Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Berlin for New Years

I've gotten away from big group trips, but New Year's Eve is an exception after spending it alone drinking Gatorade with the flu last year. To Berlin!

This is such a cool and funky city!

We paid extra to ring in the New Year on a rooftop. 

And to see fireworks 360 degrees around!

Hello 2016!

The first day of the year? Basically food and napping. Got back from the party at 5am. Spent about an hour trying to get ahold of our cab driver because one of my friends forgot her phone... so let's go ahead and say going to sleep at 6am. We had brunch at Cafe BilderBuch, it was fantastic! Then a nap. Finished the day with a food tour with Bite Berlin. It was so wonderful. We had currywurst, Turkish, Viatnamese, and of course some German beer. The local beer gets flavored with an herbal syrup that turns it green. Not too shabby. 

Was feeling much more mobile the next day and started the morning with the COLDEST run of my life. Somehow the temp dropped what felt like 30 degrees overnight. 

That ridiculous drop also made our 4 hour walking tour of the city kind of brutal. 

Brandenburg Tor.  

Memorial to the Murdered Jews. 

"The Wall was brought down, not by Washington or Moscow, but by courageous people from the east." - Gerhard Schröder

And here is to hoping there will never again be the need for a government to build a wall around its people. 

Thanksgiving in Oslo

I am loving the Northern countries. Oslo was cold, but delightful. I bought the Oslo card, which gets free entry into pretty much every museum and rides on all public transportation which was wonderful. Using the card I visited: the Viking Ship museum, the Norwegian museum of Cultural History, the Astrup Fearnley museum of Modern Art, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and jump tower, the Akershus Castle and Fortress, and the Nobel Peace Center. I have to say the Peace Center was one of the most amazing museums I've ever visited, incredibly moving and educational. I also walked through Oslo City Hall where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year. 

There were two restaurants I ate at and would definitely go to again. Le Benjamin Bar and Bistro was my de facto Thanksgiving dinner, it was squab instead of turkey, but close enough. And Elias Mat & Sant, two words - reindeer stew. 

Arrival late in the evening means some beautiful night sights. 

Opera House

Royal Palace

Royal Palace selfie in the morning. 

On Opera House you can walk on. 

Viking ship from 400BC. 

Intricate woodwork. 

Oldest church in Norway, now part of an open air museum. 

Gorgeous sunset... at 4 pm. 

Homes along the fjord. 

A little chilly for kayaking in my opinion. 

Cannons in the fortress. 

Clock on City Hall.

Morning run in Frogner Park. It actually wasn't that early, just you know, Arctic circle problems. 

Views on the water. 

Hotel on the way up to the ski museum.

At the top of the Holmkollen Ski Jump. 

And this is why I don't ski. 

Selfie at the top of the world!