Thursday, December 30, 2010

Berlin Up To Date

It's been tough trying to stay up to date in a snowstorm of activity.  I feel like we've packed a month into the last 5 and a half days.  For the last 3 hours we've been home; Skyping with Greg, downloading pictures, drinking Franziskaner Weissbier, Vanessa's dad made roast pork, sauerkraut and spatzle but no one's eaten yet.
BTW - You're going to use Google a lot so open another browser window.

Yesterday we drove to Berlin to fit another 4 days into 1.  The hotel threw a fit when I showed up with 3 women after booking 1 room with 2 beds.  (We brought Vanessa and her girlfirend Anne with us).  For a nominal fee (and I really mean nominal) we were upgraded to the Executive duplex with a view of the Gendarmenmarkt. 

Another shitty view.

And another of the German cathedral.  There's a French counterpart on the other side of the market.

We met up with Makeda, her brother and her cousin John at the hotel.  Makeda's dad works in the Bundestag (German Parliment).  They showed up loaded down with gifts of local beer (Kolsch), stollen and candies.

We walked all over Berlin under the guidance of Makeda's capable younger brother.  Again, trying to fit a week into a day.

The Brandenburg gate as they were setting up for Silvester, which is bigger than Times Square for New Years.

The Reichstag where the boys peeled off to go home, etc.

The holocaust memorial.

Huge Christmas market at the Gendarmenmarkt.

The girls in line at the Rostbratwurst stand.  Waiting for bratwurst and gluwein at -11 degrees (celsius).

I knew when I took this picture that Anne would regret it.  Such a good sport though.

Hofbrauhaus for some dinner with Makeda, Gena, Vanessa and Anne.

Makeda, Gena and I waiting for our schnitzel, spatzle, weisswurst, and huhn mit pomme frites.

Anne using her iPhone to translate stupid English words to German.

After dinner we went back to the hotel to exercise our "executive privileges" and wait for Paul.  Paul, Tim, Katarina were in Detroit with Jose (German 2.1).

Relaxing for a bit until we meet up with Paul.

Medium walk though downtown and subway ride (where we didn't bother to buy tickets because the machine wouldn't take coins or bills).  Met up with Paul on the platform (brothers don't shake hands, brothers hug!).  And, another shorter walk to a local bar for a "pint"!
After this we quit taking pictures.  Needless to say we went to another bar, scared locals off of the pool table...  Took a bus back to the hotel and dropped Makeda off.
We ordered room service, drank the beer from Cologne and stayed up until 4:30.  Wunderful!

Tomorrow, San Souci!