We’re finally in Germany! It’s my first time here so I’m pretty pumped to be in the land of some of my ancestors and equally important… strudel!
We flew from Stockholm to Berlin without issue, and since we arrived late Sunday night, we grabbed a cheap airport hotel and set off for the city in the morning. Once in Berlin proper, we made our way to our AirBnB in an ADORABLE Berlin neighborhood, Prenzlauer Berg. The first thing we noticed is ice cream is a thing here, no matter the temperature. Children, parents, German punk rockers, old ladies and grandpas all had it so we had to join in.
The second observation is that all dogs here are extremely well trained. About 92% of them walk off leash, completely focused on their owners’ commands- – it’s weird.
Luckily, we had many great suggestions on activities, restaurants, etc. for Berlin and our first real meal was at a great Turkish restaurant, Osmans Töcher. Requisite overhead shot.
On Tuesday, the weather gods #blessed us with California-esque temperatures, perfect for our bike tour around the city. Fat Tire Bike Tours came highly recommended and it delivered! In total, the tour lasted about 6 hours and was an awesome introduction to the complexity of Berlin, with a stop halfway at a Biergarten (you guys.. they mix beer and sprite here and it’s awesome). Because of the city’s checkered history, it’s currently a weird architecural mix of old and new with an extremely liberal population. I learned a ton about WWII, the Cold War, and modern Berlin and it really made me appreciate the city. I’m liking it a lot more than I thought I would, and I’m excited for the rest our time here. A few photos but the more are here.
Wednesday was a rainy, cold day- – apropos for our visit to the Sachsenhausen Concentration camp. Snapping a lot of photos didn’t feel right, but I did get one of the gate leading into the prisoner’s camp. It’s a heavy place to go, and it’s hard to feel happy for a few hours, but important to see and experience. I’ve learned more in the pat 48 hours by being in Berlin than I ever did reading a textbook in school.
We ended our day and the first part of our Berlin stay by visiting the top of the Reichstag Building, Germany’s parliament house. We booked free tickets a few weeks ago and simply lucked out with the weather. The dome is all glass to symbolize transparency within the government and makes for a killer view of the city, especially at sunset.
Then, Thursday morning we set off for Rügen Island, the northernmost point of Germany, along the Baltic Sea. Once intended as a vacation destination for Hitler’s army, it’s now one of the most popular vacation spots for native Germans (we only learned of it from a friend). To elaborate, the woman at the front desk of our hotel nearly fell over from excitement when she learned we were from California; it was hilariously adorable. Rügen is home to great beaches and a National Park featuring white chalk cliffs. It is truly beautiful, but cold as shit at the moment. Some appetizer pics from our 7 mile hike through the forest and down/up several hundred stairs. Such a cool place! More here.
Tomorrow, we’re off to hike with huskies on our way back to Berlin. No joke, I’m paying to walk someone’s dog and am completely okay with it (per Google translate, cuddling the dogs post hike was promised in the itinerary). I’m so excited I can hardly sleep!!
posted from: Hanseatic Hotel in Göhren, Germany