18 December 2012
My Dear Piece of Home,
Tonight we arrived safely in Berlin at the Wombats Hostel. Five girls. Three more girls to arrive in the morning.
Cold. That’s what everybody kept repeating to me about Berlin.
“I studied in Berlin for a year. The winter was cold.”
“And if you know anything about Berlin in winter, you would know that Berlin is cold.” –My cold war history teacher on the Berlin blockade this past term.
“I live in Germany. Do you have snowboots? GET THEM. DO NOT GO TO BERLIN WITHOUT THEM.”
And yet, perhaps because I was sweating in layers of wool clothing for hours on the plane, the Berlin air was surprisingly crisp and refreshing, not bitterly cold. The only evidence left of snow was the endless trail of salt and gravel strewn on the sidewalks.
The little black pebbles caught in the wheels of our luggage as we walked from Alexanderplatz to the hostel. The streets were empty, the buildings rugged concrete.
Tomorrow we finally begin the adventure we’ve been planning for months. Tomorrow Berlin no longer becomes a name on a map or a history book. Tomorrow we trace the ghosts of the Third Reich and the Cold War.
Cannot wait to write to you again.
Until next time,