Though both Sarah and I had been to Germany a number of times before neither of us had ever visited the country’s capital. Of all the places we’d been on this trip, Berlin was the one we were most confident about our accomodation situation, with an old friend of Sarah’s and multiple friends of her brother all living in the city. As it turned out, problems with a landlord, an out of town holiday, a sister’s 30th brithday party and a lack of even the most basic furniture meant that none of our prospective hosts could manage to put us up. No matter.we found a good deal on a hotel just outside the city’s ring metro line and were comfortably ensconced there by mid afternoon.
Berlin put on a bit of a show for us on the occasion of our first visit, with a big snowstorm on the first day.
The weather made us a little reluctant to leave our hotel, but by early evening it had calmed and we made plans to meet Bernhard, a friend we’d met some years before at Michael and Carmen’s wedding.
We met at the Alexanderplatz Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas market) for some Gluhwein. As it turned out Bernhard was well prepared for our visit, and had picked our meeting place specially to allow him to present us with a Christmas gift from Sarah’s mom: a trip up to the viewing platform of the Fernsehturm, the tallest building in Germany. So it was that we spent out first Berlin Night in style, sipping at beers some 203m above street level with the lights of the city spread out below us.
The view from the top