We both were wide awake at 2:30 am. We piddled around reading until 6:30 then headed out in search of breakfast. Just a block from the apartment was a little cafe. Obviously a local place the lady behind the counter did not speak English. We made do with pointing. “Coffee” is universal language so no problem there. ￼
Walking back I noticed this building. I did a little double take on the windows. Notice the line of windows on the far left.
They are Trompe-l’œil (French for “deceive the eye”, pronounced [tʁɔ̃p lœj]) is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Forced perspective is a comparable illusion in architecture.
There is a 100% chance of rain today. It is cool, cloudy and off and light rain. Really not that bad to walk in as long as the rain is light.
We decided today was a good day to visit Museum Island. This is one of the top attractions in Berlin, and a good indoor activity.
I have to tell you I do not enjoy this city driving. I’m not doing the driving, Steve is, but I’m sitting there with the GPS going on the phone giving him countdowns on turns and trying to get us where we are supposed to go. People on bicycles, scooters and motorcycles dart in and out of traffic. People do the same thing. Streets are narrow and the GPS has a tendency to lag at the worst possible time, right after we have not been able to make a turn because we couldn’t get in the correct lane. I have numerous heart attacks, I’m trying to softly use the brake on my side of the car, and I’m probably turning blue from holding my breath. And that’s me in the passenger seat.
To compound the issue we can’t read directions on things like parking machines or parking garage entrances. And they are not like the ones we are used to in the states.
Steve found a parking app that gave us directions to a parking garage. We missed it the first time. We drove around the block, which wasn’t really a block but a series of streets that eventually got us back to where the garage was supposed to be when I spotted it. I told Steve “turn, turn, turn!” Which he did. Then we couldn’t figure out how to get in.
So we backed up, found a street where we could illegally park and found the instructions. Steve reserved and paid for the spot on the app, we went through the demolition derby again to get there and guess what? You push a button for a speaker, tell the lady your license plate number and in you go. They don’t have parking like this in Pagosa Springs that’s for sure.
Now we put the museum address in the GPS walk in the rain. Not far. We have our tickets on the phone so we go on in. All we have to do is let the guard scan the ticket and we are in.
We wander around for a couple of hours and then we have both had enough. We didn’t take a lot of pictures My back hurts, I’m hungry, we have been up since 2:30, and did I mention I was hungry?
Steve was worse. I thought he was going to stay on the marble bench and curl up for a nap.
After asking three guards for directions to a “cafe” , which they kindly gave and I didn’t understand more than a few words of, an American voice told us “the cafe is at the end of the building that way. Thank goodness for other American tourists.
We felt much better after lunch and coffee. We had enough of art so we decided to go to the DDR museum which was just a few blocks away.
That was an interesting experience. The DDR museum is a hands on museum which shows how life was in communist Germany. It was very crowded, some of the exhibits had English translations so that helped.
THE DDR MUSEUM
Put a fork in us, we were done. After several wrong turns and near collisions we navigated our way back to the apartment. It took a good amount of time but we figured out how to use the parking machine in the street. So now we won’t get another parking ticket which we have no idea how to pay. I’m sure Hertz will let us know at some point in time.
Did I tell you we had to pay cash for the apartment? Yep, we booked it through Booking.com but the owner, who did not speak much English, let us know that we were to pay cash when she met us at the apartment. We only had 150 euro so we gave her $100 then and told her we would have the remaining 100 the next day. She was gracious and said she would get it today after 3pm.
We were beat, so we locked the door to the bedroom, put the money on a table in the hall and took a nap. When we woke up the money was gone. Transaction complete.
If you didn’t know, you have to get a SIM card and a different phone number to use your phone in Europe. We got some at the Berlin Airport but they were not what we needed. Steve did more research so we searched out a VodaPhone store yesterday.
Steve got a SIM card that would give him better service. 4G. I kept the one we got at the Berlin airport which only gave us 3G service. If you want to know more about how all this works ask Steve. Well don’t ask Steve because once he did an update his PHONE QUIT WORKING and he needed a code.
So off we go to a VodaPhone store before they close at 6. In the rain. Of course.
We ended up buying another damn SIM card. Because only the store where we bought the card can get into the computer to reactivate it. And three hours later Steve’s phone is still not working.
We came back to the apartment and walked in the rain to The Bird again. I know I can eat there. Steve has been so darn good about me saying “I can’t eat there.” Not everyone would be that understanding and supportive I have to give him major props.
Dinner was good. Including the double whiskey that I definitely felt entitled to.
Wonderful walk back to the apartment. It’s just so different here. People in the streets, sitting outside to eat even in the drizzle. The fresh smell after the rain. The architecture is so different. Cobblestone sidewalks and streets.
Steve turned off phones and turned them back on. Took card out and back in. Did all kinds of stuff but our phones are now both working. New phone numbers again. But we have phones again thank goodness.
Tomorrow we head north to see our friends Thomas and Rike. They have babies! I get to hold babies!
Bottom line we are having a grand time. We have been challenged but we have kept our cool. It’s a learning curve for sure. But I guess that is to be expected. Neither of us have ever travelled this way. We are not big city people, this would probably be much easier if we lived in New York or San Francisco.
We remember to look and smell and soak in the fact that we are half way across the world and are so very very fortunate to get to have these experiences.
The walk back after dinner
I discovered this morning that I had not backed the battery operated frothed that I was going to use to make bulletproof coffee. So I have three weeks worth of powdered mct oil, collagen and even powdered butter that I am going to have to haul over Europe for three weeks. And I even bought kerrygold butter at the local grocery store. I am not going to divulge the choice words I used when I discovered this at 3am when I had my mouth all set for bulletproof coffee.
So this was my breakfast. Just the egg.
Lunch was another challenge. I ordered the salmon salad but I didn’t think to tell them no dressing. It was sweet, so loaded with sugar. I scraped it off as much as I could, but didn’t eat much. The coffee was great though.
Back at the room I ate some of the cheese, meat and olives that I had stashed.
When we went out to get the SIM card we looked for somewhere to eat. German and Thai food are really hard for keto. We decided to go back to the apartment and walk back to the restaurant from the other night. Hamburger and salad again. And a double whiskey.