Everything Else

I know I was exhausted, but I was feeling kind of weird that first day in Berlin.  Coming from a vacation that seemed like Disneyland in comparison.  Provence, Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo, Barolo, Italy and then Berlin.  The  contrast was too great.

What the people of Berlin have endured in the past century is hard to fathom.  I took a three hour walking tour to revisit the historical sites around the city including the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, and the Holocaust Memorial to name a few.

Brandeburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

Our tour guide had pictures of the war torn cathedrals (big gaping holes replaced a domed cathedral) and  we stood before the restorations.  Some buildings had been bombed and restored two or three times.  I wondered where they got their strength and motivation to continue. Bullet holes sprayed all over the facades of the buildings.  Everywhere you turn there are major construction sites.  It seems as if whole city is being restored.  They are also planting thousands of trees.  That should soften the look of the concrete and pavement.

The Brandenburg gate stands today as a symbol of reunification of the two sides of the great city of Berlin.

On May 12, 2005, the Holocaust Memorial opened to commemorate the murder of six million Jews during the Hitler regime. Our tour guide told us how differently people react to this memorial as they walk through.  To me, it felt as if I were in a dark, confusing place. I could only imagine the terror they must have felt.

Holocaust Monument

Holocaust Memorial

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall



The Berlin wall divided East and West Berlin for 28 years beginning on August 13, 1961 to prevent mass defections from East to West Berlin.  It was torn down on November 9, 1989.  This piece of the wall  is all that remains.

Lins & Me In Front Of Reichstag After Marathon

Lins & Me In Front Of Reichstag After Marathon



I came to Berlin to see my daughter run the 40th Berlin Marathon.  And that was a real pleasure as the race was run through the city in a clover leaf pattern that allowed us to view the runners at 4 locations during the marathon (with a little creativity on and off the trains).

There was live music along the course and at many water stops they had oranges, apples and bananas for the runners. It was a very well-organized marathon with special events planned for the runners on the days before the marathon. (including a run into the olympic stadium)

Lindsey finished the marathon under 4 hours making it her personal best.   She celebrated at dinner with her fellow runners from the Cambridge Running Club.  They all did very well in Berlin and enjoyed the city, some taking an early evening cruise through the canals.

I went to a Vietnamese restaurant to celebrate.  The food was a little spicy, but it was nice to have a meal with more noodles and vegetables than meat.  The diversity of Berlin is definitely reflected in its many eateries. On our last day in Berlin we ate at the Augustiner, a wonderful German pub.  The food was excellent.  The photo says it all.  How delicious does this look.  I’m not really a beer drinker but I had a brew with lunch. And, it was really good!

Veal, Potato,Sauerkraut

Veal, Potato,Sauerkraut

We took the train back to the airport from Alexanderplatz, a square and train hub, located in the center of the city.  It had an Octoberfest setup in the center of the square with picnic tables and lots of bratwurst, ham and beer being sold. There is a large clothing store with large food and wine sections in the square and the Park Inn Hotel where people base-fly from the roof (125 meters high).  It’s not bungee-jumping.  They use a winch rappel system.  I was nervous just watching.

We saw some pretty views of the country as we moved further from the city.  I realized that there is a lot more of Germany to be seen. But, for now, it’s back to France.

Auf Wiedersehen (goodbye)

Tschus (most common among friends)




When Vacations Start To Feel Like Jobs

October 12, 2013

EasyJet?  A Serious Misnomer. My friend, Gene, booked us on EasyJet for our direct flight from Lyon to Berlin for the Marathon.  When he called to tell me about booking on this airline I was a little dubious.  I said, “You’re kidding, right?”  How many seats are on this plane, ten?  He said, “Five including […]

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Next Stop Italia!

September 25, 2013

We checked out of our hotel in Antibes and headed up the coast and mountains to Barolo, Italy, where we stayed for the next two days and attended the cheese festival in Bra, a few towns away.     We met Raffaela at Il Gioco dell’oca, the Inn she owns and operates at the base […]

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French Riviera: Nice, France

September 24, 2013

We left Antibes and headed up the coast to Nice.  It is such a beautiful drive looking at the ocean, but if you look to the left, the buildings look run down.  The problem is that there is a railway that runs parallel to the coastline and offers no access to the shore from that side. […]

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The French Riviera: Antibes

September 23, 2013

Yes, this is beginning to feel like a whirlwind tour.  We started the day off in Antibes at 9:00 am and finished in Monte Carlo at 5:00 pm.  It was a lot of driving and we managed to stop off at Eze also on the way to Monaco.     We decided to go to […]

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The French Riviera: First Stop Cannes

September 22, 2013

The Ambassadeur Marriott Hotel in Juan Les Pins, just outside of Antibes, was our base of operation in the French Riviera as it is centrally located between Cannes and Nice. We spent a few days traveling along the French Riviera (aka Cote d’Azur), and it is blue!  We stopped in Cannes where we walked along […]

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My Mini Tour De France: Sept 16th

September 20, 2013

  Please tell me.  How does anyone get fit enough to ride the Tour de France?  I don’t know what all the hype is about when it comes to cycling.  Your butt kills, your neck feels like the helmet weighs a ton, leaning forward so your back aches.  Hamstrings feel like they’re going to snap any […]

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Blogging Through France: Sept 15th

September 17, 2013

We began our Sunday in Carpentras where a Marche aux puces (antique/flea market) is held in a large parking lot one Sunday each month.  It was fun to stroll down the aisles searching for little gems on this mild, sunny afternoon. I personally have a difficult time sifting through lots of items to find my […]

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Blogging Through France: Days 2 & 3

September 13, 2013

  Friday the 13th already.  So glad I’m not superstitious!  It’s gonna be a great day :). The past two days have been spent settling in with unpacking, food shopping, barber shop (I wouldn’t let Gene get his hair cut until I got here),trip to the fabric store to replace cushions on his 2 armchairs […]

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Blogging Through France: Day 1

September 11, 2013

I’m Going To France Today! Check in time 4:10, and I got to the airport at 4:08. Thank you Dottie!  There were only five people in line ahead of me.  The plane was not full, so I asked to change my seat.  I was assigned an aisle seat in Row 15.  Awesome…second row from the […]

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