Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Thanksgiving in Berlin

Our first Thanksgiving in Germany.  We celebrated with another family who also arrived this summer.  All ingredients could be found locally.  Except for the turkey!  That was bought through a special supplier who ships frozen birds from the US. All in all, a great celebration...









German Christmas Markets

The Christmas markets in Berlin are in full swing!  There are over 90 Christmas markets happening throughout the city.  This weekend, we were able to visit two.  Some are more focused on the sale of handicrafts while others are more food focused.  Both offer lots of opportunities for hot drinks such as hot chocolate, cider and Gluwein (mulled wine), a German favorite.















A warm fire at home after an evening of Christmas market festivities.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Berliner Dom (Cathedral)

Laura and I spent a wonderful evening at a classical music concert performed at the Berliner Dom.  The Dom (German word for cathedral) is located in the middle of the city.  It is a monumental structure completed in 1905.  The concert was Felix Mendelssohn's "Song of Praise" and was played in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (which was October 31st).  There was a full orchestra and choir which filled the inside dome with beautiful music.   A night to remember!

 








Monday, October 30, 2017

Tennis

There is a tennis club that is about 20 minutes by foot from our house.  Eddy starting taking lessons there two weeks ago.  They have 8 outdoor courts.  During colder weather (November - March) they cover four of the courts with a bubble.  We have applied for membership for next year (2018).  However, there is a waiting list and so we may not get in.  If not, we will keep trying.  In the meantime, Eddy can take lessons until the summer season.  He plays twice a week in a group with German kids.  The coach speaks English, but Eddy has already picked up some language skills from the other players in his group.  Way to go Eddy!

Inside the bubble.


Bubble and outdoor courts.

The tennis club clubhouse is an old villa.

Entrance to the club.

Walking home after a lesson.  Tennis courts are behind the fence.

Subway stop across the street from the club.

Houses in the neighborhood.

The tennis club is in the township of Dahlem.  Eddy standing in Dahlem town center.


Spreewald

We spent today in the Spreewald (Spree Forest).  It includes low-lying areas in which the Spree River meanders in thousands of small waterways through meadows and forests.  It is a unique landscape about one hour south of Berlin. Besides the beautiful nature, there are also a number of historic villages as well as old, traditional farmhouses situated along the waterways.  The Spreewald is a preferred region for short holidays, especially for Berliners.  Numerous quiet hiking and bicycle tracks lead through the beautiful countryside. In addition, the area can be explored by traditional barges or canoes.  We chose to cycle through the countryside, stopping here and there to experience the beauty around us or at one particular moment...to climb a haystack.

Out starting off point was the village of Lubbenau.

Making our way through the village.


Historic Lubbenau.


Leaving the Lubbenau and heading into the countryside.


Spreewald waterway.  Traditional barges line the banks and are covered up for the winter season.


The best way to experience the area is by barge.  It is similar to floating through Venice on a gondola.



Lost in a farm field.











Historic Shloss (castle).




Spreewald is known for pickled cucumbers.

Pickled cucumbers are available sour, with herbs, with garlic, with mustard - the choices are almost infinite!


On one of the many bridges that cross over the waterways.