Berlin wasn’t what either of us expected. As the capital city, we expected lots of tall buildings and little open space. It’s much more like DC.
No, really. It’s like DC. Berlin is as the official capital, but not the center of everything. It’s where the government is headquartered, but not the finance center (which is Frankfurt). There’s few tall buildings and lots of open areas, with some pavement but lots of green space in those areas. There’s tons of museums, including some of the best in the country. And it’s diverse like DC, in terms of age and cultures and ideas.
Not surprisingly, we went to lots of museums and ate lots of different cuisines while in Berlin. I did lots of knitting in parks. Matt took sunset photos. We learned even more than we already knew about the Berlin Wall and the DDR/GDR. We spent most of our time in former East Berlin because it’s where most of the museums are and home to some very hip neighborhoods, like the one we stayed in. We ate at a Michellin two-star restaurant with an Asian menu and a very well-priced, local Reisling. We toured the Bundestag (German parliament building) at night, which was really interesting (good tour guide) and beautiful (old and new architecture combined)..and I got bit by a spider in my sleep. Don’t worry, I won’t share a photo of that. I recovered through time, ice packs, Advil, and Benedryl.
Even though we spent five nights there, I feel like there’s still tons of the city to see. I’d really like to go back again.
[From the various museums]
[During our tour. You go all over the building, even onto the parliament’s viewing galleries. It’s lots of glass and very open, not at all like the US Capital.]
[I’ll pause between photos to explain – the original building, used as a palace for Peter the Great, I think it was, has a giant glass dome on top, that you can climb up via a one-way, double-helix ramp.]
[It was the first night of Oktoberfest and the Bavarians had set up their own tent outside of the Berlin train station. I convinced Matt to stop by for a few hours after our Bundestag tour.]
[Matt spent about an hour and a half taking photos here, amongst all of the other people doing the same. He was the only Canon guy in a sea of Nikons. I spent most of the time on a bench, knitting and people-watching.]
We really had a great time in Germany. The people are lovely, the food good, the beer excellent, and the museums all over.