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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Berlin


We recently went to Berlin. We saw so much in two days, it was unbelievable. We stayed at a pension (cross between a hotel and a hostel) just off of Ku'dam Street, which is a really nice shopping district. Ya know, those stores like Gucci and Prada where I don't even feel worthy enough to walk in. Also, we booked a room with a shared bathroom. Since we were the only ones in the hotel with a shared bathroom and it was right next to our room, it wasn't much different, and we saved 40 Euro!

The owner was really nice too. Just to give you an idea of my humor and German frankness:

Hotel owner at check in, looking at my wedding ring: Wow, that's a big ring. You must be rich.
Me: Naw, it's small, it just has a tall setting...see, it's an illusion.
Hotel owner: Ah, ok.
Me: Plus, if I was rich, would I really be staying at a hotel like this?
Hotel owner, unphased: Haha, this is true.

We took a ton of pictures, especially at the Charlottenburg Palace, because you had to pay 3 Euros to take photos. I wasn't too keen on the idea, but it was something Craig really wanted to see and remember. I made sure to get my money's worth!

 Topography of Terror. Ruins of Gestapo Headquarters with Berlin Wall above.

 Eating my first Currywurst. Overrated. 

 Berliner Dom

Gardens behind Schloss Charlottenburg

More photos here, including my husband's commentary. 

Also, if you're planning a trip to Berlin, I highly suggest the DDR (GDR) Museum. It was a hands-on exhibit showing life and history of East Berlin. My husband and I were quite young when the wall came down, so it's hard to really grasp that part of history, but this museum was better than any book or TV special. It was a great museum, but unfortunately I could not find a David Hasselhof keyboard scarf at the gift shop.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Memorial March Re-cap

After one evening without electricity and then two days without internet, I'm back to give a little rundown of the 24 km hike through the Ardennes Forest honoring the 82nd Airborne. I took a bunch of photos. Here's some of the highlights. 


What in this photo doesn't belong? You may notice there's about 60 years different between the uniforms on the right and the one of the left. The day was filled with old and new.


And mud, lots of rain and mud. Note to self, don't wear long pants next time. And yes, there will be a next time. Apparently I'm a glutton for punishment.


A local lady shaking hands with a current US solider. She showed him what she had in her bag- perhaps offering a gift? The Belgium people seemed so generous. After the walk, I saw a guy eating a waffle and I gave a weird look and a chuckle because I thought, "haha, what a stereotype... a Belgium walking around eating a Belgium waffle." He saw me look at him funny and he offered his waffles to me and the two people I was with. And it was SO good! I should give funny looks to people more often I guess. 




I know what you're thinking, door shots are so trite. But whatevs... I thought this house was way too cute. Most of the houses in the Bastogne area were made of stone, both old and new.

My favorite moments were when a current German solider started randomly singing "The Bear Necessities" from The Jungle Book, which I tried to get on video. Also a British re-enacter asked my friend (rather suggestively) to feel his mortar, and she replied, "Oh my gosh!" because it was so heavy. The British group, being dressed in US solider reenactment uniforms, were giving orders with accents, complete with British-isms like "Cheerio" and "Rubbish."

If you're interested, there's several of these sorts of hikes throughout the year. I know there's a march in December honoring the 101st Airborne, but the length is much shorter. I think you can choose between a 6 km and a longer one. There's also one in the summer that 120 km- that's 40 km in three days. I won't be doing that one.