Sunday, January 04, 2009

Christmas Vacation

I've just returned from 2 weeks in Germany and Amsterdam. Rather than go into detail on the entire trip, I thought I'd share a few impressions and highlights:

- Being cold is part of winter. I've been sitting in weather that is in the high 70's since mid-November, only once I plunged into the cold in Germany did it start feeling like Christmas.

- Spending time in Berlin, I for the first time became truely aware of the different histories in the city. Specifically, I had never really distinguished between World War II history and Cold War history. It is interesting to walk from the Museum Island to Check Point Charlie and cover over 100 years of history in about a mile.

- Amsterdam, while nice and relaxed, is not a city I particulary enjoy. It seems too touristy at times, and too local at others. Nonetheless, we were pointed to some fantastic pancakes and were it warmer I'm sure I would have relished a bike ride.

- New Years in Berlin. Everyone celebrates in the streets, not in a bar. When we settled in for midnight, it was a bit surprising to see everyone get up and leave the bar to go set off fireworks in the street. We didn't go to the main "party mile" but stuck to a trendy neighbourhood.

- Apartment rentals are the way to go in Berlin. It was much cheaper than a hotel, and gave us space to be comfortable.

Here are my pictures

I hope you all got into the new year safely, and that 2009 brings you what you hope for

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