A lot of farewells before going to Berlin

by Michael Gimm Holdensen

On our way to Berlin. But first, goodbye to friends, family, and the children’s school and kindergarten in several different stages. Phew! It was tough. Fortunately, it’s with the accompanying sentence… and see you again!

Rie and I have family and friends in both Zealand and several places in Jutland, so there was plenty of opportunities to say a tearful goodbye several times.

The girls also had a small goodbye party with their classmates and Carla at the kindergarten. For Emma and Liva in particular, it all suddenly became very real as they will now have to do without physical contact with their best friends. It was a bit hard.

The last two weeks were busy, with many events, a big DBA (Den Blå Avis) sale, moving some belongings to parents and good friends, and the big vaccination round for the whole family. Oh yes, and then an interview with Midtjyllands avis about our trip. I think Marianne from MJA believes we are a little crazy 🙂

På vej til Berlin fra Rostock
We say goodbye to Denmark via Gedser-Rostock, and Carla takes a good nap as we roll off towards Berlin.

From Gedser to Berlin

After the last goodbye at Ries parents on Saturday morning, we took the ferry Gedser-Rostock and to Berlin. The first stop was a campsite in the centre of Berlin, where we would try out our little yellow bus (we still need a good name for it). 
As I wrote in the post Planning the trip, we travel on German license plates, which has given rise to many good conversations already… in German!

If it hadn’t been for the bad weather, it would have been a lovely experience. The rain complicates the process of unpacking and packing, and we don’t pitch the tent for a single night. The whole thing, therefore, becomes a bit Tetris-like.

However, we only spent one night at the campsite and then sought shelter from the rain in an Airbnb for the next three nights. Ries’ birthday was also celebrated here – with some delicious Italian take-away in the evening and good red wine. No presents though, as we already brought too much. On the other hand, she was woken up with birthday songs by the girls and lots of love.

Berlin historie time
Cycling around Berlin in a mix of rain and sunshine. Berlin is great for cycling, so bring your bike when you go.

John Dillermand tower and all the other exciting things

Berlin is a colourful city with quite many interesting and different people and offers far more experiences than we could manage in the four days we were there. That’s why we ended up visiting the places everyone else visits, but that was fine too. After all, we need to grow some chest hair before we dive into something that isn’t on Tripadvisor.

The first day we walked around a bit with Carla in the stroller, including Alexanderplatz, to which Carla shouted, “look, there’s John Dillermand tower”! So now this is what we call the TV tower of Berlin.

The second day was a 20 km bike ride in the rain, where we rode around different places in the city centre. We saw the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate and walked around the memorial (grey columns) for the murdered Jews of Europe. But also a visit to the wall “Eastside Gallery” with a lot of cool art and a delicious burger at Burgermeister.

The third and last full day in Berlin was spent cycling to Checkpoint Charlie, where you can see and hire the coolest Trabants! From there on to the Jewish Museum. The latter was a bit boring in our opinion – especially for the kids.

We have tried to familiarize our children a little more with what happened during World War II and Germany’s role in it – mainly focusing on the many Jews who were killed and why a wall was put up afterwards. The idea is that we will continue with this theme for a while longer, now that we have come to Poland.

Tropical Island
Tropical conditions on both the campsite and inside the large aircraft hangar.

Tropical Island

After a lot of history in Berlin, we had to go swimming. So we drove to Tropical Island about 60 km south of Berlin, where we spent a couple of nights at the campsite. It’s a gigantic aeroplane hangar that’s been converted into something comparable to Lalandia, I think.

We arrived relatively late at Tropical Island, as we had to pass Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin before leaving. In my opinion, there wasn’t much to see here, but we only saw very little of the area.

Everyone over 6 had to be tested to get in at all, which meant we had to find a testing centre. Luckily we managed to do so, it was free and only 15km from our destination. So we managed to get in on the first day but had to unpack and pitch our tent in the dark and wait until 9.30 pm for dinner! But never mind – it was nice once we all got to the table.

We’re probably not into doing the same thing for many days in a row, so two days at the water park was fine for us. In Germany, they are pretty strict with Corona, so we had to get new tests after 24 hours if we were to go back in on day 3. We also found it very crowded and impossible to find a place to sit or lie down. This is even though “only” 3,000 guests were allowed in, compared to the usual 6,000 or so, because of Corona.

I would say that the children thought it was great fun, but a swimming pool with hot water and a slide would probably have been just as fun.

From here on, the trip continues to Eastern Europe with the first stop in Szczecin in Poland.

Kunst på Berlinmuren
Art from the Berlin wall evokes memories from the suburbs and “Mogens and Karen” (a danish song by Juncker).

Berlin highlights

  • Multicultural and multiethnic
  • Lots of history and exciting experiences
  • Delicious food and drink and reasonable prices on takeaway
  • Camping in the city is expensive, but so is Airbnb for 5 people.
  • Berlin caters for cyclists and cycling is easy. By far the biggest plus of the city.
  • Clearly best in sunshine but with rainwear it goes anyway.
  • 6 days in Berlin with all our expenses amounted to about 7.000 DKK.

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