All posts by Tim Schuitema

Final Thoughts

Looking back at all of the traveling and the questions that people are asking me about Europe, I have come to the conclusion that my favorite place that we stayed at was Amsterdam. There was so much to see in that city and the people there have so many different views on life than I do. The people there were so friendly and always helpful if you had any questions on directions. It was also great because everybody that I ran into spoke english (unlike in Paris) and always tried to help you out. The amount of bicycles there was unreal. I have never seen anything like it in my life and I never expect to see it again unless I go back there some day. It was strange how the bicyclists seemed to dominate the road. Pedestrians and even cars and taxis had to watch out for them because they were absolutely fearless. If I had to pick one city to go back to later in life, I would definitely choose to go back to Amsterdam hands down.

Berlin

While in Berlin we visited many significant historical places. Check Point Charlie was probably my favorite place solely because of all the items inside the museum. There were so many interesting ways that people escaped over the wall. My personal favorite was a kayak that could hide a person inside of it. It was very interesting to see how people escaped from east Berlin.
Another thing that we did in Berlin was visit the wall. Its hard to imagine life back then where a wall separated a city, and how different life is on each side. It was interesting to see how they accepted graffiti on the wall, because in America we normally look down on graffiti, but in Berlin they saw it as art.
After Berlin we headed to Bremen and we visited a maritime museum full of ships dating hundreds of years back. I never thought of how much that boats changed the way of life for all people. It made trade way easier and cheaper and it also allowed people to travel to places that you could only get to via water. Then shortly after visiting the museum, we drove past the shipping-yard. This just proved to all of us how much boats mean to us in modern day life. We saw thousands upon thousands of shipping containers and it was just an amazing view.

Trier

We stopped in Trier for just one night and only had a couple of hours to explore the city. After dinner, a few of us went out to find a place to hang out for a while before going to bed. We ran into a pub that was obviously meant for locals only, but we decided to try it out. We walked in and found only 3 other people in the pub, who gave us confusing looks. The first couple of minutes that we were there for we basically just kept to ourselves and tried not to be too loud. We didn’t know if we were accepted or how much the people at the bar liked us being there. After about 10 minutes one of the locals asked us if we were British or American. We talked with him for 3 hours that night, asking him questions about his life, learning simple German phrases, and exchanging jokes. He spoke English very well and everybody else in the bar could speak English, but it was a little more broken. This man seemed to know more about the history of the United States than I did. We talked about the Civil War and he knew the dates of the specific battles. We felt inferior because none of us could speak any other language besides English and we felt pretty ignorant for not knowing basically anything about European history. Overall the experience at the bar was eye opening for all of us, and it was a great first impression of Germany.