After my incredible Polska trip, I embarked on an adventure to Berlin this past weekend. The lovely Dinah (girlfriend of the captain of PC’s team) originally suggested that we go visit the city because:
a) It’s an awesome city that I, as a foreigner, have been dying to see
b) the boys were conveniently playing there on Sunday
c) Her brother has a pretty groovy apartment there with room for visitors
My short weekend here allowed me a small taste of Berlin, though I know that subsequent trips will be required to fully experience what the city has to offer. In lieu of a frantic “must see everything!” tour, Dinah and I just strolled along enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
This is how the memorial looks when you walk just a short distance into it. The pillars become taller, more imposing. More than 2,500 pillars of varying sizes cover the area. The ground undulates throughout the memorial, and in the small valleys, the city disappears and the shadows engulf you.
As we continued our stroll, we came upon the Reichstag where the Germans do their governing and such. This building of course has a controversial past. Hitler burned the thing down to usurp power, and Nazis made their last stand against the advancing Soviets at the close of WWII. Like most of Berlin, it was left in ruins at the close of the war. Now rebuilt, it received a fancy glass dome symbolizing the importance of transparency in government.
Along our stroll we passed Brandenburger Tor (see first picture), walked down beautiful Unter den Linden, skipped over to Alexanderplatz (hub of old East Berlin) and lunched in Hackescher Markt.
We met up with Carolin, one of the other team girlfriends, at lunch and continued walking. That night we had some amazing pizza, went to a cool locals only bar, and soaked up the burgeoning, youthful Berlin. It’s not entirely accurate, but the city has a very alternative, individual, trendy vibe that reminded me a great deal of California’s Bay Area. Continuing with this analogy, I would label Munich as a sort of Orange County area being that it’s more conservative, more wealth conscious and a little cleaner. At any rate, Berlin is a fascinating city, and we all left it quite contented especially after PC’s team pulled out an important and thumping victory on Sunday.
Monday was back to work and Valentine’s Day. My Valentine channeled his inner Bobby Flay and cooked up a delectable dinner for the two of us. The man is good with lamb chops MmmmMmmm.