Sunday, 24 March 2013

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

Ryan Adams - Come Pick Me Up

On a whim, we booked tickets to come to Berlin for the weekend. The novelty of being able to go on a bus to any part of Europe I like had to be taken advantage of. On Friday we cycled with our heavy backpacks to the town centre. Leo's ticket was for Saturday, not Friday, because he's a silly goose, so we weren't sure if he'd be allowed on or if I'd be spending my first day alone.

Luckily the driver of the other bus let him on, so we were reunited on the ferry crossing from Denmark to Germany, and again once we arrived in Berlin. I was sitting beside a scary lady who scolded me for talking on the phone for two whole minutes, and then accused me of playing too-loud music. It was the radio on the bus. Talk about difficult.

Goodbye Denmark

There was a literal snow storm all the way to Berlin. I saw three baby deer and some storks, and I didn't see much else. There was about 20cm of snow in all the fields and I awoke from my nap to find thick snow banging against the windows of the bus on the motorway. Scary stuff, but I really love snow so I was delighted.

One of my favourite things about Berlin so far is that I found out  that they are fans of the concept of Kaffee und Kuchen much as the Swedes are of Fika and the Danes are of, well, I don't think they have a name for it but they go to cafes constantly and play board games. All these lovely ideas are centred on the concept of gemütlichkeit (German), gemytlig (Swedish), or hygge (Danish). I know we don't have the same concept in the English speaking world, but if we just launched an educational programme to teach people that the feeling they're craving has a name and exists in these Germanic contests, I just think everyone would be a lot happier. It's out there, people, and it's gemütlichkeit!

I'm leaving to go back to Copenhagen tomorrow night (11pm bus, potentially terrible decision), and until then we're just taking it as easy as is humanely possible. I'm going back to Ireland for all of Easter and like the big saddo that I am I am going to miss Leo so much, so I really just want to keep him all to myself until I have to leave. That being said, he's been asleep for the past two hours :/

Our hostel is adorable, we have a pink and white room with a canopé(!).

Berlin itself has been somewhat difficul to negotiate in the snow. It's so so cold that you really just want to stay inside, but we've mixed museum hopping with occasional coffee drinking outdoors and lots and lots of walking around. The S and U Bahn look so lovely and old fashioned, and the architecture is so interesting. We've visited a lot of museums; Bauhaus, a musical instrument museum, Topography of Terror museum, we've been to Checkpoint Charlie and the usual famous sites of Berlin, and last night we made a U Bahn tour of  the trendy going-out areas, then came home to the safety of our warm room for tea and book-reading. Because we are that cool.

Here are some pictures of the trip:

(It's a carpenter's bench!)

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