It’s been just about a week now that we’re finally here together in Berlin and have started what will hopefully be our awesome year away from our life on The Rock. We’ve been busy trying to figure out how to live in Berlin and not just be tourists such as: Where are the grocery stores, which ones have better prices and the most selection?, figuring out the public transit system, and trying to establish a routine that’s a good balance between Erwin’s need to research/write and take advantage of all that Berlin has to offer.
Our two bedroom apartment in Mitte (German for "middle") is located in the centre of Berlin in what was formerly deep in the East German zone. According to Wikipedia the population density of this borough of Berlin is 8,400/km². Yikes!! There really are people everywhere all the time. But we knew this going in and, in fact deliberately chose this area because of its proximity to cultural/historical opportunities. Mitte encompasses the historic core and includes many of the must-see tourist sites of Berlin like Museum Island (UNESCO world heritage site), Brandenburg Gate (iconic landmark of Berlin and Germany), Berlin Cathedral (built as an attempted Protestant counterpart to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome) and the Reichstag (seat of the German Parliament), among others, most of which were in former East Berlin.
|The very top two left windows is "home"|
In contrast to our large ranch bungalow which sits on nearly two acres of heavily treed piece of property at the end of a quiet dead-end road in Torbay, NL….our current living arrangement could hardly be more different. Our daughter, who thankfully came for a visit (you can read about it on her blog), while Erwin was back in NL for a few days, describes our apartment like this, “space aged Ikea furnished euro trendy”. It’s on the top floor (6th or 7th if you count floors the Canadian way) with massive windows and two balconies in opposite directions that offer views over roof tops, church spires, and the ever present cranes of a city that is still rebuilding.
We've explored our neighborhood, bought a yearly pass that lets us into 50+ museums and galleries in the city, attended a free noon-hour concert at the Berlin Philharmonic...tomorrow we have an appointment with the "Anmeldungsamt" to formerly register ourselves as residents of Berlin.
|Taken from front (east) balcony with view of the TV tower, Germany's tallest free standing structure.|
|Taken from our back (west) balcony with views of cranes, Jewish Synagog, train station (semi-circle), spires...|