Fiendish Friday: Berlin

So after Amsterdam we went to Berlin. I liked it a lot. Then again no one was smoking marajuana on every street. Things always look rosier when you aren’t going to vomit any second. That said, Berlin is a total foody town. Gluten free was everywhere, which makes it so easy to feed the kiddo and myself. Their public transit system was awesome as well. Even at peak travel times you could still find standing room on every train we needed.

Highlights:
Berlin Zoo, totally fab! I like zoos. Visit them everywhere I go. This is top 5 easily, maybe top 3. They put some serious time and effort into designing the enclosures for the animals both from the perspective of what the animal needs and viewing for people. Example: The Mountain Goat enclosure had a 50 foot high mountain in it for them to climb. I have never seen anything like that for goats. Plus their kids’ playground was way cool. Tons of things that never happen in the US for safety reasons. Snort.

Allied Museum: Museum dedicated to the Berlin Airlift. They have a plane from the airlift on the grounds which you can go into, if you’re there at the right time of year. We weren’t but it was still way cool. No barriers. So I got to walk under that huge beautiful plane. sigh. Lovely.

churchDDR Museum: hands on, interactive museum about life in East Berlin when the wall was up. You can ever “drive” the one car that was available in East Berlin in a 3D virtual street reconstruction.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

Yes, I went to a church. The thing is, this one got bombed in the war and rather than demolish and rebuild it, they restored it just enough to keep it from falling down as a memorial to those who died in the war. It looks amazing as it is.

 

 

Jute Backeri: Gluten free bakery. So good. Seriously. It might have been better than Kyra’s. Maybe. LOL.

Things that made me sad:thewall

“The Wall.” There is a mile long stretch of the wall called the East Side Gallery. Artists have been invited to paint murals regarding their experiences in the DDR. Half the strip is protected by a fence. The other half is tagged to hell with graffiti. It made me very sad that they have to protect “The Wall” with a wall.

 

Checkpoint Charlie: Oh dear god. It’s all reproduction. And it’s like Time’s Square meets bad Hollywood repro. Picture the scene, KFC on the left, McDonalds on the right. CC in the middle, complete with Germans pretending to be American soldiers in uniform, manning the checkpoint. Shoot me now. The real stuff is in the Allied Museum.

The kiddo had a brief desire to move to Berlin. I think he liked all the gluten free food availability. The fact that we never got stuck in traffic. And the amazing museums. He was particularly taken with the Pergamon and it’s amazing set up of the Ishtar Gate. He and his dad are currently building one in MineCraft. LOL

Fiendish Friday: Amsterdam

So we just got back from a couple weeks abroad, so you’ll get a couple Fiendish Fridays that might be more like travel reviews. Deal with it. smiles.

We landed in Amsterdam, the kiddo and I. He had a full night’s sleep on the plane and I had none. We had a four seat row to ourselves, so I showed him how to stretch out on three of those seats and still keep his seat belt buckled. But three seats weren’t quite enough for him and every time I dozed off upright, he would hit me trying to get half my seat as well. sigh.

The hubs told me he cleared both our common credit card for international travel but mine didn’t work when we landed and the 150 Euro he gave me before he left turned out to be 130 sheckles and 20 Euro. Good thing I never depend on a man to take care of me. LOL. I had called my own CC company and got international clearance on my card, so we weren’t totally screwed.

We went to the zoo the first day, sunlight to reset out clocks. I was sadly disappointed. The last time I was at the Amsterdam zoo it was very enjoyable. No idiot controls. Animals right there. They fed the lions live rabbits for a chase. Not anymore. Now it’s all controlled. Very Americanized. Very disappointing. But the kiddo had fun on the play ground.

vangoghmuseum-s0005v1962-800
Photo Courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum

Next day, we met the hubs for coffee. Then took a canal boat tour with my uncle in law.
Kiddo loved the Van Gogh museum. They get high marks for having a scavenger hunt for kids. The kiddo won a postcard with the Van Gogh painting of his choice. I was quite surprised by his choice. The Potato Eaters. Very unexpected.

We capped the day with an educational program and tour of the Anne Frank house. Kiddo was not impressed. It’s so hard to get him to grasp the impact of WWII.

Friday the kiddo was sick. He had a nasty cough and I got to go to a pharmacy and explain in Dutch, which I don’t speak, what I needed medication wise for him. LOL. It worked out ok. Although I was a bit worried with the big green leaf on the front of the box. I asked the hubs about it when we finally got to see him and he told me it wasn’t pot laced cough syrup. Whew. LOL

All in all, Ams was disappointing. We walked most everywhere because it’s not that big. But literally every block someone was smoking marajuana on the street. The smell of second hand weed makes me nauseous. So I spent four days trying not to vomit. Bleh. I know, I know the ridiculousness of a drug prescribed to help with nausea making me nauseous is not lost on me.

Oh, and the kiddo apparently inherited my hubs terrible inability to adjust to time zones. He woke me at 2A every day, saying he couldn’t sleep. I’d give him half a melatonin and he would go back to sleep, but I wouldn’t sigh.

A special note on Schiphol airport. It sucks. 6 security lines, four of which to check our passports. One of them, we had a passport check and interview, walked 20 feet down a hallway and stood in another line for a passport check and interview. I shit you not.