Thursday, 29 September 2016

Berlin

Although it doesn't feel like it, it's been more than 2 months since I posted something here. I can't believe so much time has passed. Recently, the days seem longer but time goes by so much faster. It's hard to keep track of dates anymore. I blame the fact that my summer was cut short by this traineeship - not that I'm complaining, I never liked summer that much anyway (I shameful thing to say as a Cypriot, I know). It wasn't until I saw back-to-school ads a month ago that I realised that the past two months at the time were actually summer vacation for most people. Well, mostly students.

To be honest, I had many ideas for posts (many of which I was really excited to write about). And it's only logical, since I'm still new to this city and I keep discovering new things every day. However, I always lacked either the motivation or the time to do it - and sometimes both. Being in a foreign country for the first time, alone, and living/working around people whom I don't understand because of the language was more exhausting than what I assumed it would be. Physically and emotionally.

Thankfully, a short trip to Berlin, Germany with my best friend was all I needed to recharge my batteries. A five-day break to relax and have fun with a person I feel comfortable around in a city like Berlin provided me the push I needed to keep going.

Berlin.

My ephemeral stay there was enough to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of the city. With two small backpacks and eagerness to experience the city to the fullest, we wandered around the streets of Berlin, always in awe of the spectacular views we came across. Amazed, we saw the beautiful and full of history monuments that embellish every corner, the architecture that fuses classic and modern in a harmonic pattern of coexistence. In fact, the whole city manages to combine culture, history, technology, nature, and art at the same time.

We spent countless hours strolling down the busy streets, sauntering through parks, discovering new landmarks - either well-known ones or not, browsing stores. Every now and then, a statue, building, or monument would wake the art history enthusiast inside of me and I would go crazy over being so close to these majestic creations I had only seen printed on the flat pages of large history books. But as beautiful and rich the days were, my favourite part were the nights: bright, vibrant, youthful, alive. The streets were just as busy; lights from cars, stores, and buildings turned the dark and gray streets into colourful parades; laughs and conversations from passers-by filled the atmosphere; and light from the windows of tall buildings in the distance contrasted against the dark sky.

We had the opportunity to enjoy sightseeing, shop, relax, and attend festivals - all in a matter of a few days and a little distance. And the food - don't get me started. Large portions, delicious local and international cuisines, a rich and diverse range of choices, and cheap. The local people were friendly and welcoming. Thankfully, the weather was perfect in all aspects and we also got to enjoy mesmerising sunrises and sunsets over the tall cityscapes.

Naturally, I had my camera with me all the time. While walking around the city, I would sometimes incessantly click the shutter button to freeze and capture the memories, while other times forgetting to use the camera at all while admiring its unique beauty.

The worst part was leaving this amazing experience behind to return to our mundane routines. While flying back to Z├╝rich, I realised this could possibly be the last time I saw Berlin in real life. The first and last time I experienced Berlin. A bittersweet feeling overtook with that thought, but I quickly shook it off thinking of the travels and adventures that could follow up.

This short trip satisfied my thirsting wanderlust for the time being. But my list of places I want to visit is always there, staring at me, still long and tempting and always reminding me to travel more in a teasing and caring way. Teasing because it's not easy to travel when you work and live on a budget, but caring because travelling is the best way to spend money, enjoy new experiences, and create lifetime memories. I don't know how much longer I'll be in Switzerland so I decided to take this opportunity and travel as much as I can to the countries around it.

Well, that was my post for today. I hope my next post won't be in two months from now. Like I said, I do have some ideas and topics for posts here, I've even have some saved drafts that have been patiently waiting me to finish and publish them. I will try to post more often. If not long posts like this, at least something short or a photo, just to get into the habit. I wish everyone a successful term, in your education and work.