It’s cold here (kalt). Very cold. We were not quite prepared for this, but we are adjusting. We arrived in Berlin without any delays. Flying into Berlin is absolutely beautiful. From the air the layout of the buildings makes Berlin look like an intricate arrangement of colored dominoes, and everything was and still is covered in a thin blanket of snow. From the airport we took a bus and then the subway (4,20 € for both of us) to “Uncle” Dr. Herr Eckhert Hahn’s residence where a slight booking glitch on his part had us stay the first night in the guest room of his apartment rather than the separate unit that we booked. Dr. Hahn is one of the nicest men I think we’ve ever met and it feels as if we’re staying with an old relative rather than someone we found in the “Vacation Rentals” section of Craigslist. He welcomed us into his home, offered us slippers and was very apologetic about the mix-up. The apartments (his and the apartments that he rents to travelers) are in an old converted brewery at the entrance to a park that we have not yet explored.
The rest of day one was as follows: Shawarma and Haloumi at one of the many Turkish cafes in the Kreuzbergs (we’re staying in Western Kreuzberg) and then a nap. After our nap we decided to go out for a German dinner so we had Schnitzel and Spätzel in Mitte-Scheunenviertel at a restaurant called Schwartzwaldstuben under the close watch of gigantic boar’s head trophy. I (Zach) became reacquainted with the fact that I don’t much care for beer, and Danielle became reacquainted with the fact that she does. After dinner we headed back toward home and stopped along the way to discuss our plan for the following day over a half carafe of not-so-delicious Austrian red wine and a gigantic bowl of ice cream, accompanied by a couple of bartenders shooting Jägermeister. As we ate, Berlin got even colder; but that didn’t matter because we were off to bed for the first night’s sleep we’d had in two days or more.