Summer of 2022.
Part 1: Berlin with Hayden, Andrea and Brianna.


Berliner Lustgarten

The main reason we were in Berlin again was to catch up with Hayden, Andrea and young Brianna. 

We were there for Brianna’s birth in 2019 but Coronavirus (COVID-19) put a stop to any return travel. The other reason was the wedding of my mate Rob’s son Cam to Fran early in July.

This was planned to be in Rome in 2020 and had been postponed, again due to Covid.

The family had been invited to Rome for the celebrations and this was a great chance to get everyone together.

Our first three weeks was spent with H, A and B, with only this excursion to Große Wannsee.

Not having been to Berlin since 2019 we noticed a lot of difference. This was mainly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On a day trip into the city we were surprised to see that one side of Unter den Linden, the road that houses the Russian Embassy, was blocked off and guarded by German police and armoured vehicles.

There was clearly a fear that the embassy could be attacked by pro Ukrainian supporters.

Support for Ukraine was everywhere, with flags flying from many buildings, including public ones.

Another thing that surprised us was the German’s attitude to the Australian lockdown during the pandemic. They were shocked to hear how severe it had been and many felt that it was infringing on our ‘Human Rights.’

We did try to point out that it was for the benefit of the society as a whole and to many Australians that outweighs individual selfishness.

Another shock was the rise in the cost of living.

It was much more expensive to live here than it was back in 2019.

Even before we embarked on this trip, I had decided that architecture was something I’d missed. As we wandered around the streets of Berlin, I was richly rewarded with an abundance of architectural sights.

Just simple apartment buildings, that had survived WW2, were a delight to see again.

Also as a result of the pandemic, the government introduced a monthly €9 train ticket. This was designed to stop people using their cars and therefore valuable fuel. As far as I was concerned, this was the only positive to come out of the Ukrainian war.

Monkey in a palm tree (I must be in the tropics, not Germany)

June 12, 2022. Berlin to Große Wannsee, Germany.

Coming into Berlin we flew over Große Wannsee, a lake area to the south west. So we decided to visit it on the train and utilise our €9 monthly train ticket.

This was the only touristy style adventure undertaken during our first stay in Berlin.

There was a long sandy beach on the lake with small, two seater, beach seats and a tiny section for the nudies at one end. 

There was a €5.50 entry to the beach and it was crowded.

After visiting the beach on the lake we had lunch just near the entrance to the Berlin-Nikolassee Station. This station, built in 1909 and designed by Fritz Bräuning, is noted for it’s prominent Neo-Gothic entrance.

We then walked from Nikolassee to Schlachtensee. There you could swim and sun bake for free.

If you really needed to spend money, then you could hire a canoe or rowboat or go back to the Große Wannsee.

It was then back onto the train for our return trip to the city. 


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