Monday, April 22, 2013

Adventures in Berlin

When we arrived in Berlin it was technically already our second day on vacation, after a short nap we took quick showers and went down to the concierge to ask about getting euros and getting to the Friedrichstadt Palast for the show we had tickets for that night.  After talking with him we decided to try out the public transportation system to get to the theater. It was very close to the hotel so it really wasn't worth the headache of driving threw the city and parking 'n such. We got off the tram at a market and got ourselves some sweet bread and a Wurst to eat.  Every time we would ask, Sprechen Sie Englisch (Do you speak English) we would get what seemed like the German tag line, "a little bit", which we concluded to really mean I may or may not but I'll try.  We got varying degrees, some who did not at all know what we were saying and likewise for us. Also some that could help us when purchasing food from their shop and others who said, "a little bit" but did just fine.  We had time to kill so we walked around the market and saw some interesting shops and food.  There were these men who would be comparable to a hot dog street vendor in Milwaukee that had their mini grill attached around the waist like a fanny pack or something.  

Street food guy with his fanny pack mini grill, man that looks hard on your back.
Market where we stopped to grab a bite to eat and people watch.
After staying and people watching for a while we moved on to the next train we needed for the theater. When we got to the station we asked the service desk, Sprechen Sie Englisch?  And he flat out told us no.  So we kept walking around observing what everyone else was doing.  On our second lap there was a new young guy at the service desk who pointed us in the right direction. Of course we went to buy a ticket it was another communication barrier.  We told a gal that she could go before us because we were confused and she walked away after pushing some buttons and set up a ticket for us. So we added one more and were off.   Of course once we had tickets in hand there was no one collecting tickets for the train on platform 4 so we hopped on the train anyhow, after 2 stops we got off and started walking to find the theater.

There was lots of graffiti all over Berlin, some was quite good and interesting.

Walking around the city before the show we saw this fun little beer cart.
This time before we left we wrote down the name and address of the theater so if we needed to ask the locals we didn't have to try to pronounce the name we could show them and it worked out quite well. After one block we decided to ask someone because we didn't want to walk to far in the wrong direction.  I asked a gal in a local shop and showed her, and in fact we were going in the wrong direction. We thanked her and started heading towards the theater. On the way we crossed over a bridge with all these locks on it. I had read about it in my travel book it was to signify your relationship and all the locks had names and dates and hearts on them. It was pretty neat.  Over the bridge we found the theater. We went in to pick up our tickets at the box office but had a couple hours before the show started yet. We decided to walk around the city streets and see some of the local way of life.  After walking around for a while we still had time to kill so we went back to the train station to a gelato shop. We each tried two flavors, Adam tried hazelnut and cookie and I tried tiramisu and mango. It was very good!  After the treat we walked back to the theater.

Weidendammer Bridge, couples put locks on to symbolize their relationship however from time to time authorities have to cut off locks when it gets to be too many.
MMMmmmm, Gelato!
The amazing dancers of "Show Me"
Our tickets were upstairs after we found where we were to go in we grabbed a couple of drinks and when ordering our drinks the bar tender had been to the states and had actually been to Minneapolis and Milwaukee! It was nice to find a local who knew what we were saying and that we could chat with for a little while. When it was time to go into the theater we found our seats easily and sat down. The show started and it was beautiful.  It was a cirque du soleil type show. The first half was a little slower, slower music more pretty dancing and such. Adam and were sort of barley holding on staying awake, how terrible right? But they were practically singing us a lullaby. Just before the intermission there was an act with lighted up almost motorcycle suits and helmets on the dancers that was fun and got us back on track.  When the intermission was over the rest of the acts were more up beat and just amazing to watch. That was more like it for us.  The center of the stage dropped out and was replaced with a circle of water. After that there were a series of acts that used the water. One was sort of synchronized swimming another was a male group dancing in shallow water sort of stomping and slapping the water as they danced. The act we liked best was a couple who did a trapeze type act from the very top middle of the stage. It was crazy good. It's hard to describe the way he swung her and caught her again but a lot of that type of thing that makes you pray he catches her.  The show was a fun thing to do at night in Berlin we were happy we got to do it. After the show we headed back to the train station and caught the connecting tram and were on our way back to the hotel.  We were glad to kick off our shoes and eat a snack and go to bed.  We also heard another phrase by the locals that night when asking,  Sprechen Sie Englisch.  Their reply was "of course" which was funny and quite opposite of the other reply, "a little bit". It was weird that these people that say, of course, say it like well yes everyone can.

The Friedrichstadt Palast at night.

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