, you will have to help yourself’ and walked off! Okay. Helpful! Luckily we had a map and it showed the bus station just behind the train station so we made our way around the back, praying that we could see the bright green life saving light of the flixbus coach. And hooray we found it! 

Seeing as though the bus was at 3:15 and we wasn’t getting to Hamburg until 9, we needed to get some food. The only place near the bus station was a swimming pool…I don’t know why we always end up in these situations. But we went inside and wow, they had a market on today (in the pool building yes) and it was full of comic book things, like a tiny comic con. Why do we always find cool stuff when we have to leave?! But anyway, we found a little cafe, got some carrot and houmous and a pasta pot and made our way back to the bus. We loaded our luggage on and got ready for the looooooong journey to Hamburg. 

So we set off at 3:15, we listened to some music and then I started to watch Jack Whitehall’s stand up show on Netflix. He’s so funny! Outside was getting darker and we were getting more tired. Around 5:30, we came across what looked like border control so we were like ‘ooh they might want to see our passports’ and got excited because we were going into Germany. OH HOW WE WERE WRONG. 

They order us all off the bus and we’re like okay…what’s happening? Do we take all our stuff? Are we getting back on the bus? Are they going to harvest our kidneys? You know, the important questions. And I whisper to Shannon, ‘it looks like we’re on a ferry’. WELL 10/10 TO HAYLEY. Surprise! We were on a ferry! 

We then started to panic because we had no clue that we were getting a ferry and apparently it was going to be 45 minutes long. We wandered around and went outside and realised we were moving across a sea. Yes, we were amazed by this even though we knew we were on a ferry. But you should know now, that shannon gets motion sickness…Luckily it wasn’t long enough for shannon to throw up but it did make her feel sick. 

We eventually found an interactive map that showed us where we are on the crossing and we realised we were heading in the Germany direction so that’s a good start. We used the opportunity to go to the loo and charge our phones for a bit before getting back on the bus. The rest of Jack Whitehall’s stand up and an episode of Stranger Things later, and we are in Hamburg yey! We weren’t abducted and we were in one piece! 

It was now 9pm and we were hungry so we went for a wander after dropping our bags off in our room. We soon realised that the street we were walking down is full of kebab shops and erotic stores and we kinda thought we were going to be stabbed. We found a takeawayish looking place and shared some chips and bought some water before running away and coming back to the safety of our hostel. It’s probably just us being scaredy cats to be honest. 

We had showers and planned our walk tomorrow because we only have the one day in Hamburg before going to Berlin. We then watched another episode of stranger things. If anyone has seen this you will know it is quite scary…shannon more scared than most. She made me check for monsters around the room after and had to wee with the door open in case monsters…like, I don’t even know how to finish that sentence, I don’t even know what she was scared the monsters would do! But it is a good series, just might not watch it before bed again. 

We’re in an 8 bed dorm here, there is a private party in the bar downstairs and the 2 other people that are in here are not here yet and it’s 12:38am. I’m hoping they don’t come in smashed at stupid o’clock in the morning and make a racquet. But I have my towel hung up to block the light and we are ready for our day in Hamburg tomorrow!