Tuesday, August 25, 2015


We have arrived in BERLIN!!!!  And as you can see, excitement is in the air.  Time to do some exploring!!!

Nikolaiviertel, or in other words, Nikolai Quarter.  This is the oldest residential area of Berlin, and thus (at least in my opinion) the most charming.  At least of what we saw.  You can see for yourself in the photo above and a bunch of the following photos.

We wandered this area for a couple hours, also stopping for lunch in between.

So all of the prior photos were the Nikolai Quarter.  Gorgeous, ornate, incredibly sweet and inviting, isn't it?  I absolutely loved this area.  And now time for lunch :-D

The cafe where we enjoyed a peaceful lunch break.

She is super thrilled to be here ;-) can you tell?

Much to my delight, excitement and surprise, we stumbled upon a cupcake shop!!!  Now, I must preface this with saying that cupcakes are a rare commodity over here in Germany.  This is a huge bummer for me, as I think cupcakes are the bomb.  Secondly, the few cupcakes I have had the pleasure of happening upon over here have been sadly dry, lacking in moist, flavorful texture and richness.  These cupcakes were shockingly delicious and moist.  AND, the icing on the cake (pun intended ;-p), they were MINI size!!!!!

Look at how TINY these cupcakes are!!!  How fun is that!?

The oldest church in Berlin.

Annnnnnd, bicycle tour time!!!  We signed up for the daytime tour with Fat Bike Tours.  This was a 4-hour tour ALL over the city.  So much fun!!!  We stopped at a beer garden housed within the Tiergarden for about a 1.5 hour break as part of the tour, during which Judith and I laughed, chatted and enjoyed drinks with two hilarious English guys and an...interesting Australian ha-ha.  

This bike tour took us ALL over Berlin.  We saw the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, we cycled through the Tiergarden (during which the entire time I was thinking of the gripping and fascinating book I read a while back, In The Garden of Beasts by Eric Larson), we saw the Foundation Memorial to Murdered Jews, we saw Hitlers bunker, etc.  

This was just an incredibly fun tour.  Lots of history, lots of cycling around, lots of laughs (especially when I fell off my bike, crashing to the ground on top of it.  This ironically coincided with being shortly after we left the beer garden...though I think the timing was actually quite coincidental for a reason ;-p.  But nonetheless, this garnered me lots of laughs so I guess it was alright).

See our group, everyone on their bikes clustered together??  I LOVED this square by the way.

The Berlin Wall (still original).

The Foundation Memorial for Murdered Jews. 

My sole snapshot of the Tiergarden.  This garden was HUGE.  We cycled through it for a good 20 minutes.  It seemed to just go on and on.  Overall, the park held a feeling of darkness...intrigue...slight danger...and mystery to it, at least for me.  Though I suspect this is because I associate it with the book, In The Garden of Beasts by Eric Larson (which I highly recommend, by the way.  AWESOME book that takes place in Berlin during World War 2).

Brunch on Sunday.  We ate while sitting in a Hollywood Swing!!!!  How cool is that?

The inside of the cafe...awesome looking, huh??  I would have loved to have been able to go here twice, so I could sit outside once in the Hollywood Swing, and then sit inside within this way cool stacked seating.

Berlin was SUCH a cool city.  I absolutely loved it.  The second we entered the city, I loved the energy I felt. The city feels...trendy, intriguing, busy, exciting, interesting, happening.  There is a buzzing energy and sense of anticipation to Berlin.  

I will most certainly be going back sometime in the near future for a bit longer next time (at least 2 full days and 2 nights). I highly recommend visiting this city, and can absolutely see why its always at the top of "must see" cities in Germany.

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