Thursday, September 06, 2012
The vacation itself began with some 12 hours of flying (Toronto to Brussels to Berlin), then a quick bus ride to the train station for a 2 hour train ride to Hanover to meet Michelle, Mary Jean's friend. It was then another 2 hour train to Oldenburg, where Michelle was studying. Add in all the wait times plus the bus/subway ride to Pearson and you have a pretty full day of traveling!
Seehundstation Nationalpark-Haus, or seal sanctuary! Those guys are super cute, I must say. Their resemblance to canine puppies, with the same playfulness, the same bright-eyed stare, is delightful.
Michelle housed us in her student residence, invoking memories of my university years, were that I could remember it all. I was delighted by the ubiquity of the bicycle in Germany -- while perhaps not as dominant as in Denmark, bicyclists do enjoy their own separated lane and lights, and it was a joy to experience. It was thus that Mary Jean and I got to experience Berlin, with all its museums and galleries and parks and historic buildings and confusing roadsigns -- renting a bicycle is definitely the way to go.
local pilsners tasty, perfectly capable of quenching a day of exploring.
Aeon Flux come to mind, inappropriate as that may be.
How can I describe Berlin? Beautiful, soaked in history, some of it remodelled, or even, as the construction we encountered can testify, remade. Clean, but with broken bottles on its cobblestones and boarded up buildings a common occurrence. To be clear, we spent our Berlin time entirely in its downtown area, our lodging a half hour ride from the core, so perhaps a second visit would reveal differently. We lucked out with weather, in any case, so it definitely felt like a summer holiday.
Would I go back? Perhaps, in time -- I understand that we only just scratched Berlin's surface. But at the same time, there are so many other surfaces to see.
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