My journey has taken a serious turn. Don’t worry, in a profound, good way with the promise of growth as a human. I began my morning at the Anne Frank House, for which I stood in line in the BITTER FREEZING cold for two hours. Well worth it. The house was the place in which Anne and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, before ultimately being discovered and sent to concentration camps. Anne perished in the camp at the age of 16. The 1,000 square foot annex in the back of the house is now a museum, preserved as it was when the 8 hiding Jews lived there. I wasn’t expecting to react much as I already knew Anne’s story, but the wave of emotion comes at you with unstoppable force when you see it and read about her story. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pictures, but please don’t miss this haunting site if you’re ever in Amsterdam. Although leave it to an American teenage girl to break the solemnity with, “Can you even imagine living here? They didn’t even have iPhones!” God bless our youth.
I spent the afternoon on a long, beautiful train ride through the Holland and German countryside, arriving at Berlin’s massive Central Station. This is where I finally had my first minor meltdown. Everything was in German. Turns out, I don’t speak German. Not even a little bit. At least in Paris I could sort of figure things out based on my Spanish.I had no idea how to get to my hostel from the station–Train? Bus? How much does it cost? I couldn’t even tell a taxi where I wanted to go because I couldn’t get Internet service to look up my hostel’s address. After aimlessly and futilely circling the station for awhile, I finally found my bearings, remembered I was smart, and found an information center. Crisis averted. That could–likely would–inevitably happen if I were traveling with one or five others. But there would be someone to calm me down, two brains to figure things out. It was my first real challenge being alone. But hey, I did it. One step closer to world traveler domination!
So here I am in Berlin, ready to take on the center of WWII tomorrow. My roommates are two sisters from Spain who are currently yelling at each other so rapidly in Spanish I can only understand every fifth word. I gather that one is a little idiot and the other is bossy.
On that note, I’m off to sleep. More adventures tomorrow!