rewind to berlin

as we flew over germany and specifically the area surrounding berlin, both jason and i felt a familiarity with the landscape. square plots of farmland, trees skirting the dividing lines...a patchwork of fields and colours. i became oddly homesick while in berlin. i'm not sure if it was this familiarity, the time frame that we had been away...i was starting to miss people from home and the comfort of my own space/bed...or if it was that berlin was the first city we'd been to where english wasn't spoken everywhere. all of the above i suppose. it was an overwhelming time for me. looking back at how much we'd already seen and looking ahead to the remaining unknown.

we were fortunate to find couchsurfing hosts again in berlin. we were first hosted by florian and rhea in their gorgeous apartment in a neighbourhood that reminded me of osborne village only older buildings with bigger floor boards, bigger windows and higher ceilings. i just wanted to stay in the apartment all day because the space was so soothing. flo and rhea were amazingly warm and generous people and it would have been nice to hang out with them more than we did.

our living space for 3 days in berlin with flo and rhea - "i could live here" said corina to jay

our second hosts were mark and andrea. mark actually contacted a radio station from winnipeg to request a song for our arrival. the dj´s talked about the email they received, jay and corina from manitoba, and couchsurfing. it was definitely a unique way to be welcomed to berlin :D

on our last night in berlin we tried to get into a club with mark and andrea...why not...we hadn´t really experienced any real night life on our trip yet so here was our chance. we waited in line for about 20 minutes, were let through by the first bouncer and waited in the 'you are almost in...wait patiently' line. when we reached the front of the line the second bouncer told us we were too dressed up and could not enter as it was casual tshirt and jeans night. 2 of us were wearing jeans, i was wearing a tank top under a cardigan, the boys were wearing button down tops (not high fashion by any means!). we had seen girls entering wearing skirts and teeny tiny tops before us. andrea tried to call his bluff but he held firm. i still shake my head in bewilderment whenever i think of this evening. i'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with what we were wearing and everything to do with our age. sigh. my first experience with ageism...

reichstag dome redone in the 1990s - cool views of berlin from here for free!

we saw some cool stuff while in berlin. it wasn't my favourite place so far but we probably missed quite a bit in our rush to get to amsterdam. we saw bits and pieces of the berlin wall, checkpoint charlie, brandenburger tor (which was completely surrounded by a construction fence as they were preparing for the 12th IAAF world championships in athletics), and the reichstag dome at night.

flat penners hanging onto the berlin wall...they just want peace, man!

flat petroffs join flat penners in the 'hang in' for peace

corina's feet crossing the berlin wall marker, 20 years ago she would have been shot

flat petroffs hanging out with the irish bear (of buddy bear fame) in berlin

flat penners in potsdam, germany...oh no is flat ellie going to be squashed even more while flat hannah and flat sasha just smile for the camera?

we are definitely finding that in larger cities 5 days is not enough to see and do everything. one day is spent traveling to get there or catching up on sleep from traveling all night, and at least one day is spent planning the next phase of the trip and doing laundry, etc. we've been in paris for the last 5 days and tomorrow we move on to bordeaux. we could definitely spend at least another week in paris alone but we booked our train tickets to bordeaux before getting to paris and now have to stick to the plan...lessons learned...we hope to slow it down in spain and i am insisting on 10 days in barcelona :D

guten tag,

p.s. if you are a penner like i am you may find this a bit funny...

when our host andrea found out my last name was penner she kind of giggled. apparently penner means begger in german. when we went out to dinner with them jason gave my last name to the server so that he could call us when the food was ready. needless to say he called out 'PENNER' with extra enthusiasm. snickers could be heard throughout the restaurant and patio.


Emms said...

sounds like lots and lots of fun! but seriously, could you please slow it down a bit...you are making me tired.

Karla said...

We lap up your updates like dehydrated dogs at their water bowl.

The girls are loving the pics of their flatness around the world. We're printing off one of each location and pinning it on our world map to keep track of all of your shenanigans together.

Heading to the Forks later tonight to listen to cool Uncle Mark and LeBeato. We think you should be there too.

corina said...

by the time I get back cool uncle mark will be famous uncle mark...I wish I wasn't missing it but we are taking emily's advice and slowing it down in San Sebastian.

glad you like the photos we are having fun taking them and often get strange looks from people as we pose the flat people for their pictures

Mahmoud said...

Hey I loved Berlin when I was there, sounds like you had fun. :) What's next after Paris?