Matt and I went to Germany and Italy for our (belated) honeymoon. It was my first time in Europe–and certainly not my last. LOVED IT. Can’t wait to see more. I hope you don’t mind me taking a break from my cochlear implant adventures to discuss it a bit. (Spoiler alert: I am hearing so much more now! I have got to write a post about that. Sorry, I was busy honeymooning! Speaking of which…)
Quick breakdown of our trip:
First, we spent three nights in Berlin. Then we flew to Bologna, rented a car and drove to a bed and breakfast in the nearby town of Dozza, were we stayed for three nights. After that, we took a train to Venice for two nights. Then we flew to Naples and immediately took a ferry to Ischia (an island off the coast of Naples), where we stayed three nights. Then we took a ferry back to Naples and stayed two nights there before flying home.
Whew. So much traveling! Matt and I agreed that packing so much into this trip was inevitable, since Italy has so much to offer, but that next time we go overseas (ahem, Thailand, pleeeease) we’ll take a more leisurely route.
Because writing about the entire trip in one post would be kinda boring, I’ve decided I’ll break it up by city. So, today: BERLIN!
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t super stoked at the idea of going to Berlin. When I saw The Talented Mr. Ripley back in the late ’90s, I was utterly seduced by not only Jude Law, but by Italy, as well. Those dreamy images of Anthony Minghella’s sun-drenched paradise stuck with me more than a decade later, so when it was time for Matt and I to decide where to go for our honeymoon, I could only picture one place: DUH, Italy. Matt was in agreement, but suggested we include Berlin in our iterinary as well. His friend Adam has been living there for the last several years and Matt felt it would be a shame to go to Europe and not see him. I nodded, uh-huh, but I’m sure my expression read: Berlin? Gray, dour Berlin? But WHY, when we have Italy, with its vivid reds and yellows, its warm mountains, its turquoise seas? Where Jude Law stepped out of a tub naked? Where God, after being in labor for a torturous 43 and-a-half hours, birthed pizza and tortellini and Campari and wine? And where, you know–I’m sorry–a ton of unbelievably super depressing shit didn’t happen in the last century?
Buuuuuut apparently being married means cooooompromising and blah blaaaaah blaaaaaaah. So… Berlin, in addition to Italy. Okay!
As you’ve probably deduced by now, I came to Berlin with low expectations. And guess what? I loved it. Of all the places we went to on our vacation, Berlin was the only place where I could actually see myself living.
Adam was a great host and gave us a chance to see Everyday Berlin as opposed to Berlin: The Tourist Version. I mean, we did see some landmarks, like Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, and what’s left of the Berlin Wall, but we also ate at a variety of restaurants (Chinese, Ethiopian, Caribbean, and of course, German), hung out at random bars with his friends, strolled through a turkish market with endless stalls of aromatic foods, walked through a huge flea market filled with hipsters and street performers. (Yeah: hipsters. Berlin is chock full of mustachioed imps!) The city is beautiful, not at all gray as I expected. Its history is so rich and bursting from every orifice, unlike anything in America, which I never really truly realized is just so young. There is nothing like being in an old city, especially one that has been through so much.
Berlin’s vibrancy is all that more impressive in light of its history. I mean, it’s been dealt a dark, dark hand. There are old bullet holes from World War II all over buildings throughout Berlin and East Berlin still has a section of that infamous wall that held its citizens prisoner for so many years. These scars show how far Berlin has come and exist as a reminder that what didn’t kill it only made it stronger. And way cooler! And far more interesting! Gahhhh Berlin is so awesome and I want it to be my best friend and can we hang out soon please?!?
Anyway! Neither Matt and I are that great at taking pictures. We tend to get caught up in a moment and sometimes forget to capture it. Oh well. Personally, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. A single memory is more valuable than a thousand snapshots. I was kind of disgusted by all the tourists who literally saw every moment through the viewfinder of a camera. Dudes, put those cameras down. You’re actually living that scene you’re constantly taking pictures of. Enjoy it. Have some wine. Gawd. But, we did get a few pics: