We’ve had lots of company in the last week.
First, we met up with a visitor from Australia, Gren. Gren is a policeman in Australia, and incidentally trained Paul’s brother Luke as he was coming up in the force. On a 7 week trip through Europe, he came to Berlin for a few days. Luckily we were able to meet for dinner and Christmas markets.
All of the markets are up and running here in Berlin, so we walked to the Weihnachtsmarkt at Schloss Charlottenburg for some glühwein with Scott and Angel.
At the enthusiastic suggestion of a friendly glühwein purveyor, Gren and I were persuaded to add a shot of some homemade obstler to our hot wine. You know you’re in for a treat when your shot is poured from a clear, unmarked bottle. Oh man, it was stiff.
It always fun hanging out with this lady. She and Scott have gotten some much deserved couples time while her mom is here hanging out with Logan.
Alejandro returned to Berlin.
And we went to the Christmas markets again!
Alejandro and I were able to cram in a fair amount of sightseeing in his last few days of Europe. On a rainy Thursday, Alejandro and I braved the Luftwaffe museum. Much of the museum’s collection of aircraft sit outside the hangars, and while we had the place to ourselves, the chilly weather prevented us from making a full inspection of the planes. Additionally, a shortage of English translations for the exhibits made things challenging. However, ultimately, we got to check out a whole bunch of cool lookin’ planes (and an enigma machine which I got super pumped about).
We cruised to Potsdam, had some lunch, stopped in to the creepy yet powerful Haus der Wannsee Konferenz, almost died as I drove us down a one way street, and eventually returned safely to Horstweg.
On Friday, the temperature dropped a little more, so we opted for more of an indoor Berlin experience. We stopped in to the famous Pergamon museum.
This is the first thing you see in the place.
Yeah that’s a gigantic piece of an altar built in the 2nd century BC in Turkey.
In a zealous attempt to establish itself as a nation state equal to that of France or Britain, the German empire embarked on some serious archaeological excavation in the first two decades of the 20th century. They missed out on getting colonies in the 19th century, so the Germans really had to up their cultural cred. Upon uncovering some architectural treasures, the germans shipped the monuments over to Berlin, which explains (well, sorta) how a massive altar from Asia Minor comes to dominate a museum over in Germany.
Or this incredible market gate from 2nd century AD Turkey.
Or the Babylonian Ishtar Gate. Seriously, how beautiful are those blue tiles?
Much of the museum was damaged during WWII, and subsequent Soviet involvement led to the transfer of many museum artifacts to the USSR, and other cities in Germany. However, after much restoration the museum has been spruced up, and its collections returned.
Saturday, was a trip to Hohenschönhausen prison, a BR volleys match, and a night out before Alejandro’s departure to the airport at 4:15 AM. Not a moment wasted. Hope the flight wasn’t too brutal, Alex!
On Saturday, we had our first true snow of the season! I’m thrilled about snow for the holidays, but less than enthused about its effect on the temperature of my feet for the next several months. Oh well, I’ll just have more glühwein 🙂
Happy Holiday Season!