I’ve always said I wanted to live in Germany, anyone who knows me knows I call it my spiritual home. When I flew to Berlin for my 21st birthday, watching out of the window as the buildings and roads came into view on landing I felt an overwhelming sense of I’m home, so much so I cried and that leaving, even then, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
I knew I wanted to return one day and one day soon if I had the chance. That happened this year for my 26th birthday, almost 5 years had passed and landing at Berlin Schonefeld, it felt just the same, as if I’d never left.
My husband, daughter and I stayed in a lovely apartment in the Pankow district of Berlin and for a week we got a taste of just what it would be like to live in this city. About 5 minutes away was a supermarket and other shopping outlets and our local U-bahn station was Vinestrasse which was a 10 minute walk from our apartment and got us into the heart of Berlin in about 15 minutes. The owners of the apartment were lovely and would often come to check on us to make sure that everything was okay and were very helpful.
I love Berlin and I always will, no matter where else in the world we travel. We spent a lot of the day’s travelling around on the tram, or the U-bahn as our daughter just loved it so much and of course we did many of the usual touristy things. We visited the zoo, aquarium and Berliner Aquadom. The Aquadom I can’t recommend enough to anyone that goes to this city. It’s just phenomenal and Sophia was completely enthralled by getting to see the fishes swimming so close and all around her. It was an incredible experience and one I’ll not quickly forget.
Our daughter at the time was only just over 2 years old. At that stage where she thought she wanted to walk but really she’d rather be in a pushchair. We spent our first day with her on baby reins and we didn’t know why we kept getting strange looks from people or why we’d not seen any other children of her age on them. It turns out there is a very big culture difference we’d not anticipated and when we were accosted by a lady at the tram stop who asked us why we were treating our daughter like a dog, we realised they just weren’t something that was used there.
However we felt it necessary because with all of the trams and traffic and our child being very strong willed, it was safer than letting her run loose as is the custom in Germany. We did eventually give up and buy a pushchair as everywhere is so easily accessible with a pushchair it meant she could nap if she wanted to and we didn’t have a stressed out child on our hands.
On one of the days we took a day trip across the border and into Poland to the town of Szczezin. It was in the middle of a refurbishment of it’s train station but it’s something we always like to do. If we can get two countries for the price of one we do. We took the train from the central station in Berlin across to Angermunde where we changed train and headed for Szczezin. We got to ride on a double decker train which was pretty cool and meant we got to see a better view of the beautiful countryside. It wasn’t a very long trip, we got off the train, had some lunch, went to Starbucks to buy me a mug (as I like to buy them from all the places I go) and then we got back on the train and came back again. Sophia however loved the train journey and that was one of the highlights for me of the day, seeing her little face light up at the huge train.
All in all it was a wonderful week, perhaps a little ambitious for our first foreign holiday with Sophia but still enjoyable. I look forward to going back there one day.