It’s been a while since I’ve posted, largely because COVID-19 has made the idea of operating an ostensible “travel blog” a bit of a joke (even one that eschews all of the conventions of travel blogging like this one). Yet, despite the pandemic approaching its two-year anniversary and numerous planned trips being canceled, my partner, Helen, and I have managed a few excursions.
One such trip was to Berlin at the beginning of December. Now, I’ll say upfront, we booked our flights to Germany well before anyone had ever heard of Omicron (besides the Greeks, of course), in a time when we naively believed an end was in sight. We went back and forth on whether or not to still go through with the trip, but since both of us were double vaxxed and both had previously had COVID (different variants), and because the flights cost a pretty penny, we decided to go. I don’t know if that was the best decision or not, but we did it and repeatedly tested negative for COVID after the fact.
Being as this was my first real visit to Berlin (excluding an extended layover a few years back), we did a lot of tourist things, including stopping by Checkpoint Charlie, visiting both the DDR Museum and the Deutsches Spionagemuseum (Spy Museum), walking through the remarkably stark Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and checking out the East Side Gallery, which includes the famous “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love” mural (aka the “Fraternal Kiss”).
Of course, our main reason for braving the frigid temperatures of Berlin in December was to see the various Berlin Christmas Markets, or Weihnachtsmarkt. Lots of cities do Christmas Markets, including Madrid, but Berlin’s are considered the high watermark of the genre, and it’s hard to argue with that, if only because it takes your fingers nearly freezing off to appreciate the majesty that is Glühwein (mulled wine) and authentic German bratwurst.
Words won’t do them justice, so, if you’re not burned out from the holidays already, I’ll let some of my photos do the rest of the work for this post.
(Speaking of photos: I’m aiming to post some of my black and white photography on Instagram with more regularity this year, so if you want to keep up with my photography and my travels, please follow me there: 10cities10years.)
I hope you enjoy.