Welcome Home

I arrived back to Abu Dhabi early in the morning on Sunday, October 1st where Dan greeted me at the airport before dropping me off as he headed into work. I had a quick rest and then started to unpack and get settled. The next day, I returned to work (ironically 1 day before my proposed official start date in Berlin). Knowing my colleagues and keeping in touch over the past year helped to make a quick transition as did Dan’s cocktails and cooking. On Friday, we met our friends for a Welcome Back Party on Nurai Island where we spent the day beaching and brunching. We had wanted to visit the island for a long time and this worked out to be the perfect occasion.

Nurai Brunch

Post-brunch shenanigans

The next day, we headed up to Dubai as a friend from Air Berlin was vacationing there. We met Camilla and her friend for lunch down at the Marina, strolled the Marina Walk, grabbed a Turkish ice cream and caught a glimpse of the incomplete, World’s tallest Ferris wheel, the Dubai Eye, being constructed across the water. It was great catching up with someone from Berlin so soon after departing.

Dubai Marina

Thanksgiving was also soon upon us and with being alone last year, we decided to host a scrumptious “Friendsgiving” dinner. We found a relatively small turkey, and served it with stuffing, corn, cranberries, mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie accompanied with some wine I had brought back from Germany. All in all, a great welcome home to Abu Dhabi shared with Dan and our network of friends.

Friendsgiving

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Last Month in Berlin

After seeing Mom and Dan off in Frankfurt on September 5th, I was headed back to Berlin where I had less than 1 month left. That week, I had dinner with a colleague along the Spree and attended an Internations event at the nhow music hotel (with subsequent late night famous Berlin doner kebab!). On the weekend, I was off to the 2 day Lollapalooza outdoor music festival in Hoppegarten, where the Berlin horse races are normally held. The first day was a bit chilly but we enjoyed watching George Ezra, Berlin band Beatsteaks, and the closing act, Mumford and Sons. Sunday was a gorgeous day outside so we headed back to the festival in the early afternoon. We found out there was a wine garten area that we weren’t aware of so we enjoyed a couple of glasses of German Riesling in the sun before heading back to the main area for a corn dog and stuffed brezn (i.e. pretzel). My colleague wanted to avoid the rush of the crowd so she left early but I stayed for the Foo Fighters, who of course put on a great show.

Lollapalooza Madness

Hoppegarten grandstands

Lollapalooza Brezn

The next week, I managed to enjoy some sunset yoga on Museum Island, attend my last “Make Friends in Berlin” meetup at Facciola (which oddly enough was also the location of my first event), Berlin Art Week, and a night out with Roxy and Victor touring around the bars in Prenzlauer Berg. On Sunday, September 17th I went for my last morning run in Tiergarten and then went on the Templehof Tour. It’s an interesting tour which describes the Nazi vision to replace the existing airport in 1936. Ironically, Templehof was never used by the Nazi’s as an airport and was only 80% finished. In 1948-49 the airport played a key role in the Berlin airlift where a plane landed every minute to drop freight in the divided city. Closed in 2008, it is now used as a park by Berliners to enjoy and has also been set up as a refugee camp.

Yoga on Museum Island

Selfie – Berlin Art Week

Last Tiergarten run

Old U.S. Air Force plane

Abandoned terminal

Templehof park

Before Dan came for his last trip to Germany, I joined my last “Bier Gardens for Grown-ups” meetup in Hackescher Markt, wine & cheese plate at Galeries Lafeyette, and drinks with some girlfriends at Juleps New York Bar.

Galeries Lafeyette wine bar

Girls night at Juleps

During my last week, we enjoyed a team dinner with our soon to be ex-colleagues, a bittersweet celebration, but a fun night none-the-less. Before I knew it, it was September 28th and I was going for one of my last meals at Tim Raue, a two Michelin star restaurant and rated as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants 2017, with my friend Camilla. An amazing 6 course meal and wine pairing experience and a bit of a splurge for my departure.

Suckling pig

Yuzu dessert

The last day in the office was Friday, September 30th where goodbyes were said, hugs were given, and a few tears were shed. That evening, I realized I did not have enough room for all of my things so I headed to the Primark to pick up a cheap extra suitcase and had a glass of bubbly at the champagne bar in Galeria Kaufhof before heading back to the flat to finish packing. I grabbed a beer and a pizza slice from the local joint on my street on the way. The next morning, I visited my local coffee shop, Refinery (where they had finally started to learn my Saturday morning order) and then I enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch outside along the Spree. I was soon heading back to the apartment for the move out formalities and handover of keys. I had 5 bags and the agent helped me get my luggage down to the taxi where the driver proceeded to tell me I travelled like Audrey Hepburn. With mixed emotions, I said goodbye to Berlin. A great experience with many fond memories. Now it was time to return to Abu Dhabi.

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Last Trip to Germany

Thursday, September 21st was a holiday in the UAE so I set out at 9:25 am on one of the last Air Berlin flights from Abu Dhabi to Berlin.  I arrived at 2:00 pm and caught the bus over to Air Berlin headquarters and met Bec and some of her team.  That evening, we walked to the nearby Michelin restaurant, Reinstoff, and had an amazing 5 course dinner and wine pairing.

Ready for a fine meal at Reinstoff

Amuse-bouche

With the Berlin-Abu Dhabi flight no longer operating, we had planned for me to fly home from Düsseldorf.  So, we worked out some weekend Rhineland plans in the morning and then went for a walk along the river to Alexanderplatz.  Being Oktoberfest, we first checked out the Berlin edition of Munich’s famous Hofbräu beer hall.  It wasn’t very lively so we backtracked and took up a seat at a picnic bench in the Alexanderplatz Oktoberfest beer garden.  That evening, we had dinner at a place that we’d both walked by a million times but had never been, Kartoffelkeller (Potato Cellar), specializing in all things potato.  Those Germans love their potatoes!

Prost!

Potato magic

On Saturday morning, we rode the S-bahn to Hauptbahnof and caught the 06:52 ICE train to Bonn.  We then transferred to a regional train bound for the Ahr Valley, one of Germany’s 13 official wine regions.  We found our hotel in Neuenahr quite easily; it was right across the street from the train station.  We ditched the bags and headed back to the train station.  The next village up the valley, Dernau, was holding their annual wine festival.  We wandered the streets of the picturesque village surrounded by the steep south facing slopes covered in rows and rows of vines, sampling the local wine as we went.  The Ahr produces a higher proportion of Spätburgunder (Pinot noir) than any other German wine region.  We made sure we got to the main square in time for the new Wine Queen to be named.

Tasting some pinot

Naming of the Dernau Wine Queen

Ahr bubbly

The next morning, I picked up a rental car and drove back to pick up Becca.  We headed up the Ahr Valley passing the wine villages of Dernau, Rech, Mayschoß, and Altenahr.  We passed Kreuzberg before climbing up and out of the valley on a switchback road.  We drove through the scenic Ahr Hills that form the natural border between the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate before starting back.  We stopped in Rech to stretch our legs and couldn’t resist a “wine probe” tasting at Max Schell.  We then crossed the street for a nice schnitzel lunch at Sebastian 1520.  The highway was blocked in Dernau so we had to detour out of the valley which offered some amazing views.  The detour also happened to take us by the factory making Bec’s favorite candy, Haribo.  We dropped the car off at the hotel and headed back to Rech on the train.  We walked approximately 3 km from there to Dernau on the Red Wine Trail, a 35 km hiking trail that links the villages of the valley.  The Dernau Wine Festival was still in full swing.  We missed the wine parade, but there was still plenty of wine waiting to be tasted.

Max Schell wine probe

Dernau nestled in the Ahr Valley

Bec hiking the Red Wine Trail

Dan in wine country

The next morning, we set out on a three city tour.  Our first stop was Bonn.  We parked near the train station and made a must stop for Bec, the Haribo Store.  We walked by the Bonn Cathedral or Bonner Münster and onto Münsterplatz which is the home of the Beethoven-Denkmal, a large bronze statue unveiled in 1845 in the city center to honor Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthplace.

Our next stop was Cologne, a half hour drive north.  We had read about an old brewery named Päffgen founded in 1883 still serving its Kölsch style beer and regional food specialties.  We ordered what many would consider Germany’s national dish, sauerbraten, and washed it down with a couple Kölsch.  From there, we headed to the old centre to find Germany’s most visited landmark, the Cologne Cathedral.  This huge church touts an impressive list of facts and figures, but it is only until you see it that you get a sense for its true size.  After exploring the church, we walked along the Rhine River, sat in the park, and strolled through old town.

Sauerbraten at Paffgen

Cologne Cathedral

Back in the car, we continued north another 30 min to Düsseldorf.  We found some parking and wandered down the wide, upscale, shopping street of Königsallee.  We cut over to the Rhine and walked north.  We stopped at one of the many riverside restaurants and tried the Düsseldorf style of beer, altbier.  That was the end of our tour, so we jumped back in the car and headed for the airport where I would be flying back to AUH and Bec was taking her last AB flight to Berlin.  I said goodbye to Bec at the departure gate and wished her luck on her last few days of living in Germany.

Rhine River in Dusseldorf

Couple of Altbier to finish off our tour

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Al Hoota and the W10h

On Thursday, September 7th, I set out on a UAE Trekker weekend right after work.  The drive to Oman was a bit more interesting than usual.  Our convoy encountered a massive thunderstorm and the typically dry wadis were flooding across the road in some places.  Nothing the Jeep couldn’t handle of course!  We arrived at Al Hoota Rest House at 2000m around 9:00pm and had a quick bite before the restaurant closed.

After a 6:30am breakfast, we drove back down the Haat Road to Al Hoota Village.  In the daylight, you can get a better appreciation for this winding mountain road.  The village is located just above the entrance to Oman’s longest cave at 5 km in length.  I’d been to the touristic cave exit and did the 500m walk through that side back in June.  This side would be quite a bit different.  We met Zaid and Mohamed, our local guides from Canyon Adventures, at 7:00am and they gave us a safety and itinerary briefing.  The 5 of us plus our 2 guides walked down into the canyon and did our first repel down a steep section.  We entered the cave around 8:30am and had to repel down another section.  Once we were all down, we could see that the previous day’s rain storm had run down the wadi and into the cave.  There were some real muddy spots.  We continued into the cave and one of our group members was feeling a little overwhelmed so he turned back with Zaid.  That left 4 of us and Mohamed to press on.  Mohamed pointed out all of the neat features that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and we found a few bats as well.  The caving was more technical than I expected and we had to crawl through the last bit to get to our final chamber filled with amazing stalactites.  This would be our furthest point, where continuing on involves swimming, but we were still 800m into the cave.  We turned around and reached the second repelling section around 11:00am.  We had to climb up a caving ladder to get back out and this was the most difficult element of the morning.  Out of the cave and back on surface at noon, just as we’d planned.  It’s important to be out before any storm clouds have the chance to gain any momentum.  The climb up the first repelling section was tricky, but didn’t require any ladders.

Al Hoota Cave entrance


First repelling section


Chris, Chloe, Katie, and Dan

That leaves around 3.7 km of cave uncharted by yours truly and I guess thru-treks can be arranged…any takers?

We said goodbye to our guides and to the couple from Muscat as they would not be staying the second night.  Heading back up the mountain, the thermometer dropped from 38°C to 27°C.  The mountain air was so much cooler!  We had a hearty lunch and a little shut-eye in the afternoon while a thunderstorm passed through.  Good thing we got out of the cave on time!  We had a little walk around the resort that evening and watched the sun go down.  The chef had plenty of dinner for us that night before we sat out around the campfire.  I told the ghost story of Petermännchen from Schwerin Palace.

Another 6:30am breakfast topped up our tanks before we set out on the W10h, one of Oman’s official trekking trails.  Most of these routes are ancient donkey trails that were used to get from village to village.  The hike follows a spectacular ridgeline between Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar with the villages of Balad Sayt and Haat down below.  The 3 of us set out at 7:30am and made it to the 3 way junction of the W8 and W9 by 9:30am.  We had a little break in the shade before heading back.  We got back to the cars at 11:00am making the 7 km roundtrip in 3.5 h.  We got showered up and had some lunch with the friendly hotelier before starting our drive back to AD.  It was my first time “trek leading” on my own, but it was a small and awesome group that made for another successful UAE Trekker weekend.

On top of the world


Three way junction of W10h/W9/W8

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Düsseldorf-Berlin-Hamburg-Berlin-Frankfurt

Düsseldorf-Berlin

I tried what many would consider crazy…traveling standby out of Abu Dhabi on the Eid al Adha weekend.  I wasn’t able to get on the 02:00am direct flight to Berlin so I ran down to the staff travel desk.  It was mobbed.  I managed to make a booking to Düsseldorf and luckily got a seat in economy.  I ran to the gates and arrived as boarding was finishing.  I was off to Germany.

I arrived in Düsseldorf around 7:00am on Thursday, August 31st.  Bec had listed me on the first flight to Berlin, but all of the flights were full until the evening.  I made the mistake of checking my bag in for the flight.  In hindsight, I should have just headed straight for the train.  It took a while for my bag to be offloaded and arrive in the baggage claim, but I eventually grabbed the SkyTrain to the airport train station and caught the 11:00am to Berlin.  It was a 4.5 hour ride, but quiet and comfortable.  I caught the S-bahn from Hauptbahnhof to Friedrichstrasse Station and braved the pouring rain from there to Bec’s apartment.

Bec’s mom, Bev, was there to greet me and we visited while we waited for Bec to get home from work.  Bec arrived with some steaks and we prepared a home cooked meal that evening.  We also finalized our plans for the weekend.

Berlin-Hamburg

The next morning, Bec headed off to work and Bev and I just relaxed and got packed up.  At 11:00am, I walked down to Liepziger Strasse and picked up our rental car, a brand new Volkswagen Golf with only 8 km on it.  I drove back to the apartment and picked up Bev.  We made our way up to Saatwinklerdamm and Bec hopped in.  We were soon out of the city and heading NW on Bundesautobahn 24 to Hamburg.  About 2 hours in, we ducked off the autobahn and headed north to the city of Schwerin, the capital of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.  Our main purpose there was to visit the Schwerin Palace built between 1845 and 1857.  The “Neuschwanstein of the North” is set on an island on the Schwerin See (lake) and is very picturesque.

Schwerin Palace

We made our way back to the autobahn and continued to Hamburg.  We found our hotel in the neighbourhood of St. Georg.  That night, we walked down the road to try to find somewhere to eat.  All of the restaurants were packed and we could not get in any of the restaurants serving German fare.  In the end, we settled for Italian and had the pasta with the “in-season” chanterelle mushrooms or pfifferling as the Germans call them.  We did, however, make a reservation at Das Dorf for the following evening.

On Saturday, I ran down to the nearby bakery and picked up some Franzbrötchen, a local specialty which is a croissant-like pastry with cinnamon and sugar filling, to go with our coffees.  We set out on a walking tour of Hamburg passing the Hauptbahnhof and strolling down the shopping street of Mönckebergstraße.  That led us to the beautiful Rathaus (city hall) where we sat down for a quick break.  From there, we could see some kind of festival going on along the Binnenalster (Inner Alster Lake).  We walked over and found that food and drink stalls were set up all the way around the lake.  We checked out the festival along Jungfernsteig before stopping to have a coffee on the patio of ALEX Hamburg.  It was 11:00am and I was getting hungry so I grabbed a matjes (soused herring) sandwich.

Franzbrotchen or ET pastry

Bec & Bev outside Hamburg Rathaus

We then walked down to St. Nickolai Memorial, a former Lutheran church left in ruins from WWII.  We went up the tower which was once the world’s tallest building from 1874 to 1876 and had a good aerial view of Hamburg from 75 m.  We also visited the museum and learned of the effects caused by the extensive allied bombing during Operation Gomorrah during the last week of July 1943.  We then caught the U-bahn over to St. Pauli Landungsbrücken and had a nice seafood lunch at Captain’s Dinner on the wharf along the Elbe River.  We all went for some sort of fish and then split an apfel strudel with ice cream. After lunch, we decided to get on the ferry running out to the upscale neighbourhood of Blankenese.  Some highlights included the Airbus plant, the huge port, and the new Elbphilharmonie.  Back on shore, we walked up to the notorious nightlife/red light district Reeperbahn.  It was a bit early, but there were definitely some people having a good time.  We jumped on the S-bahn and headed back to Hotel Wedina.

St. Nikolai Memorial

Fish lunch at Captain’s Dinner

Beautiful homes of Blankenese

Dan and Bev cruising with local bevies

Elbphilharmonie

We relaxed for a bit before our 8:00pm dinner reservation at Das Dorf.  Our meal was fantastic.  Bev had the German veal meatball, Bec had the duck, and I went for the ox cheeks.

Das Dorf dinner

Every Sunday since 1703, the Fischmarkt opens from 5:00am to 9:30am.  A meeting place for night owls still going from their night in Reeperbahn and early birds who come to do the weekly shopping.  The old fish auction hall turns into a dance hall with various bands playing jazz and rock on the stages.  So, we packed up the car and drove over to see what it was all about.  We watched the flower auction, listened to the band play a few numbers, and strolled along the stands buying some strawberries and corn-on-the-cob.  I couldn’t resist another fish sandwich and the ladies went for some waffles.  We capped off our breakfast with the original “Hamburger”.  I think Bev’s only regret was not getting out on the dance floor.  We grabbed some coffee and hit the road back to Berlin.

Shopping for corn at the market

Hamburg Fischmarkt

Hamburg-Berlin

I dropped the ladies at the apartment and drove down to drop off the car.  Arriving back at the flat, Bec informed me that my flight to AD had been canceled.  We mulled over our options while having some lunch.  We decided the best course of action would be to travel to Frankfurt the following morning and fly back to AD on Monday.  Bev was planning to fly back to Calgary through Frankfurt on Wednesday anyways so Bec booked train tickets for all 3 of us.

That afternoon, Bev and I had tickets for the Boros Collection, a modern art exhibition in The Bunker.  The art was very unique and I  finally got to go inside the WWII bunker that I had walked past so many times.  Bec met us at the door when our guided tour finished and we walked over to the Reichstag.  We did an audio guided tour of the dome and roof terrace.  We walked home in the rain and had a nice dinner including our corn from the market.

Reichstag Dome

Market fresh dinner back at the Berlin flat

Berlin-Frankfurt

We rode the S-bahn to Hauptbahnof and caught the 09:34am to Frankfurt.  It was a scenic ride and we had a drink in the dining car where a bit of a party was going on.  We found our hotel near the train station and checked in.  I then led the ladies on a whirlwind walking tour of the city.  Highlights included the Old Opera House, an unplanned wine festival along Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse, the shopping street known as Zeil, the squares of Hauptwache and Konstablerwache, Frankfurt Cathedral, and a “Frankfurter” snack in the historical market square of Römerberg.  We snacked on gelato as we walked along the Main River.  We got back to the hotel, grabbed my bags, and I set out for the airport.  There were 2 last minute gate changes, but I had a seat on the red-eye to AD.    The ladies spent the night in Frankfurt and were off to the airport the next morning.  Bev got a seat back to Calgary direct and, after a sprint through the airport, Bec got on a flight to Berlin.  It was a hectic weekend but I am glad I made it.  We were both really happy Bev got the opportunity to come and visit Bec in Germany!

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof – enough bags ladies?

Frankfurt Old Opera House

Römerberg historical market square

The famous Frankfurter Würstchen

Frankfurt skyline

 

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August In and Around AD

My August was much the same as July.  I was busy with work and made several trips offshore, two of which coincided with Bec’s visit from the 9th to the 13th, but we still managed to spend some quality time together. However, she already filled you in on that weekend trip in ‘Abu Dhabi Again’.

The first weekend, I was back in the Sweihan dunes on Friday afternoon for a drive led by Dyaa.  Laurie and Amanda invited me out boating on Saturday morning.  They also invited another Scottish couple so the 5 of us casted off from Yas Marina around 8:00am.  We pulled up to a large spit of white sand known as Disappearing Beach because it is completely gone during high tide.  We had a nice picnic before heading back to the marina.

Nugra Dune

Ready to attack Nugra Dune

I attended a Wine Club tasting at La Cava in the Rosewood Hotel on Monday the 14th.  Amanda was there with a friend and I ran into some UAE Trekkers as well.  The wines were from Nederburg with Cellarmaster Andrea Freeborough from the vineyard leading us through the flight.

On August 18th, I set out for the Liwa Desert with Shadi and company.  We met at the Hameem petrol station at 2:30pm and soon entered the dunes.  My 4×4 shifter seemed to be broken as there was no resistance from the gears.  I thought, “Man, I drove 2.5 h for nothing.  I’ll have to turn around and go home.”  Luckily, we had with us a very mechanically inclined Oryx member.  He ripped out the console and rigged up a temporary solution to get me into 4 low.  We set out on the dunes but took it pretty easy.  We exited at sunset and made the drive back to AD.

Sunset in Liwa

On Saturday morning, Laurie and Amanda were heading out for another boat trip.  This time out of Emirates Palace Marina and they graciously invited me to tag along again.  I decided to walk over to the Marina and met them at the gates.  We were hoping to find some dolphins, but didn’t see any.  We found a nice stretch of beach similar to the Disappearing Beach near Yas Marina and dropped anchor.  We chatted and soaked in the sea until the tide came up and forced us off the beach.

Tidal flats near Emirates Palace

Laurie and Dan selfie

That afternoon, we had a camel milk latte while the 3 of us waited for Spence to meet us for lunch at Le Café inside the hotel.  It was a burger fest with Laurie and I going for the camel, Amanda the beef, and Spence going veggie.

Camel milk latte

Dan ready to dig in to camel burger with gold flakes

The following Monday, I had a nice dinner with Nadia and Rene at BiCE in the Jumeirah Hotel.  It was a good catch-up as Rene has been away with a new business venture.  I also made some pretzels that week but I am not sure if Bec would think they are as good as the ones in Germany.

Peter Reinhardt’s soft pretzels

Last Friday of August, what am I doing?  You guessed it…dune bashing.  There was such a big Oryx crowd at the meeting point.  A Junior, Oryx, and Senior level drive all headed out.  I joined the Seniors and it was probably the most extreme drive I’ve done.  The next morning, Spence, Laurie, and I got up at an ungodly hour to avoid the heat and teed off at the National at 6:10am.  The weather was quite pleasant and, with no one in front of us, we shot around the course in record time. It was a busy month with desert driving, boating, golfing and socializing!

Biggest Oryx group yet

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Mom’s Visit to Berlin

Once I found out the news that I would no longer be living in Berlin, I tried to convince my mom to come for a visit before it was too late. We found out on August 15th and by August 24th Mom landed in Berlin. We met at the airport, grabbed a coffee, and finally got her bag after a minor mishap with her luggage before getting settled in the apartment. I happened to know of a Street Food Market on Thursdays that I hadn’t been to yet so we wandered over to East Side Gallery to check out the Wall and then across the Oberbaumbrücke to Markthalleneun where we found the bustling market. We grabbed a seat, a couple of glasses of wine, and a few tapas for dinner before heading back to the apartment in Mitte.

East Side Gallery

Mom was on her own the next day and she did some exploring around the neighbourhood. It was Sommer Koncert at the Botanical Gardens that evening so we grabbed a couple of beers for the train ride over only to find out the concert was sold out. However, since we were already there, we decided to still get a ticket and at least see the gardens. We wandered the gardens, visited the greenhouse and then sat outside with a glass of wine and we could even hear the band playing faintly in the background. We finally made it back to the apartment after some bus and train confusion and had a late dinner in the flat.

Botanical Gardens greenhouse

Selfie in the Gardens

Saturday we kept things a bit closer to home as Mom’s feet were getting pretty tired. In the morning, we walked over to the Reichstag, grabbed a couple of warm pretzels, and then strolled through Tiergarten to the Sinti and Roma Memorial. We then walked to the Holocaust Memorial where there was also a cultural parade in progress so we took a seat on the grey stones and watched the parade go by. We grabbed an early afternoon coffee at The Visit before we walked to Gendarmenmarkt square where we sat to enjoy the view along with an Aperol Spritz. We stopped to grab a few bottles of wine from Galeries Lafeyette and some groceries at Lidl before heading back to the apartment for a delicious dinner including the in-season mushroom, pfifferlinges.

Sinti and Roma Memorial

Aperol Spritz in Gendarmenmarkt

On Sunday, we went to the House of Small Wonders for brunch and then checked out the different boat cruises along the River. We settled on a 2.5 hour journey that afternoon which took us southeast down the Spree and back again all the way up to the Schloss Charlottenburg where the tour ended. We hopped off the boat and then strolled through the palace grounds before hopping on the bus and train back to Mitte. It was still a nice evening and we were hungry so we grabbed a spot along the Spree for some German specialities including currywurst and meatballs at Ständige Vertretung.

Oberbaum Bridge

Nhow Hotel

Bar along the Spree

Palace grounds

The next day we ventured back to the area of Charlottenburg. We took a coffee at Die Stulle and then visited the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. We enjoyed a bite at Neni with a view overlooking the Zoo. We stopped in at KaDeWe to pick up some wine and Lakrids liquorice before heading back to Potsdamer Platz. Then we made some dinner and had a relaxing night in watching a movie.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

During the week, Mom kept busy checking out the sights and in the evenings we went to THE ONE-Grand Show at Friedrichstadt Palast and Schnitzelei, a restaurant known for making some pretty delicious schnitzel. We even checked out the evening dancing at Monbijou Park where the locals were practicing the Tango. We had a great week together before Dan was on his way from Abu Dhabi to join us on August 31st.

THE ONE Grand Show

The famous German Schnitzel

Monbijou Park dancing

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