More Berlin…Different Adventures
A few months have passed since we told you what we’ve been up to. Let me summarize: Work! Both Ken and I are good working folk now – Ken with his laser beams and me with my Czech packaging design.
But before Ken went to accept any award or I got into a good routine at work, we had some visitors from across the Atlantic. Megan and Frank paid us a much needed visit from good ol’ Atlanta Georgia in early September. It was a much needed respite from constant broken German and cultural misunderstandings. And it gave us an opportunity to show some of our friends our new German life.
First, Frank, Ken and I were able to experience the famous Altona STAMP festival – a street art, dance and music street festival in the heart of Altona. We got to listen to some really great street music by day while waiting for the night parade to begin. Once the sun set, we had a perfect spot right in front to watch the elaborate parade of baton twirlers and international drum teams. We stood and watched with Bacardi-and-Coke cans and Astra beer. Ken even joined the parade at one point!
Megan arrived just in time for all of us to travel to Berlin, yet again. This time we decided to do things a little differently. Being a little more familiar with our landscape, we decided to try out Airbnb.com and ended up staying in a cute little apartment in north Friedrichschain. It was a little noisy, but a 5 minute walk from both trams and the U-bahn station, plus a 5 minute walk to some morning coffee shops, which seemed to quickly become Frank and Ken’s morning routine.
We took a day trip to Potsdam, a town nearby Berlin filled with imperial castles from Prussian kings before WWI, and the location of the Potsdam Conference, the post WWII meeting of Stalin, Churchill and Truman which ultimately led to the division of Germany into occupied territories. We got to see the famous Sansoucci castle (sometimes compared with Versailles, with its French style gardens and elaborate colonnades.)
Later we made our way to to Cecilienhof, once the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, the last prince of Prussia and the location of the Potsdam Conference.
We took a late ferry back into town in the chilly rainy evening, and had dinner in a cute little “french style” restaurant.
The following day we decided we would stretch our bicycle legs and do a Fat Tire city tour on silly-named bicycles across Berlin.
We got to see many things that I hadn’t seen while on my walking tour such as: nude-sunbathers in the park, the Zoo, the Berlin Victory Column, a surviving communist watchtower, and the Bundestag (or government building).
And then I fell off my bicycle, broke the flash off the lense of my camera and landed on my ribs. We ended up spending the last day of our vacation in the emergency room, where I had five x-rays done and found out that I had a rib contusion. It ended up taking 6 weeks until I had no more pain – a lasting memory of Berlin. Despite my last few days of vacation being rather painful, having our friends come visit was really awesome.
Now, almost 3 months later I am pain free, Ken is the young scientist of 2012, Ken took a week long trip to Sweden with his parents, I haven’t left Hamburg and I am completely and totally terrified to get on another bicycle!