Sunday, April 24, 2011

Berlin :: Week Five

I can't believe that we're into our sixth week in Berlin. I'm so happy to be here and while the prospect of going home has it's comforts and has my favourite people, the reality is setting in that I don't really want to go home.

Week five was an awesome one. The weather here has been unrelentingly beautiful with cloudless blue skies and above 20 degrees every day! (Sorry to rub it in Canada, I hear it's not so nice there.) AND Michael and Patrick arrived! I miss them so much since they moved to Halifax and so it was a pretty amazing thing to be able to spend a full week with them. And we didn't waste any time embarking on a week of Culture & Cocktails. And I made some more fans of Berliner Weisse in them too. (The consensus in Germany is that it's a trashy drink but whatever, it's tasty.) And we discovered a whole bunch of new things, like the Prater biergarten, which is apparently Berlin's oldest beer garden, and is awesome. And so we became regulars.

I'm happy to say that the we were on a winning streak with the food this week. We took the boys to the best places we've been so far, and found a few new ones, including -- oh mon dieu -- the Schnitzelei. Dear Lord. We had what I would consider one of the best meals I've had. As you might guess from the name, it's a German/Austrian restaurant and it's ridiculously good. And I ate like a German and tried beef (a roulade stuff with pickles!!) for the first time in like 10 years. And I sampled the schnitzel which was bonkers good. Think warm potato salad, red cabbage with bacon, bacon-wrapped plums, sauerkraut, potato dumplings, trout mousse... dang. Amazing meal. And at Berlin prices!

We took in lots and lots of culture this week. We went to the Jewish Museum which was designed by Daniel Libeskind and is called 'Between the lines'... basically the building is made of two juxtaposing lines that intersect to create voids, which represent the voids in jewish history because so much of their culture was destroyed (there is a lot more to it than that, but that's a snapshot). A pretty amazing building and a bit of a heady experience... The building is designed with lots of angles -- angled walls, angled windows, angled glass displays and ceilings -- and the result is that you actually feel a bit physically disoriented. A pretty amazing building.

On Tuesday the boys went off to do some stuff we'd already done and Dave and I took this amazing bike path through new parts of the city... it was all new to us and it seemed like every corner we turned, there was something crazier than the last. Like, a lovely pond. Then a nude park. Then a picturesque little bridge and stream. Then a reserve for wild boars. Then a fairy tale-like little village of tiny little cottages in all colours, many of which had decorated their gardens with colourful easter eggs. Such a nice day!

And we had an Absinthe night. Absinthe is more common over here than at home, that's for sure. I don't know what the big deal is at home, it's like it's some illegal drug or something but truth be told, it's just a lovely drink that tastes like anise and is super fun to drink because you get to light an absinthe-soaked sugar cube on fire, and you get to dance with the green fairy. Absinthe aside, we had a suuuuper fun night.

A totally awesome week!!!

:::::::::::::: SEE MY BERLIN WEEK FIVE PICTURES HERE ::::::::::::::

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