Trip Start Mar 16, 2011
Trip End Mar 16, 2012

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Where I stayed
Wall Street
What I did
Elliots first flight and boat

Flag of Germany  , Berlin,
Saturday, August 6, 2011

Arriving on Tuesday afternoon. Me from Sicily and Belinda from Geneva -  flying Swiss via Zurich and having Elliot sleep super well on both flights.  It was a gorgeous day, so we went to the hotel and headed out for our first night in Berlin. We went out to the Oranianburg str in the Mitte and had beautiful Italian meal in a courtyard.  There really are never ending restaurants in the city.

Berlin can be summarised as poor but cool.  Its such a different mentality to Southern Germany and Swissieland - much grungier.  It is the perfect place for companies to set up, cheap, lots of talent, lots of accommodation and the capital of the 3rd largest economy in the world!! Yet courtesy of the red/red government (ex-communists and socialist party) they are very non-biz friendly.
In the morning we got out earliesh (around 11am) and had breakfast near the hotel in a cute area close to the Berlin library.  Discovered that wasps are a big issue!! Cruising around, we spent ages at the Humbolt temporary exhibit. A cool temporary housing of the Berlin library with lots of cool stuff about the future of libraries and all sorts of random ideas. We then walked down to Brandenburg gate, then the Jewish memorial and back slowly through the Mitte area. In the afternoon we and ended up buying lots of shoes and a few funky bags and then in the evening we had great steaks in a Spanish restaurant at Hackeschermarkt.With the Swiss Pound close to the Euro Lira - things are super cheap at the moment.Each afternoon we went back to the hotel, washed Elliot and popped out around 9ish to eat. Elliot was super squeaky for a while but finally went to sleep. Afterwards we tried the tower but it wasnt possible to take a pram up there.

We then started later and later. The next day we went to the Prenzlauerberg -  a very cool part of Berlin. Lots of great restaurants - and wasps! They were renovating the street, so we moved on to the anatomy museum. It had lots of strange and wonderful humans of the past 150 years, some very sad things such as cyclops, foetus, mermaid syndrome and all sorts of bizarre things. That evening we went out to a fancy Italian place fairly close to the Kudamn. Then we walked along the Kudamn and loved the classic Berlin bears exhibit, trying to guess which bears were from which country. Such as different and more upmarket part of Berlin.

Friday we went to the Eastside gallery where parts of the wall are still standing.  Funky and edgy designs everywhere. Then chilled out at the "beach" nearby, a sand area with deck chairs facing onto the river. We then randomly took a boat tour through smaller canals and it was impressively chilled and lots of cool places. Elliot was squeaky - so some funny scenes of me walking him in the pram on the top deck.  Then we walked through the Tiergarten for sunset. The Berliners certainly like unkept gardens! Cool in my opinion that they leave things grow wild. In the evening we caught up with my cousin Emily and her boyfriend Niel and had a great catch up with them over dinner at a cool Indian restaurant on a barge near the hotel.

Sat went to the Jewish museum - a very respectful, insightful and well created museum with the plight of the German Jews in the past 1500 years. Afterwards we went to meet a Berlin friend of mine,  Evelina (and her friend Markus) in Charlottesville at a cute lake. Then by the U-Bahn (subway) the slow way through town to the northern part of Prenzlauerberg - and walked through a funky neighbourhood back towards the city. In the evening, we caught up with Em and Neil again and went out for a Vietnamese dinner and the beer festival.
Sunday was a travel day, Belinda took a super early cab to Tegel and I took a train out to Schoenfeld airport, the old airport of East Berlin - and it was really quite run down. They are building the new Berlin airport there, so Tegel closes and next time I am there, its a bit further to town!  Once in Geneva, I took a train to Basel, where the car was. Caught up with some mates and drove back to Lausanne to get home at 1am!
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