Off again for another adventure with the husband and my BFF's Tess and Rob Vines. This year the adventure takes us to Europe where we will start with a week in Berlin and then travel north to Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Belarus, Poland and finish with a week in Riga, Latvia.
I've been preparing for this holiday for the last eight months. Rekindling my long dormant German through an app called Babel. I hope my high school German teacher Miss Seidler would be impressed that I can pick up the key to our AirBnB apartment: "Ich brauche bitte den Schlüssel zur Wohnung".
Both Greg and I have been acquainting ourselves with Berlin, but with very differnent geres. My choice is Walking in Berlin, by Franz Hessel. This book was originally published in 1929 and describes a series of walks in Berlin and focusses on a theme or part of the city, many of these walks end at a theartre or cinema. Hessel captures Weimar-era Berlin and its vibrancy before the rise of the Nazi's.
Greg's choice captures Berlin 16 years later with Anthony Beavor's The Fall of Berlin 1945. Beavor's book describes the invasion of Berlin by Soviets troops and their savage reprisal for the horrors of the Nazis.
It will interesting to see how these books frame our stay in Berln.
We were picked up by our friend Wendy who took us to the airport leaving us both to relax in preparation for the the flight. We arrived to long lines everywhere but we found the Business Class check-in and whisked through to the Business Class lounge.
Waiting in the lounge we recieved text that our friends, Tess and Rob, had been upgraded to Business Class too. Excellent.