Both my parents and Caroline's came for our 3-week Easter Break. As they flew in and out of Munich on the same days, Caroline and I decided to meet at the Hauptbahnhof on the day of their departure and take a train to Berlin, where we would spend the rest of our break. At the time, we didn't realize we would also spend a couple hundred euro in train tickets to get there and back. So, in the interest of mitigating our losses, we decided not to buy U-bahn tickets the entire time we were in Berlin. Schwarzfahr? Never. No, instead, we got ourselves a map of Berlin and walked everywhere. I mean, everywhere. We walked miles and miles and miles every day. And Berlin is by no means a small city.
Berlin also has so many great parks. We found quite a few and spent the majority of our time just resting (in between the marathon-walking). Each morning, we went to a grocery to buy Studentenfutter and flaxseed cookies (my two main addictions) and water, and then we'd sit on a park bench and have ourselves a quiet little picnic, something I highly recommend doing in any European city.
It is worth mentioning that during one of these morning grocery trips, we saw someone get stabbed. Yes, you read that correctly. We were just standing at the counter, watching the cashier ring up our items, when we heard footsteps pounding. Mouths agape and frozen in shock, we watched Man No. 1 run from the back of the store towards the store's entrance where Man No. 2 was standing. Man No. 1 then chased Man No. 2 out of the store and onto the sidewalk, where he proceeded to pull a baton knife from his boot and began stabbing Man No. 2 in the back. Perhaps the most remarkable part of this story is that when Caroline and I turned back around to face the cashier, she was methodically continuing to ring up our items as if nothing out of the ordinary had just occurred. Man No. 1 had chased Man No. 2 down the street by the time we exited the store, and we began to wonder if we had just imagined the whole scene. Had Caroline not been with me, I almost certainly would have thought I'd entered the Twilight Zone.
Another memorable (although far less remarkable) moment was spending the afternoon at a strand bar - essentially just chairs lined up on the waterfront - to order a drink and just bask in the sun. I almost fell asleep right there and am getting sleepy right now just thinking about how relaxing it was....
Berlin in the springtime, I love you.