You know that week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, when lots of people just hang out at home, relax and try to recover from eating all that holiday food? Yeah, well, Joe and I decided to continue eating too much, but in Germany instead.
Joe had been to Berlin once before, in 2009 with his good friend Carl to see Rammstein perform. That trip was what made him realize traveling abroad was accessible for him in a way it isn’t for everyone. It’s the trip that inspired him to travel more, and among the reasons we were motivated to visit Sweden and reconnect with my family in 2011. But that trip was also a thorn in my side: The one place Joe had seen that I hadn’t. I was, yeah, a little jealous. So, we made it the first stop on our list of places to see outside of Sweden.
We were in Berlin for less than a week, but we made the most of our few days. We hit up the usual spots: the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, Checkpoint Charlie, and we also met up with a wicked talented writerly friend of mine, Krystin Arneson, who tipped us off to the best döner kebab in the city: Mustafa’s (I’m telling y’all: life-changing).
The Topography of Terror museum located on the former SS headquarters was a sobering experience, particularly in light of the current U.S. political climate. For those who can’t travel to Berlin, I highly recommend browsing the exhibitions online or purchasing the accompanying publications.
As usual the most fulfilling time was spent walking around the city, dropping into random cafés and just keeping our eyes open.
To that end, I spent most of the trip without a camera in tow, trying to be more present in the moment. So, these photos represent only one day spent exploring Berlin, but I’ll also embed some Instagram photos below for more. (Click to enlarge to slideshow.)