I’m hijacking #tbt and turning it into #ttbt so I can tell stories about old photos of my past adventures. First up: Berlin!

Reichstag selfie

I am actually in this picture. Mirrors!

I nearly didn’t get into the Reichstag. Up to this point (about a week and a half into my first solo backpacking adventure) I’d not been into anywhere with metal detectors. I’d been wandering around with my Gerber multitool in the bottom of my backpack. (You know. Just in case I had to be MacGyver. Or cut an annoying thread off my overworn t-shirt. Whatever.)

I wandered up to the security check to get in the building and chucked my backpack on the belt. I passed through before it did, and before I’d even turned back around to pick it up, one of the guards was yelling at me pretty sternly in German. And seeing as how I had NO IDEA what was going on, I must have looked pretty panicked. She kind of just kept yelling at me, and I suppose to her credit, I wasn’t really saying anything because I couldn’t find any words in my frozen panic.

Luckily, one of the other guards twigged that I wasn’t understanding, and with the magical perception of someone who works at a major tourist destination, asked me very politely in English if I had a pocketknife or multi-tool in my bag. At which point the whole ordeal made sense, but I was so worried they thought I was trying to sneak it in that I was like, ‘Oh, crap, yes! Take it! Sorry!’

The English-speaking guard just kind of laughed at me and said I could check it in there and pick it up on my way out. I continued to apologise profusely and I don’t think my heart stopped racing til after I’d been through and left half an hour later.

On top of the Reichstag

On top of the Reichstag, with a suspiciously TV-tower-shaped unicorn horn.