I Love Berlin!

I forgot how much I love Berlin! I stepped off the train yesterday and was greeted with a nice big hug from my cousin. It has been a couple of years since I have seen her. I last saw her during my backpacking trip a couple of years ago. She was living in Darmstadt, but has since moved to Berlin to go to University. She has had a love affair with Berlin for some time and I am so glad she has moved here.

I had the pleasure of spending five days here during that backpacking trip in which I saw so much. I spent one night in Mitte and then stayed four days at a hostel in the woods in the Grunwald forest. As the train started to pull into Berlin-Spandau I got a rush of that familiar I am so happy travel feeling that I often get on the road. As the train continued on it grew until it was almost a perma-grin. We passed through the Hauptbahnhof which I think is one of the most interesting modern train stations i've seen, and continued on to the Ostbahnhof where she met me. She lives in the old East Germany farther east than I had been on my previous trip. Freidrichshain is the neighborhood or area of the city where she dwells and her flat is about the cutest I have ever seen. It is just a perfect space with a wonderful feel.

Surprisingly after my overnight flight and my 5 hour train ride, I was not tired when we got to her flat. "I didn't sleep at all on the flight over due to my seat mates who I will call the "space invaders." This couple and I do mean both of them because I sat next to both of them during the flight when they changed seats, were all elbows and knees. I have literally never been jabbed in the side so many times in the same seven hours. If you almost dip your sleeve in someone else's dinner, that's a space invasion. The woman fell asleep with her legs practically on top of mine, and I had an aisle seat. I found myself inching closer and closer to the edge of my seat until I was practically sitting in the aisle. Oh travel!

I cleaned up and we went walking around her neighborhood for several hours. A great introduction to a new area of the city. I picked up a new phone, had some coffee and we were off. We spent some time by the river taking in the beautiful fall air and some long overdue conversation. Street food on the way back was a delight and we even came across some photo booths that print out the old school four picture strips. Delightfully simple fun.

After three or four hours out, we came back to the flat and I sat down for one minute and was out cold for three hours. We were suppose to go to a gallery opening and out with some of her friends, but I was a vegetable. I woke up for one more meal and a walk late night and then slept through the night. Sweet sleep after a flight with none and a train ride with very little.