Berlin, I Love You

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I have never fallen for a city so fast. I felt like a giddy 15 year old girl heading to a New Kids on the Block concert. Berlin gained my loyalty so quickly, I’m not even sure what happened.

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It didn’t help that Shaun uttered something that left my mouth gaping and speechless.

“Berlin is so much cooler than Austin.”

I just sat there, stunned. Could this be happening? Did he really say that? The steadfastness to Austin was crumbling inside and I was going through a mini melt down. Well, I thought I knew what I wanted. Thanks for throwing me for a loop on that one.

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It wasn’t fair. We only had three days in town before we needed to move on and we were in love. Funny how that happens, right?

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So we let the city happen to us. We went with no plans, no expectations, and hoping for serendipity.

It lead us down a path that I wouldn’t have traded for the world.

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We went through the traditional route of visiting important monuments like the Holocaust memorial and the Berlin Wall. My insides were twisting in a confusion I hadn’t felt since Hiroshima. How can a city that went through such atrocities rebuild and become a haven? I almost feel as though we find ourselves more connected to cities with a past. They have so many layers that you can peel back as you become more intimate.

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…and then we found ourselves getting the local’s experience with Sebastian from Off The Path. During the day we walked through the flea markets, scoping out the unique arts, crafts, and fashion-forward items with a cup of piping hot mulled wine in the fresh autumn weather. Nights were spent eating kebabs, currywurst, and spending long evenings over bar tables conversing and laughing with a beer in hand at some of the most rad and quirky bars.

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We also got to experience our first autumn. Austin doesn’t have seasons. It goes from HOT to warm and from green to brown and back. I had never realized that it really was that bright. I was inspired by the change in seasons. For the first time ever I felt connected with the passage of time through the year. I could get into this.

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Most of all Berlin has personality.

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I loved the fact that we, in all our dyed hair and tattooed glory, were largely ignored by the general populace. There are lots of us here in Berlin. We weren’t different. We fit in. And most of all, we weren’t followed around small stores like we were going to steal things. Stupid things like that make me want to call Berlin home.

Have we found it? Have we finally found that elusive place that I feel like we have been looking for?

Only time will tell – but I can tell you that Berlin is at the top of our list. We’re heading back in March and hoping it still has its magic and lustre.

Wish us luck.

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25 Responses to “Berlin, I Love You”

  1. Rachel December 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Those are some wonderful photos and bonus points for the NKOTB reference. I’m eagerly anticipating my first trip to Berlin, which will hopefully be in early 2013. Hope you love the city as much on your next visit.

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Had to drop the NKOTB thing – I feel old saying it but it fit so well!

  2. Talon December 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I was really not that interested in Berlin, but the more I keep reading. . . well, now it’s on my list. Maybe we’ll have to “pop in” after France.

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      BWAHAHA! I gotcha!

  3. Natalie T. December 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Love Berlin! Thinking of moving here, actually, so this was a timely post. How moving was the Holocaust Memorial?

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      The memorial was PHENOMENAL but I was horribly disturbed by the kids running around playing tag. I nearly had a heart attack.

  4. Caitlyn December 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Oh, I know just how you feel! The city had the same effect on me. It’s not just the history, it’s the way the city’s picked itself up and reinvented itself in the most impressive way. Love it!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      YES. EXACTLY. It is something about reinvention and rising from the ashes that really calls to me.

  5. Greg December 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    *SQUEAL!!*

    BERLIN ROCKS IT!!

    Did you go to the museum of VIDEO GAMES!?!?

    The free alternative walking tours were great!

    Tell me you had a jelly doughnut! (aka – Berliner..)

    and Sugar pasta! PASTA WITH SUGAR ON IT!!!!!!

    The epic tale of this city that has been playing a pivotal role in the history of mankind since before the freaking Roman empire!!!!

    The FOOD! The WINE! The BEER! The PEOPLE!

    *pant pant pant*

    *feint*

    (and yes, I, a grown man, squealed about Berlin. If you’ve been there, you understand.)

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      I need pom poms next time Greg. Your excitement isn’t enough.

  6. Vera December 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    So happy you liked it:)!! Have been to Berlin almost every year since I’ve been born, have lived there briefly, dearly love it, and am very much looking forward to meeting up with you there in march!! Woo-hoo!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      We can’t wait to get back. See you soon? 😀

  7. TammyOnTheMove December 18, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Berlin is definitely the coolest city in Germany. I have been there so many times, as I just love it so much. Luckily a lot of friends of mine live there, so I always have a pad to crash in. Berlin in winter is really cool as well actually. There is always a lot of snow, which makes is look just magical. Bloody freezing, but magical.

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      I have a friend we can stay with… another I think we can rent her apartment. Next time we are in town I plan on being better prepared with winter gear!

  8. Beverley | Pack Your Passport December 18, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    My parents are going to Berlin in July and I’m so jealous of them (and secretly wishing they’d invite me to be honest…selfish people haha!)

    Berlin looks beautiful guys, definitely my kind of city and love the photos!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      I am curious to see what it is like during the summer. I would love to walk around without a massive jacket on.

  9. Tiana Kai December 18, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    The fall colors are always so impressive! It blows me away each time I see bright yellow in the trees. I’m from Miami, so I guess, like Austin there is not much of any season, but Hot! I would love to go to Berlin, hoping to include it on our honeymoon eu city tour next year. We’ve heard nothing but amazing things!

  10. Bobbi Lee Hitchon December 18, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Great photos! Berlin has much character. I love that city. Hope to visit again.

  11. Giulia December 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Everyone loves Berlin, and I’ve never been there. How come?
    I am so lucky because my best friend is moving there on May so I will take advantage and go visit him as much as I can :) I am very excited because it really sounds like the coolest city ever!
    Great pictures and thanks for the good vibes… Happy for you, I know that feeling, can’t wait to feel it again. :)

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Seriously lady! You live in Europe! It is so awesome there. You would love it.

  12. Amanda December 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    I haven’t made it to Berlin yet, but I’ve only ever heard great things. I feel like it’s a place I could call home for a while, too!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

      It is a hard decision between Berlin in London. One of the huge points to Berlin is that getting a visa would be a million times easier.

  13. Sorin December 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Berlin has it’s charm; Autumn has it’s color charm. But I think it depends more what season do you like the most. If ti’s winter that might mean Berlin is to be loved more in this period and so forth..

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      It definitely helped that I got to experience the colors for the first time but I see a lot of potential during the other seasons of the year!

  14. @taraxmeyer January 25, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    Don’t forget about the best mexican food that you can find in Europe!

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