Quick Trip to Berlin

Did you know it is crazy-cheap to get around Europe once you’re there? I did not (being new to world-travelling)  until I started looking into options for us to take a couple day trip from Copenhagen. We were able to get round-trip tickets to Berlin and back for under $100 each, that’s total including fees and taxes. So, Berlin it was!

The flight was also very, very short, (we had just turned off the “Fasten Seatbelts” sign when it was time to prepare for landing) but immediately after we landed in Germany it was clear that we weren’t in Kansas – er, Copenhagen – any more.

Two immediate culture shocks:

  • In Copenhagen things and people were pretty and streamlined, in Berlin they were efficient.
  • In Copenhagen people spoke English and were friendly, in Berlin they did not care that you had no idea what they were saying.

After a small train incident (which I’m too embarrassed about to share here, but would gladly tell you all about it if you put a couple beers in me) and a lot of unexpected walking, we finalllllly made it to Alexanderplatz to check into our hotel.  We stayed at the Hotel Indigo which had the nicest concierge employees but the strangest bathroom situation.  I won’t go into details (again, this probably needs another beer to best explain).

Since we came here without much of an itinerary we decided to hit the streets on foot to explore. Our first stop was the city’s cathedral: the Berlin Cathedral Church. We learned in Italy that you can really learn a great deal of history about an area through just one church building, and this held true in Berlin.   Without going into too many details, this church (in one form or another) has been around since the 1400s, with this cathedral built in the early 1800s. In 1940 a bomb dropped on the cathedral destroyed the dome. After many years of reconstruction, the building has been returned to it’s glory.

Today visitors can walk around most of the cathedral, climb up and walk around the outside of the dome, and visit the crypt – full of royalty. Of all our big “climbs” I’ll say this might have been the scariest so far because of the rain and very thin and sloping walkways.

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The photos of the crypt really don’t do it justice. It’s huge.

When we were in Italy we stayed in a very small town, that had zero nightlife. One night on our honeymoon we stayed up until midnight and actually shut the down down we were the only ones out and about (except the group of people we had been hanging out with in the piazza). So on this trip, we wanted to really take advantage of our “youth” and go out to party (within reason of course, we have Lilly back at home to come back to). Being a Monday we didn’t have too many options so  decided it would be fun to see a band on a Monday night (since that is completely opposite of what we do on real-life Monday nights… ever). We ended up out somewhere in West Berlin, under the train tracks, scalping tickets from two girls to see a band we’d never heard of. You only live once, right?

Long story short, we had the best time ever, and the band was pretty awesome (We are Scientists). Afterwards we ended up eating meisterburgers (yes, they are a REAL thing) on the side of the street while drinking gigantic beers (there are no small beers in Germany) with our new German friends. It was an amazing night, that I certainly paid for the next morning.  #worthit
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I have a little more to share from Berlin but think it needs it’s own post.
As an brief update though (since it’s been about a month since we were there), the band is actually pretty well known. They are currently on a world tour and we were able to catch them just a couple weeks ago in DC!  Not going to lie, it was pretty cool casually saying, “oh yeah, we saw them in Berlin.”
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Commanding the Copenhagen Canals

It has been about 2 full weeks since we have returned from our trip and I think we might finally be recovered. I would love to blame the amount of walking we did (a lot) but I really think it was the crazy-delicious food. They say Americans eat a lot – but, I’d bet the Danes eat more.

On day 2 in Denmark we continued touring around, with the “high point” being a canal boat tour around town. In DC the boat tours really don’t see much (#truth) so when J&C were pushing it in Copenhagen we were a little skeptical. I stand corrected, because there were few sites not accessible by boat in this town.

Here I am before we took off:

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This is the new opera house: DSC_2216

This is an important office building:

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If you look closely you’ll se our old friend David – this statue is literally following us!

DSC_2222You can barely see our fearless guide at the front of this boat. This lady gave the tour in Danish, German, and English all at once – quite impressive. 
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These are the royal homes and the cathedral, which we’ll visit later in the day…DSC_2259 DSC_2263Hey we were just at this church yesterday! 
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The fearless crew:
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Ok, time for a post-tour photoshoot: DSC_2360* DSC_2363 DSC_2366* DSC_2368

We decided to go back to the royal residences for some closeup shots. See below the guards marching around: DSC_2377 DSC_2379

It seemed a bit illegal to get into these guard-shacks (see: guards marching in above photos) but that didn’t stop a couple of us from testing them out ourselves:DSC_2387DSC_2386*

DSC_2388After that we made a run for it into a museum. But first, check out these lovebirds (for once, it’s not AZ&KZ):

DSC_2393Alright these next few photos are from from Denmark Design Museum which was pretty interesting if you’re ever in Copenhagen. It not only chronicles the  history of Danish home furnishings design, but it also is a torcher museum for people who like testing out chairs. There were so many chairs, and you were NOT allowed to sit in them.  At first, I was saying “ok, this is fine, it’s a museum not for touching things,” but by the end of it I was nearly in tears wishing I could test some of them out for myself. What is form without function? Really.

DSC_2394 DSC_2395 DSC_2396The guys, checking out the wood options for cabinet building: 
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Next stop on this trip: BERLIN!

Copenhagen on No Sleep

20140406-180817.jpg After too many years I finally went to visit my friend Jana in her new home – Copenhagen! Now that KZ and I are “seasoned travelers” we didn’t miss a beat when flights went on sale.

Like we did when we went to Rome, we took an overnight flight so we’d wake up in our final destination. Unfortunately, the prior experience had taught us nothing because we stayed up ALL night watching the on-demand movies and talking… just like we had done on our way to Italy.

The sleepless night however was well worth it to see the sunrise on the horizon out the plane window. If that doesn’t keep you up, I don’t know what would.

20140406-180849.jpgAnyhoo, day 1 of Copenhagen was not to be missed with wasted time sleeping so we hit the road as soon as we dropped our bags at Jana’s… so the first thing we saw was this gorgeous church with a steeple that MUST be climbed immediately. Tell me you wouldn’t look at this church and make another choice?

DSC_2039*The stairs to the top:

DSC_2043*Oh and there was about a dozen giant bells that decided to ring the second we got right next to them (lovely right?) – good thing they have this sign and light that blinks when they’re going off – you know, just in case you didn’t know what that sound was. 
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The views were spectacular and completely worth the slight loss of hearing and leg burn!DSC_2051* DSC_2055 DSC_2056** DSC_2058* DSC_2062 DSC_2068 DSC_2070*

Back on the ground we were treated with a postcard worthy day in this lovely city. The entire city has canals running through it, full of boats and swans.

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Apparently marching bands are common to see just marching around town, we followed this band for a little while until they brought us to a castle that we definitely needed to see.

DSC_2105* DSC_2106* DSC_2115 DSC_2121The Rosenborg Castle was used by Danish regents as a royal residence until around 1710, today it is a museum of royal items and is used as a vault for the crown jewels. The entire museum is void of information on the artifacts, if you want to know what you’re looking at, you’d have to purchase a pretty expensive guidebook. For this reason, I have no descriptions of what these things are, but you can reasonably assume they’re a) royal something and b) old.

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Lacking sleep and running purely on a cocktail of coffee and adrenaline, this is the point where I started to get a little goofy. This is me, trying to pet the lions guarding the royal throne. The docent started coming after me though, so I didn’t actually get a pet in. Disappointing.
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crown jewels DSC_2160 DSC_2162 DSC_2164At this point it was time for some Danish Dogs and a nap. Next post will be our day2 which was full of all the major sites around Copenhagen. 
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