Before we set out for our big adventure, we knew that we wanted to have Christmas with friends and make something special of it. Luckily for us our besties Jess and Phil are both conveniently in Europe and agreed to meet us in Berlin.
The key criteria for the accommodation was that it had an oven and that we could roast food – all the yummy roasted foods! We definitely achieved that and more as we found a delightfully styled and newly renovated apartment on our arrival. There was a lot of joy in our reunion!
The following day we decided to take it easy, sleeping in an keeping warm. In the afternoon Phil, Jess and I set out for the supermarket to gather supplies (Justin was battling his third round of gastro). Two hours later we had five kilos of potatoes, a Turkey, and a variety of other meats and roastable vegetables. We were buzzing from the majorly successful excursion!
That evening we were lucky enough to meet up with our friends James and Tony and their friends Mason and Matt. We had a few beers and a few laughs and all was very merry.
In the following days we were able to explore the amazing city that Berlin is. We visited the Reichstag with it’s famously transparent facade and dome, walk through the Brandenburg gate and down Unter den Linden. We made a stop at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe which takes its form in rows of concrete boxes of varying heights. It was very moving in its simplicity.
We were fortunate enough to arrive while all the Christmas markets were still open and made a very joyous pitstop at one in the centre of town. We enjoyed the merry atmosphere, marvelled at the beautiful lights and decorations and ate cake!
Christmas was marked by a series of skype calls home to New Zealand and the roasting of the turkey. Jess and I had successfully collected a 2€ Christmas tree in the days earlier so it was all very festive! Delightful feasts for both breakfast and linner (lunch/dinner) were very much enjoyed.
In our last couple of days in Berlin, the major success has been Phil’s choices of eating establishments. In true Christmas spirit and to combat the cold we have taken refuge in German pubs and eaten schnitzel, sausage sauerkraut and currywurst. YUM!
We have had a delightful week with our friends and hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too.