A Weekend in Berlin

Our stay in Berlin marks a transition to a new phase of this trip. It was our first stop after saying goodbye to Michelle. It was also our first stop in a month-long stay in Germany, the longest stay in any country to date and the beginning of a new pace and set of experiences. The weather also seemed to begin the change from summer to fall.

steins of beer

plate of liver with apples and onions

There are things I really enjoyed about Berlin. First, I liked the food. Theo and I had the traditional Berlin dish of liver with onions and apples. It was very, very good. Mmm, I might like to have it again soon, but I doubt I will have the chance. I’m a fan of traditional German beer, so I enjoyed that. We had good pho and yummy, yummy sauerkraut and sausages. Oh, and I discovered currywurst, which I really liked.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

There’s important sight-seeing in Berlin, too. Our apartment was next to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial. There are actually several memorials to the different groups of people slaughtered by Hitler’s regime, but we only saw this one. We passed the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate on our drive in, found ourselves at Checkpoint Charlie after a morning of running errands, and wandered past the Television Tower and Alexanderplatz on our way to and from dinner one night. I found all of these places, plus the section of the Berlin Wall still standing, to be heavy with history and significance.

sign at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

We also went to Potsdamer Platz, which is a very modern section of the city, to visit Legoland with the kids. The displays were really intricate and cool. There was a little roller coaster-type ride, a section for kids to build with LEGOs themselves, and a Ninjago-themed exhibit in which kids could navigate through lasers and demonstrate other ninja skills.

Sony Center ceiling in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

children in Legoland

All along our walks we found quirky parts of the city. Bubblegum all over a tree trunk outside the wax museum and on sections of the former Berlin wall. A currywurst truck that looks like a tractor-trailer went through the dry cycle and shrunk. Fancifully painted tiny cars.

chewed bubble gum on a tree

small red currywurst truck

small painted cars in Berlin

The apartment was spacious and a bit spartan. The furniture wasn’t very comfortable, but nothing in the city really made my heart sing like sitting around together at night watching old episodes of Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory. Also, this wasn’t a classic Airbnb, but was instead a short-term apartment rental in a complex of short-term rentals managed by an on-site service. The Airbnb listing seems a little deceptive in light of this (and sloppy, too, since they addressed both my check-in instructions and their review of me on Airbnb to other people.)

So, I’m not entirely sure about Berlin. It has good food and interesting sights, but for most of our short time there my mind was occupied with other things, like resuming life as a family of five and taking care of some business related to our life in Maryland. I was also dwelling a little bit on the long driving days of the recent past and pressing future. I feel full of driving and tourism, so I’m looking forward to settling in to Konstanz and developing some “regular-life” routines.

General Information

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