BERLIN – Days 12-15
I had big plans for Berlin, but none of them happened.. The city was PACKED for New Year’s Eve. We spent our first night just walking in the shopping area around our hotel finding food. Found an excellent and cheap pizza/pasta place. Haven’t had seafood pasta in forever, and this place was extremely good Italian food!
The next day it was so cold again we spent half our morning searching for gloves and scarves for New Year’s Eve celebrations – and coffee!! Hotel breakfast sucked, so coffee was a MUST (for me especially ;)). Found a haircut place for the boys who hadn’t had a haircut since July. They were so excited as they got to sit on a motorcycle to get their haircut! The man did a great job, and it was cheap.
Finally after almost our entire day flew by, it was time to leave to go to the New Year’s Eve Party. We all looked like the Michelin Man! It was freezing. I had on two pair of pants, a huge scarf, two long sleeve sweaters, big jacket, two pairs of gloves. Boys had on the exact same, as well as splash pants to keep the wind out. It took an hour to walk to the grounds. We passed a Christmas market along the way, so of course I got a glass of Gluwhein to keep warm 😉 We get to the grounds and pass through security, where John had to take our souvenir mug and hide it as we weren’t allowed to bring glass through. Ok. So then we get through another security, and they tell us we are not allowed through with our unopened bottle of coke. We questioned it, but finally got through. Once again, we walk about half a kilometer, and poof, ANOTHER security! They questioned our backpack (with only the unopened bottle of coke in it). We couldn’t understand, but finally got through.. IT was nice to see they were taking necessary precautions to keep the area safe, but it was a little bit excessive.. We hadn’t eaten supper yet as we were hoping to find a restaurant close to the grounds. Didn’t happen. So when we got past security, we bought bratwurst for John and I and the twins, and Nathan had a pizza that we all ended up sharing. Way too expensive, but it’s New Year’s Eve, so it was fine. One thing we know for sure – Germans certainly know how to drink, but they do not know how to party! We were expecting Times Square ball-dropping kind of evening. Not even close. Music was terrible. Fireworks were alright – although TV shows them as being spectacular! We got back to the hotel late, extremely tired, and very wet! Glad to say we did the trip to be there, definitely do not need to go back..
New Year’s Day we found that the Berlin Zoo was open. We decided to surprise the boys and bring them. Since almost everything we saw was for adults, this was one thing certainly for the boys. We were expecting a couple hours max of walking around, and then need to find a new thing to do. Zoo was amazing – spent over 5 hours there! It was chilly, but we were prepared and had a great time! There was everything – giraffes, zebras, elephants, monkeys, a panther, lions…etc We even saw kangaroos fighting – boys loved it!
Finally time to head home!!! What was supposed to be a 5 hour drive, turned into about 7-8 hours because of traffic and accidents. Long drive, not even a little bit enjoyable – but extremely happy to be home!!!!