Berlin, Germany: Each morning I ride my bike from our apartment to Alexanderplatz for German language classes. I love being a student, and I love learning this language. It’s become a lot more enjoyable now that I’m in Berlin (which I’m loving much more than I imagined) and immersed in all things German. While I was enrolled at NYU last year, learning German seemed like work – all the cases, all the genders, all the declinations – scheiße!! But now it doesn’t seem like work at all. Each day I pass a new milestone in my comprehension, and I’m anxious to come home and practice with Thomas for hours. So…ich bin gerade ein Berliner!
Today we made a visit to the Reichstag, the center of Germany’s government. From the dome, we saw the surrounding buildings of the German Bundestag as well as other significant structures making up the Berlin skyline. The exhibition inside did a nice job of detailing the building’s past, its reconstruction after the war and how it’s played an integral role in German history. We realized how much we’ve forgotten from grade school history, so this visit served as a nice jumping off point for more reading and exploration of German history. Oh, and maybe good excuse to partake in the schwarz, rot & gold World Cup festivities.
We’ve combined discovering new areas of Berlin with public viewings of the World Cup. Fortunately, ‘schland has advanced to the quarter-finals so we’ve had a few games to watch. Today’s party was downstairs in our apartment building, spilling out onto the cobblestone streets and filled with friendly neighbors. Our friends Christian, Alexandra & Ben came over to watch, and the game wrapped up with celebration, fireworks and even more excitement for the next game on the 8th.
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany: Prenzlauer Berg is situated in the former East, so the area is full of wide parade streets, old Communist monuments and GDR-era buildings. All of this is juxtaposed with pre-war architecture as well: relatively few structures in this neighborhood were destroyed in WWII. So, living here in Prenzlauer Berg is a really interesting mix of German history.
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany: We’ve made it to our new home for the summer. We moved in yesterday and are already busy exploring this beautiful neighborhood and watching World Cup. More to come from our bike excursions and explorations through the city…
Okavango Delta, Botswana: Poling in to the Delta and camping overnight on one of the salt islands has has been one of our most memorable experiences to date. To understand the uniqueness of this trip requires understanding the uniqueness of this landscape.