Monthly Archives: September 2016


“A home without books is a body without a soul” (Marcus Tullius Cicero) 

Well what a week. The accumulation of things that have happened is quite truly staggering and in their own way a little bit crazy. In hindsight to get off a plane at 6.00am in the morning, to then pick up a moving van a couple of hours later, then for Claire to have an interview on the way to make our first drop off the same morning was probably a bit wildly optimistic. However, amazingly we managed it. And with very good results, our two houses were moved in 2 days with us finishing at 12.30am on Thursday morning after 6 exhaustive trips across the city. We cancelled the removalists we had booked just in case and fell into bed for one of the soundest sleeps ever. To think we both went back to work on Thursday morning too.

 Thankfully we thought to hire a stair trolley to help with this effort. We certainly wouldn’t have been able to move fridges and washing machines without it. I look at my arms today and can see the bruising from all the lifting but surprisingly I don’t really ache that much from it.

 I enjoyed driving quite a big van across the city and I liked the fact that people tended to move out of the way of it. Although this could just be a reaction to my driving which although I think is relatively good, might not be an opinion that is shared by everyone.

 I have to say it’s nice being back in the inner north of the city. Kensington is a beautiful suburb only a couple of stops from Southern Cross and an easy ten minute cycle into North Melbourne. It’s a part of the city I’m very familiar with and a part where I find the people are very easy to get on with. After our late night moving antics we decided it might be a nice thought to buy some chocolates for our next door neighbours and leave them in their letterboxes. The next day, one of them popped round to thank us and brought us some herbs from her garden, a nice thought. The other one we ran into later, who I’d met briefly when I was moving. She introduced her husband to us and let us know that she hadn’t heard a thing but we were always welcome to put chocolates in her letterbox!

 Another nice thing happened to, as I was unpacking the van on one of the loads. A woman walked past me down the street and asked if I was just moving in. I answered ‘yes’ and she said she lived round the corner and welcomed me to the neighbourhood. Their certainly seems like a nice community in the area we’ve moved to and the street seems full of residents who’ve been there quite a while.

 It’s also nice to actually have a house. I’ve lived in my fair share of apartments and units over the years and finally I have quite a bit of room, which is in fact, unusual in the inner city. The giant shed will certainly come in use for the relaunch of my home brewing operations which has taken a back seat so far this year. This beautiful three bedroom weatherboard although may not have been my first choice when we were looking but has felt like home from the moment I stepped into it. With its nice high ceilings, ornate cornices, fireplaces and modern renovated kitchen and bathroom it’s been a treat to fill it with our possessions. Home though of course isn’t necessarily about the building or the location it’s also about the person who fills that space with you and I’m very thankful for Claire’s willingness to relocate to the north of the city from her base in the south.

 We’ve had a few teething problems with things like an internet connection (when doesn’t this happen?). However we are close to sorting these out and of course now we’re into the exciting stuff, making new purchases to fill the house, re-joining my previous gym at Arden Street and getting to know our new area better.

 Although we still have a bit of work to do it’s nice to start the new week in our new home, to dream of all the exciting times to be had there, the warmth, the laughter and everything else we can bring to it.

 Oh and we do have a lot of books.


Day 8 – Farewell Berlin, hello Kensington


Well our last day in Berlin. A 3/4 day at least. We had struggled the day before with trying to get into the Pergamon and after some thought between the three of us that morning we decided we might be wasting our time. Instead we decided to head to the Hanburger Bahndorf which is the home of the contemporary art museum. 

Before that though I had to go grab my last German coffee of our week long stay in the German capital. Our usual coffee shop, strangely called Lunch Time was closed. Being Sunday in Berlin poses all kinds of problems. The largest being very few shops are open. I found one a few hundred metres away called the Einstein cafe and as per the rest of Berlin, the assistant spoke fairly good English. This fact has surprised me all week, we never truly experienced any language difficulties at all. Through either pointing or speaking English everyone understood. It certainly makes for a good travel experience.

Three coffees delivered home and we were ready leave our abode and head out. Our first job was to drop off our bags at the local train station which has retained it giant lockers for travellers from a bygone era. Whether it was cheap or not 6 euros not to have to carry our suitcases around all day. In fact to say just the lockers were left over from a bygone era is probably wrong, the whole train station seems to be. But it has a charm in itself. 
To digress for just a second, when we came back later for our bags the supermarket there has a policy of only letting so many people in at once on a Sunday, I guess because of staffing. But it’s strange to see a security guard outside waving people in and out.
Our trip out to the contemporary art gallery was a nice walk along mainly the back streets of Berlin and we arrived at a very impressive building to be met with a medium queue. For all the stereotypes of German efficiency, this wasn’t very efficient with only one person serving a growing queue of people. 

The gallery itself was nice although we just popped in to a special exhibit by a Turkish artist depicting her time in Turkey, her repression and images of everyday life. I enjoyed it. 
With the third member of our party having to leave a few hours before us we headed to a cafe she’d been recommended called Mogg. Mogg was run by a couple of Americans and supposedly has one of the best Reuben sandwiches in Berlin. For those that don’t know a Reuben sandwich had layers and layers of Pastrami. I myself was starting to go easy on myself for the flight and had a pulled pork one instead but very delicious. I as I have everywhere had a beer in my attempt to find new ones. I reckon I’ve tried a new beer every time we’ve gone out which is pretty easy to do when your in a foreign country. 

Lunch over we headed to the train station to say farewell and then decided on our next course of action.

I knew how much Claire had wanted to see the Pergamon so I suggested that maybe we have a look at the queue and if it was good whiz round it in an hour. To our surprise there was no queue and we took the opportunity to have a quick look round. And we were glad we did. The museum, a bit like the Neues museum had built rooms to replicate ancient structures. In this one they had replicated the Ishtar gate and a gate from Ancient Greece. Both amazingly ornate and the Ishtar one in particular had such vivid colours it was a very good way on imagining what it might have been like. 

After our visit, we raced back to the railway station and caught a train/bus combo out to Tegel airport for our departing flight home. Me being the conservative I am at times pushed to make sure we got there early and of course we got there mega early. It highlights a bit of a difference in style between us and I think Claire would have liked to get there a little later.
Tegel like the railway station is another building that is quite outdated with tiny check in areas and security checks. It’s nice to know they are working on a new airport soon. The trip to Abu Dhabi was surprisingly quick but it definitely helped having a travel partner with me this time to entertain me.

Our three hours went relatively quick and then we hopped onto our next plane to Melbourne, knowing what laid in store. Moving to a new suburb on the day we returned. 


Day 7 – It’s all Egyptian


This morning after a very Australian breakfast in one of the local cafes, eggs, sausages and beans, we decided to all split up and do our own thing for the morning after a brief stop to drop the bikes off. Having seen a big sports store close to the drop off point and having wanted to look for a few days I took this as my opportunity to finally go in. I can’t decide whether I was disappointed or not. I came out with three items so irregardless it did serve a purpose. All very humdrum and not really worth mentioning what.

Afterwards I decided to do a bit of tourist shopping and a bit of research around where to put our bags tomorrow. It turned into a four hour walk. But it was fun, searching for a magnet of the victory tower for a mate, buying a present for Claire and generally trying to capture a few good shots of the city.

I stopped for a beer in one of the bars on the river. Asking for a radler because that was the only beer they had that I hadn’t had. Amazing eh? I’m starting to find German bars that I’ve now drunk all the beer at. The beer I ordered was a Radler, so whilst sitting there I did a bit of research and learnt that a Radler means cyclist in Germany, is a mix of lemonade and beer and was considered a refreshment for cyclists. I didn’t cycle but I thought I deserved one anyway.

After a short pop back to our apartment, we then left for the Pergamon museum. Unfortunately the queue was two hours long. However it’s on Museum Island with a range of other museums so we went to the Neues Museum instead. This museum holds a large amount of Egyptian Art, which took up over half of the museum. It was very eye opening but after a while it all seemed to fade into one. Claire and I had split up early on in the musuem like we do usually but I got to the point where I just wanted to find her. Her enthusiasm is a real pleasure to be around when looking round galleries and museums and she soon energised me to keep looking. It’s very much something we’ve done to feed off each other’s passions. Of particular note was Nefertiti’s bust and the Golden Hat which recorded the lunar eclipses.

One thing I did enjoy was the two courtyards they had there representing an Egyptian and Greek courtyard. It was nice to feel almost like stepping back in time and was the first museum I’ve ever been to that has done anything like this.

Afterwards we drifted out for dinner at Atame Tapas (another recommendation) and enjoyed a delightful meal for the three of us. A brief stop on the way back for another drink and that was our final night in Berlin.


Day 6 – The Monkey Enclosure

Today started with something free which is unusual in this world. I went to our soon to be not local coffee shop. Translated our order into hand signals and gestures and the woman told me that my coffee was free today. Isn’t that nice. A very nice way to start the day especially with the Milka chocolate muffin that I enjoyed with it.

Today we hired bicycles and thought we’d get to a few sights which were slightly out of our walking reach. The bicycles were initially hard to get used to with their curved back wide handlebars. There is one other main consideration as well, people in Germany drive on the right and not on the left so you have to recondition your brain to work the opposite from what’s its used to. Thankfully the majority of our trips were on bike paths and we probably only hit the main roads for maybe 10-15 minutes out of a couple of hours of cycling.

 Our first stop was the East Side Gallery. A section of the wall where artists have painted. The stretch may have been a kilometre long with the back end of the wall showing photographs from Syria and the effect of the war there. The art was nice and there were lots of people looking. At the end we found the Pirate bay and stopped for some light refreshments and an ice cream.

Our cycle from there was into the Tiergarten. A giant park in the west of the city. We cycled up and down the tree covered avenues whilst cycling one handed, trying to take pictures of each other. We had a tip the Monkey Bar was good so headed over there for our afternoon sojourn. The bar was on the roof of a hotel. The bar itself was packed but we noticed a restaurant next door, Neni. The view was the same (over the monkey enclosure at the zoo) and we pretty much had the best meal we’ve had in Berlin. The cuisine was Middle eastern mixed with German. A few beers later and we cycled back to our place to refresh before our evening adventure. On the way we cycled under the Brandenburg gate, which was quite impressive in itself. 

The evening we spent at the Berlin Philharmonic. Research told us it was one of the best orchestras in the world so the thinking was, in case we don’t return again it was too good of an opportunity to miss. The concert we watched was John Adams conducting John Adams. To give a bit of background, John Adams is an American composer who most famously probably wrote the theme for Game of Thrones. The concert was a couple of pieces (no GoT though). We didn’t think to pick up a programme on the way in but decided to pick up one at the break in English to understand why he’d written the pieces and what they were about. The difference for me between the first and second half were stark.

I often think that art is very individual. Take looking at a painting, for some people it talks to them in one way and for others completely another. I think the more open to interpretation a piece is, the more it speaks to an individual. Back to the concert, the first half not understanding what the music was about and the motivation, I really enjoyed. The second half supposedly composed after going to a gallery in France and reading ‘Arabian Nights’ not so much. I put this down to the above, it wasn’t able to speak to me in a way I wanted because I knew what the artist had intended for it, saying that I did enjoy the spectacle. 

Concerts and any live music events aren’t just about the music. It as much visual as well. Watching the bows from the string section raise into the air in unison, the soloist jump about the stage and the percussion jump between instruments, for me, is as much the concert as the actual music.

A good and tiring day, only a couple left before returning to Melbourne.


Day 5 – A new arrival and some sightseeing

Day 5
Well a rest day has been coming for a few days. Since I stepped off the plane from Melbourne with a couple of hours sleep, we haven’t really stopped. With our intensive schedule of doing as much as we can, rest really isn’t ever part of what we do.

Today it was. We laid in late and waited for Claire’s friend to arrive and join us for the last few days in Berlin. She arrived shortly after 11 (from the UK) and we started a nice easy day of drinking and eating in pavement restaurants, today Vietnamese made a come back to the menu. However my peanut beef tasted suspiciously like beef penang, some reckon this Vietnamese restaurant dabbled in a bit of Thai food as well. Saying all that, the meal was delicious and I had no complains there at all.

From there a leisurely wander down the river, the Spree and then another stop for a couple more drinks (and a couple of new beers) by the river. We actually stumbled on a bar that was recommended to me, the broker bar, which has the price of drink fluctuate with supply and demand. Quite novel eh? But not exactly new, when I first moved to Melbourne many years ago there was a similar bar called something like the Stock Exchange with exactly the same concept.

A short stop at our now local supermarket meant us buying a few snacks for tea. Most of the products are quite easy to distinguish from the pictures on the labels. One proved a bit more tricky, looking like a weird variety of cat food but reassuringly turning out to be a pork pate. 

And so onto our evening. A night at the B flat jazz club. We’ve enjoyed live music in recent history and have been to a few jazz clubs in Melbourne. So we thought why not try one in Berlin. The night was a big band night and had a 15 piece orchestra. The place was hot with no air conditioning but it seemed to enhance the atmosphere, the sound was loud and the club was tiny. You could literally touch the performers. It was nice to see so many talented musicians and one guy with a headband on who was really getting into it, moving with the beat, smiling and clapping all his fellow performers and on his solos moving around more than Kenny G. The service was good and attentive (something I find lacking in many places here). We wandered home through this historic city past many significant sights. The warmth providing us comfort from a normally inclement weather in our homes.


Day 4 – Why do people try to run you over?


Our first trip of the day was back to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. We’d seen the memorial on our walking tour but had been recommended the information centre and exhibition, we queued briefly to get in, interestingly the first time we’ve queued for anything. The exhibition was as sad as you can imagine from listing the numbers of people killed at the hands of the nazis to some boards following individual families and what happened to them. A very sobering experience for our first visit of the day.

After that we decided it was time to do something a bit more fun to lighten the mood, a brewery tour. On the way it was brought to our attention a strange phenomenon over here. We’ve begun to notice when you cross roads over here, cars seem to deliberately speed up and even swerve towards you. I’m not truly sure why but our guide on the walking tour said jaywalking isn’t encouraged in Berlin and you can be fined 10 euros so maybe it’s that.

The afternoon’s plan was a brewery crawl around Berlin. I have to admit of what I’ve seen so far, most German beers taste pretty similar. And there isn’t much experimentation at all. I think the explanation behind this is the German Purity laws but it can be a pretty bland beer scene. I did find one place that was a little different though, Brauhaus Lemke. Had an IPA, Imperial IPA and an Imperial Stout. It was one of three breweries we tried today, the others were percuilar for a couple of reasons. At our first one Brauhaus Georgbraeu we saw someone vomit after finishing their dinner, and then impressively finish their beer (I haven’t done that since my uni days). At our second, Brauhaus Marcus Brau they had some fake beers in the window that were some sort of yellow liquid with cotton wool on top. A bit strange and I didn’t really see the point when they had a brewery in the window too. The tour finished after three breweries, unfortunately we had planned four but one was closed. Nine new beers tried.

A nice way to see the city though and a few beers in between is always a treat. 

We discovered a real diamond in the rough tonight. A couple of days ago we noticed a concert hall just in the area we’re staying, Gendarmenmarkt. We thought it might be nice to see something while we’re here so popped into the box office to see what was on. The lady behind the counter ran through a series of performances but then mentioned the orchestra were performing with a rapper. We instantly said ‘that one please’. It’s been very much a feature of our time together that we’ve managed to discover some weird and wonderful stuff and we both enjoying seeing or trying something different.

The rapper was MoTrip and the orchestra was conducted by Jimek who seemed to be a star in his own right, he was dressed in a very casual outfit, no socks, longish hair and looking pretty unshaven (for weeks). The orchestra played all the rapper’s songs whilst he sang with a couple of guest stars. It was all in German but in a way that makes you appreciate the music even more and especially the interaction between the orchestra and the singer. The performance was enthralling and the different range of instruments used from the xylophone to the organ, strings to wind and the drummer at one point using an empty drink bottle with ice in it was pretty amazing to watch.

The singer went off for a while and the orchestra recreated excepts from a variety of hip hop songs which was a joy to watch. Only after returning home and looking up Jimek did we learn he is a famous composer from Poland who won the Beyoncé remix challenge in 2012 and went on to become a star in his own right, adapting different types of music to a classical orchestra. A real rare find and an amazing night.


Day 3 – How it’s impossible to get drunk in Berlin

Day 3 commenced in a cafe that has fast become our local one for coffee and cakes. They don’t speak much English, we don’t speak much German but we are good at pointing at things (I’m sure this talent is learnt in supermarkets when as a toddler we go shopping with our mothers). We did however manage to teach the lovely woman there what cinnamon was when Claire asked for some. At first she looked blank, then she got a shaker off the shelf behind her and gave it to Claire to smell. The nod and the smile was reflecting by the woman and I guess now whenever someone asks for cinnamon they should actually get. I dread to think what they’ve been giving people before.

This was the day of our only booked tour, a lecture tour at the Reichstag ( which we learnt isn’t in fact called the Reichstag anymore) and a trip up to the dome to look at the view of the city. The building understandably had very high security and was akin to an airport rather than a building. The parliament wasn’t in session so we got to sit in the public gallery and listen to a lecture from there. The talk was on the history of the building, the design (by the British architect, Norman Foster). The talk went for an hour and was very informative. At one point our guide asked where everyone was from, Claire mentioned she was from New Zealand, the guide looked confused and a group of Australian schoolboys in front of us sniggered.

We then took a lift up to the Dome to look at the view from the top. The dome itself is made out of many pieces of glass and features a sail cloth that moves as the sun moves during the day. The dome sits right atop the Chamber and let’s light into the room. The view was amazing over the city of Berlin and looked right across a mass parkland (tiergarten). However the structure of the Dome itself was probably the highlight rather than the view itself.

From the Reichstag we walked across the park towards the Gemaldegalerie. This holds quite a few important works of arts from Vermeer, Rembrandt, Steen, Velazquez and Holbein. However we heard the cakes were rather nice in the cafe hence our visit. The works of art were amazing though and covered many periods and historical themes with a definite lean towards religious themes. 

On the way across the park to the gallery, I was carrying an empty drinks bottle and a teenage girl walked up to me and took it off me. It struck us both as a bit curious however afterwards we decided there must be a monetary reward for recycling, hence what happened. In fact we saw more people with bags stuffed full of empty bottles as our journey continued.

We’d heard the Berlin Philmonic was one of the best in the world and as we left the gallery we noticed it was across the road. We popped in, in hope of getting a ticket in the next few days, luckily they had seats available on Friday and we booked three (Claire’s friend arrives in two days) to a John Adams concert. Where supposedly he conducts himself. 
We then wandered back to the Gendarmenmarkt (the area where we are staying) to get an evening drink and some food. I’ve noticed a couple of things over here, first is that everybody smokes outside which we both find a little unusual. Secondly although beer is served in big glasses (half litre or lite), it is almost impossibly to get drunk because everywhere you go it’s table service and it tends to be very slow. Dinner was a sausage mix on a bed of roast potatoes which was served in a frying pan. The kitchen must have been short on plates that night. The bill came and as usual, I refused to tip (which I do wherever I go). I was passed the credit card machine and he explained I could enter a tip, I just pressed the green button. I didn’t see the look on his face but Claire did. Supposedly he didn’t look happy.

Three days in. And enjoying as much as Berlin has to offer.


Day 2 – A mammoth walk

Day 2 started well, for some unknown reason I managed to go to bed a normal time on the end of the first day and wake up pretty much in the morning. Jet lag seemingly sorted after one night. Although ask Claire about my snoring and you may get a less positive reaction about my first nights sleep,

After such a good kip the decision we’d held off making the night before to go on a walking tour or not was made and we headed off to meet our guide and walking group after quickly picking up a hat after I’d decided I didn’t really need one when I left Melbourne. The most annoying thing about this is I do have about 20 hats, oh well I now have 21.

Our walking guide was a very tall man called Barnaby, and when I say tall I mean over 2 metres too. Originally from London, he’d been in Berlin for nearly 12 years and had a background in political science so he definitely made for a good guide not only of the sights of the old East Berlin but also good at explaining the political situation too.

The tour took us 4 hours and my feet definitely knew it by the end. We took in a few sights we’d seen the day before but it was quite an impressive range of things to see. We saw Musuem Island, Lutheran Cathedral, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, a section of the Berlin Wall and stood on top of Hitler’s bunker.
Probably one of the most interesting sights was the ‘Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe’. A large expanse with different rectangular sized blocks throughout. We were told the design was particularly controversial for a number of reason. Firstly the memorial only recognises one group of people persecuted by the Nazis, secondly there is no graffiti on it which is unusual for Berlin and thirdly the company that provided the anti graffiti surface on each block had direct links back to the Nazis. The memorial itself was interesting (the picture is above) it definitely sums up a graveyard on a hill sort of feel. For me and I don’t know why, I imagined those graveyards in western films with a little white church and graveyard on a hill. But the memorial spoke to me of hope to, the pathways through the middle sunk quite deep but the deeper you went the higher the blocks were. So if you look from the outside the memorial peaks in the middle when it’s at its lowest. It’s definitely quite a solemn place but one I’m glad I’ve seen.

After our mammoth walk we decided a beer and a bit of food was in order. And what better than my favourite food, a proper German pizza. Beer is ridiculously cheap here, but then again maybe it’s crazily expensive in Melbourne. Even our tour guide mentioned this when we were wandering around. He thought it was a bit funny I think that the two people from Melbourne were actually a Kiwi and an Englishman.
We were started to run out of puff after the meal and the 30c heat for the second day running. However a pop to the supermarket and my new favourite soft drink, Spezi, a lemon Caffeine drink soon perked me back up and off to the DDR museum we went. A very well done museum with lots of interactive opening of draws and recreations of things from East Germany. The highlight for was probably the fully recreated East Germany apartment with original fittings.

Our evening ended at Monsieur Vuong, a very highly rated Vietnamese restaurant. The food was fresh and tasty and the beer was cold. What more could you want.

Day 1 – Beers and wandering 

So day 1 in Berlin done and dusted. I must admit my first impressions of the city weren’t all that good. Our route from the airport was via a bus and a train. Surely the best way to see any city is via public transport. To say the system was antiquated would be an underestimation. The underground trains rattled along and were extremely square in design, not like the beautiful curves you see to most modern form of transportation these days. The subways were clean but very concrete and drab, nothing to liven up the walls, I suppose in many ways a hangover from a soviet era of functional building. The impression it left me was of a city that was badly run down and need of repair.

Arriving at the area in which our accommodation was in, was completely different though. We came up from the drab subway into a square (or a platz) with a giant ornate building in the centre, surrounded my roads with an amazing number of cafes and restaurants on them. People were flocking around and this seemed a world away from the city we’d just experienced. The area was quite obviously touristy but was a welcome relief. 

We were a little early for our check in so decided to pop to the local beer cafe/restaurant to sit down for an hour and pass some time before our airbnb host arrived. We chose a spot we could see down the street so would know exactly when he turned up. The 500ml stein of beer was good and ridiculously cheap to someone who comes from Melbourne (4 euros, around $6).

We saw our host arrive on his bicycle and finished up and came to meet him. Lennard was a nice big German chap. Took us up to our sixth floor apartment in a lift that I wondered if it would get there. With just three of us in it, there was no room to move. The apartment itself is large and will be functional for us for the week, although the IKEA furniture, Lino, hard wearing carpet and rundown fixtures don’t so much shout ‘homely’ but more so practical.

After an hour or twos rest we headed out to explore the surrounding districts and wandered down to Checkpoint Charlie. Not that there is much to see of it left. The place was swarming with tourists, and in spite of taking a few pictures I don’t really think I got too much of an understanding of the significance of it and the gravity of the wall in the post war period.we wandered a bit further to find the old secret police building and a number of government buildings before heading back via one of the only open supermarkets (most shops don’t trade on Sunday’s).
Our evening meal was out at a restaurant called Madami, we both fancied something a bit different from the German fare because it was quite filling and we’d already had some for lunch. The meal was good, the food was tasty and we did wonder when we paid on credit card how come the bill went up 20% but we’ll test that in the coming days by using a variety of methods of payment.

We walked back home on a balmy night over the river spree and caught some beautiful shops of the building that almost seem to float on it. Once home, sleep came fast. My first really since leaving Melbourne. 


The Long Haul



Maybe all travel blogs should start like this. Not on the first sight that’s seen in an exotic destination but rather sitting at home waiting to go to the airport. 

Perhaps also instead of describing the amazing sights being seen there should be room for the emotions experienced as well. 

As I commence the journey to the airport, I take the train I travel on everyday to work taking me on the first leg of my journey. And then onto the Skybus to take me out through the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Familiar sights whiz past reminding me how much I’ve grown to love my adopted city. 
I woke this morning feeling apprehensive and I really wasn’t sure why. I mean I’m lucky, I get to fly half way round the world and join my partner in Berlin for a weeks holiday. So it got me to thinking what is the cause of this apprehension.

I think it’s a few things. Firstly in my life I’ve never really flown alone for any long haul flights. My only flights alone have been for work and the longest of them was to Brisbane (a two hour trip). I’m not sure what to expect. What if the person next to me is painful, what if I can’t sleep, what if I get bored. 26 hours is a long time. Some might call it a day and 2 hours.

Secondly I’ve never travelled a 14 hour leg before. My very rare trips to Europe and back have all been 3 stops rather than 2 with the legs no more than 7 hours each. 
Finally, I’ve never been to Berlin. I’m entering the unknown and perhaps that’s what it’s all about. What will it be like? What will the people be like?

Of course, emotions pass like a wave running over me and already I feel the apprehension lift as I travel out to the airport and my excitement return. The thought of reuniting after a week with my partner in Berlin airport brings a smile to my face and my curiosity about a different city fires my neurones.

What’s on for Berlin. Well really it’s a blank canvas. We only have one adventure set in stone and that is a trip up to the Dome at the Reichstag which we booked some weeks ago. Our shared love of galleries and museums will ensure we do our fair share of those and I suspect my love of beer will lead us to some cool bars.

For now these thoughts and dreams seem a lifetime away but they edge closer by the minute.

 IJS 10/09/2016