Berlin and Rome through the eyes of Team Charlie

There were many Cultural Routes firsts on CR9, and although they were all honestly incredible and made the experience even that much more precious and impactful, a first that made a huge impact on my CR experience was when we were put in the same groups as we were in in Berlin. To preface this, the way that Dr. P has us learn from and explore the big cites we visit, is by separating us into very intentional groups and then giving us a list of sites to visit for the day. The first day in Berlin I became one of 5 members on team Charlie. Team Charlie is essentially made up of 5 goofballs who somehow found a way to maneuver the city with very little use of a map and multiple individual portrait picture stops. Berlin was incredible and when I found out I was going to get the opportunity to tackle another city with team Charlie (now under the name Venimus) I literally started crying because these people mean so much to me. Getting to explore Rome with Charlie allowed me to notice the ways in which we had all grown as individuals throughout CR, but it also provided a unique way for observing the differences in the two cities we got to wreck havoc in. Like I mentioned above, team Charlie has a fair number of unique qualities that although in theory could be seen as negatives, made the team everything wonderful it was and more, but what is interesting about these attributes is that they actually helped us be more culturally aware in seeing how Berlin and Rome differed from each other.
The use of maps or the lack there of was one way I noticed these differences. Berlin was great because you always had the toothpick for reference or an U-bahn or S-bahn to hop on, in Rome not so much. In Rome, our Charlie technique of going with our gut was a little bit more difficult because of the identical streets and interlaced sites. Both city’s layouts reflect their history. Berlin is a city that was rebuilt recently and is one that has explored more modern buildings in parts of the city, they have also purposefully placed monuments throughout the city. Rome differs in that there are very few modern buildings and the city revolves and fills in around significant sites that have been there for thousands of years. The bulk of Berlin’s history is more modern while Rome’s is ancient, and the physical presence of these cities demonstrates this.
Another few ways our group noticed differences were on the meal stops we took. We realized that the only sit down lunch we shared together was on the last group day in Rome, this showed the difference in cultures of eating a quick German currywurst on the side of the street versus sitting down to a nice long Italian meal. Our conversations also became much more intellectual in Rome, and although I believe this can mostly be credited to our personal growth the past few weeks, these new and improved conversations and thirst for learning were also a result of the abundance of history in Rome that spanned over many subjects. In Berlin the focus was mostly on World War 2, and in Rome the history was more focused on religion and ancient civilizations.
I so loved both cities and seeing the ways in which they were so different yet both still such great backgrounds for independent growth and relational growth with others. I am so grateful to all 17 other people on CR who helped me learn so much about these cities and about myself, you all will forever have a very special please in my heart. See this is what CR does, it combines people and culture into a perfect combination that grows you in more ways that you can understand and let’s you have so much fun while doing it. Thank you again CR!