You know when everything is looking great? The weather is nice, the schedule is exciting, the energy is high. That’s where Bravo sat yesterday morning, and let me tell you, we were fired up about it. Well, as soon as we walked out of the S-Bahn station in front of Brandenburg Gate, we noticed that the city of Berlin had thrown us quite the curveball.
That day, we were supposed to visit the Memorial and Museum for the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Tiergarten, and Victory Column (all of which extend through the same general area). Unknown to us, the Avon Frauenlauf road race was scheduled to occur this weekend. In the spirit of the event, the entire Tiergarten and street connecting Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column were sectioned off with temporary fencing, rendering our route to two of the three sites totally obstructed. Needless to say, we were faced with quite the dilemma.
However, in simple terms, we’re only in Berlin once. We only have the opportunity to explore the Tiergarten once. We weren’t about to just give up and twiddle our thumbs for the rest of the day. Of course not!
From an objective perspective, we found a hole in the fence. We walked across the road blocks, spotted an incomplete portion of fencing, and took advantage of the perfect timing. Contrary to our almost melancholy spirits at first sight of the barred park, our excitement could not be contained as we strolled and strolled through the lusciously green oasis in the midst of urban Berlin.
Case in point, when traveling internationally, especially in a country in which you do not speak the native tongue, it isn’t that bumps in the road may come up; it’s that bumps in the road will come up, just like we experienced with the Tiergarten situation. However, those mishaps or changes in plans can never be fatal–because you can’t allow it. You’re in EUROPE!
These are the times that Mr. Prof. Dr. Pitcock (as our Reichstag tour guide would say) and previous students described when they mentioned that we would be pushed. In the moments of difficulty, when we have to work the situation and solve the problem, we learn the most. We learn to navigate not only the streets and the metro but also the unexpected. Now, that is what travel is all about.