It’s been a crazy couple of weeks! First of all, Craig’s sister spent a week with us, and then I headed north to Rostock for a few days. Craig joined me at the end of the week and we spent the weekend with our friend Anna and her family at their holiday home in Wustrow — and it was awesome! The weather was great, the company was excellent, and we had a great time.
We live pretty close to Tegel Airport, but Christina’s flight arrived at Schönefeld, right on the other side of the city. I hopped on the S-Bahn to collect her and we spent the rest of Monday relaxing.
On Tuesday we headed into the city after lunch and Craig and I showed Christina the main sights: the war memorials, the Brandenburger Tor, the Reichstag, the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and an ice-cream stand (it was a hot day). The next day Craig had to work but Christina and I visited the East Side Gallery and did a bit of shopping, and on Thursday we went to an atonal music concert at Kraftwerk in Kreutzberg. Craig had won tickets through Slow Travel Berlin, and although it wasn’t the kind of music we’d listen to every day, we all really enjoyed it — and the venue was perfect, great acoustics. Unfortunately just before we went in I discovered that I’d broken a tooth — not fun at all!
Craig managed to find a dentist for me that was open on Friday afternoons (which is surprisingly uncommon here) and my appointment went remarkably well. I needed three fillings, and although the first dentist didn’t have time to do them all, he negotiated with his colleague and she finished up for him. It was great, and not too expensive — sadly, since I wasn’t in extreme pain and fillings count as routine dental work, I can’t claim for it on insurance.
In the evening our friends Holger and Claudia came over for a few drinks and told us about their hiking trip in Lapland (it was a bit of an adventure, Claudia hurt her ankle and had to be helicoptered out).
On Saturday we joined a fantastic Eat the World tour of Kreutzberg, where we tried all sorts of tasty snacks while learning about the area. The icecream was particularly welcome, but I also enjoyed the borek and the döner kebab. On Sunday, Craig and Christina went to the Mauerpark flea market and then to the airport, and I caught a bus north to Rostock.
29 July–4 August:
My week up north was pretty uneventful, I explored the city and Warnemunde and spent time with Anna and her mum. Meanwhile, Craig worked unbelievable hours and barely left the house — good thing I’d stocked up on groceries for him! He caught the bus up on Friday afternoon and Anna and I met him at the bus station; we all hopped in Anna’s car and headed even further northwards.
Our weekend in Wustrow was fantastic, Anna and her family are so nice! It was good to be able to communicate a little more than we could when we spent Christmas with them back in 2007 — our German (while shocking) is much better than it was then, and Inga and Uwe’s English has improved a lot. And Anna’s brother Paul has just got back from a year in Canada, so his English was amazing!
On Saturday we all drove to Prerow and had a look at an outdoor comics gallery, then went to the beach for a swim and a picnic. On Sunday Anna, Craig and I played minigolf and watched people waterski on an artificial lake. We spent the evenings playing card games and chatting, and it was generally pleasant and relaxing — the perfect summer weekend away.