It’s becoming ever more clear that I’m not a travel writer. Each time I try to settle down in front of my computer to wax poetical about our travels abroad this past November, I can’t come up with anything even mostly coherent, let alone even a little profound. I want to tie together our brief moments in another land into a vivid narrative. Tales relatable. Intriguing. Fun. Yet it usually just babbles out of me into something just shy of bullet point form. We did this, then this happened, we ate here, saw that, the end. “See Sally run. Run, Sally, run.” My internal dialogue does not pour forth into neat prose. Of course, rarely does it ever on the first go around. For any writer, I’m sure. But it still frustrates me when I can’t seem to get it right even after days of scooting words around the little blog post box. So instead of spending another week, two, more trying to mold this together, we are just going to dive in. Here we go!
Berlin to me is the following: New. Renewed. Complicated. Dynamic. Bright. Unexpected. Forthcoming. Bare. With all the development in the post-war years, there’s almost no wrong answer or impression. Everything is fluctuating and growing, while still remaining honest about the past.
During our second visit to Berlin we had the chance to cash in on our relative familiarity of the place and see more museums, wander more aimlessly, freeze more abundantly. Truly, totally frozen there in late November, it was like preparing for battle each time you walked out of the hotel lobby. Vest yourself of thy wooly garments and head once more unto the breach. Despite the need to enter a near-permanent state of thawing in the weeks following our trip, we felt more at ease and more in love with the city with each passing day we were there.
So here are some photos. You’ll notice a sort of Christmas, holiday theme thrown in with the group, which seems not at all fitting for March. But bear in mind that when we were there it was but weeks until Christmas. So feel free to take a moment to rocket backward in time to Christmas 2014 and crank a holiday tune or two while scrolling through these. The weather here in Colorado is currently quite suitable to such endeavors, so why not. Cocoa all around!
Above /// The Brandenburg Gate as seen well into the evening when most tourist type crowds have skedaddled along.
Above /// Magnets speaking to the history of Berlin. History that can still seem rather recent.
Below /// Dan holds on tight while trying to navigate us through the tunnels of mass transit. He did a great job.
Above /// A fantastic little cafe called Factory Girl! Exclamation point included by the cafe owners, but a totally warranted bit of punctuation. Delicious.
Below /// Established architecture and cranes building the way to new architecture.
Above & Below /// Christmas market! You drink hot mulled wine and listen to roving bands play polka (I actually don’t think they played polka, but it sounds fun). Then you eat delicious bratwursts and pick out ornaments.
Above /// Unter den Linden, one of the main boulevards of Berlin.
Despite the chilled air, I would highly recommend you go visit in the off-season months. First of all: Christmas markets. They are everywhere and spectacular. Secondly, we almost never dealt with big crowds of people jostling all around. Not on the subway, not in the museums, not at restaurants. The only crowd we found was at the Christmas market, but being packed in tight together meant conserving body heat, so it was still a win win.
We are extremely fond of Berlin, so go visit and let me know how much you love it too.