“OK, Danke, danke, ciao”

You might be wondering about the title of this piece. Remember me saying last time what a diverse place is Berlin? This quote typifies my assertion. I overheard a woman on the phone taking a reservation in a restaurant tonight. Three languages in one sentence!

As I write this, it is Saturday evening (& now Sunday at the airport waiting to board) We have finished most of our packing and will be sad to say ciao to Berlin morgen nachmittag (tomorrow afternoon). We are looking at the Iceland leg with a lot of anticipation but I gotta tell you, Berlin ist wondervoll! We urge you all to visit here.

So, last I wrote, Matt was headed home. How’d he do, you ask? Well, his early morning flight from Berlin was delayed so long, he missed two connections outta Barcelona. Not a bad place to be stuck overnight. He kept sending food pics from there. He then flew to Chicago where his plane to San Francisco was canceled due to mechanical issues so another overnight stay. In all, 60 hours door to door. That does sound dreadful until you think back not so long. A couple days to cross the Atlantic and the USA ain’t so bad (but don’t tell him, now). We certainly appreciate his coming for a birthday surprise.

So with Matt gone we decided to drown our sorrows by doing another bike ride. This time our guide was Brett (pronounced with 2 Ts) from Anchorage. We, along with an international cast rode the train 30 minutes to Potsdam, picked up our bikes and rode around this cute and oh historic city. Not only was the division of Germany decided here by Churchill (then Atlee), Truman & Stalin (no French representative) but the conference where the nazis came up with the final solution was held in Potsdam (a different Schloss though).

The pic of Nancy on the bike has the famous Bridge of Spies in the background.

it really is a very nice small city. Lots of Berliners retire here. We rode all over, stopped for lunch in another bier garten (I could get used to this!), rode some more and trained back. (When you come to Berlin, we cannot recommend Fat Tire tours any higher – they do great work and take you to bier gartens!).

Back to BRŁO for dinner and a coldy

On Wednesday we bought the 3 day museum pass. This covers @35 places in the city and costs 29E. The admissions we would have paid at the 8 we visited would have been about 90e so it was a great deal.

There is a group of 5 museums on the appropriately named Museum Island. This passel includes the Pergamon and the Altes, homes respectively to the Ishtar Gate and the Nefertiti bust.

The Bode museum is reckoned to have 3 Caravaggios but don’t be fooled. After searching for an hour or so, it turns out they were moved to another joint across town. Schiezzer!

The Technical Museum is quite the place. All sorts of industries and technologies are represented. The biggest exhibits are the choo choos

And the aerospace- including s Berlin Airlift Gooneybird taking off from the roof.

They have a flight simulator donated by Boeing and I was able to get in the left seat for a flight out of and into Innsbruck airport in a twin engine Beechcraft. It was actually pretty intense and I was sweating after. I only slightly crashed upon landing!

Next was the Jewish museum which was more a memorial than a place of exhibitions. There is one though to share. These are thousands of disks (10,000) made of steel. Each is unique in the face. Different thicknesses as well. You are invited to walk on them to make them ‘scream ‘ – quite effective.

we even went to the Espionage Museum- what better place to have it then Berlin? I’m even reading John Le Carrè’s memoir of his days w MI6 right now.

Some other thoughts about Berlin- it is a very clean city. Not much litter at all. People wait for the crosswalk signs – ALL the time. No horn honking. The weather was perfect the whole time but a lot of pollen this week. I went through a whole box of tissues. Bikes are everywhere but so is cigarette smoking. You want to sit outside and figure wind direction to stay outta the slipstream. All the young kids smoke. When will they learn?

The food is great. We found an Italian place last night (diversity) and had a great German/Italian waiter named Antonio who used to dance w Nureyev! He brought us biscotti and limoncello just like in Italy.

We had dinner twice in a row at KaDeWe- 1st time Nancy had Thai but I had Boullabaisse and the counters are across the store from each other so my chef led the way to Nancy with my dinner!

Burgers made by bergers the new night

When you come here, DO NOT rent a car!!! The public transit is better than I have seen anywhere. A comprehensive combination of long, medium and short distance trains, trams, buses make this city a joy to get around. Also, very walkable. We never took a cab, uber or any other car type ride. Getting to the airport was one stop on the U2 (a 10 minute walk from the apartment), and then a 15 minute express bus ride right to the terminal. We bought a week pass for the train for about 30e and that was it. Covered all public transit.

If you like chocolate (& other than my nephew, Jack, who doesn’t?), this is your city. At least 4 high end gourmet schokolate hauses are here. Custom make your own Ritter Sport bar, have a custom made chocolate covered cream bar at Neuhaus or amazing hot chocolate at Rausch.

Great Turkish food too.

Don’t get me started on the bier! We were hear 4 years ago and do not remember any craft breweries

They even have baseball!

We are boarding the plane to Reykjavík now so I shall close here.

Until next time, OK, Danke, danke, ciao.

Nancy and Chris

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