Hallo from scenic Berlin! We have only been here for twenty-eight hours, and already I've had more beers than I can count (in metric, at least). It's almost one a.m. here and I am too tired to upload photos, but hopefully I will post some tomorrow.
Jeff and Kerry are here with me to help me recount some of our greatest hits of the first day and a half.
First off, Kerry had a copy of German In Touch waiting for me in our room, which shows Pamela Anderson's misshapen nipple on the cover. Is Europe great, or what?
Our first afternoon was spent along the Landwehrkanal, which runs through Kreuzberg, Kerry's neighborhood. I accidentally used a men's bathroom and Jeff intentionally used a shrub as a mensroom. There is no open container law in Germany, hence all of the peeing.
After several liters of beer, we climbed up to Kerry's roof deck, which she had never before visited, and looked out over a beautiful view of the skyline. Then we took a walk to the Oberbaumbrücke, a fancy castle-looking bridge ("It's Romanesque." —Jeff) that leads to the former East. When we finally got home, we instantly fell asleep.
This morning we visited a Turkish market near Kerry's apartment and then took a double-decker bus to Anhalter Bahnhof, the facade of a former train station. Then we walked to Potsdamer Platz, home to the Sony Center and "The Topography of Terror," a super depressing outdoor exhibit on the Gestapo. The fun continued with a tour of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (yes, the official name), followed by snacks at Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate).
We took a quick detour through Tiergarten, sort of like Berlin's Central Park, and then walked to the Siegessäule (the Victory Column), which costs only 2.50 Euro to climb 285 stairs (that works out to less than 1 cent per stair -- what a bargain!). The view from the top was great, but even better was the jumping photo that Jeff took of me and Kerry at the base of the column.
It was 6 or so by that point, which is like tea time in Germany but for beer instead of tea. We hit a Biergarten by the Spree River for refreshments.
As the sun began to set, we lined up outside the Reichstag, which is the German Parliament building and also home to a big glass dome that offers 360-degree views of the city. By that time we were pretty tired, so we hopped on the S-Bahn to Alexanderplatz, where we caught the U-Bahn to Moritzplatz. We had dinner at Max und Moritz, a very traditional Berliner restaurant. I had delicious goulash and Jeff had something roughly translated as "the Widow's Slaughter Platter," which involved three kinds of pork, sauerkraut, and potato.
We finally came home and Skyped with our friend Arcelie, her husband Evan, and their 11-day old baby. Then (now) I blogged (am blogging) but I had to (have to) stop because I needed to (need to) sleep right away (right now).
LG (Liebe Grüße, which Kerry says means XO) Una (and Jeff and Kerry)