Scandinavia (2021): From Thuringia to the North Cape and back


Back on Germany’s streets

The next morning we went with the Borussia from Copenhagen to Gedser, from where the ferry took us to Rostock. As with the crossing to Oslo, Kevin found us a good corner to sit and I explored the ship for quite a while before sitting down and solving a sudoku from a Dorotea prospectus. In Rostock we had lunch at the port and then continued to Berlin and yes, we were definitely back in Germany: there were a lot of traffic jams. It became clear to us that we were never stuck in a traffic jam in Scandinavia. Despite the much stricter speed limits, driving there was much more pleasant. Unfortunately, we reached Berlin much later than expected.

Berlin zoo

Our accommodation in Berlin was once again an AirBnB, but a special one: It was a room in a student residence, which a Tunisian student named Houssem rented. I’m still not quite sure if that was actually legal (he said it had been agreed with the student union), but admittedly I didn’t really care, because as soon as we entered the building there was a smell of food coming from all corners World. I always had the smell in my nose when I entered my old student residence in Duisburg, which I have a lot of good memories of. And so I was immediately in a good mood. Since the next day was supposed to be our wedding anniversary, Houssem even put chocolates and a bottle of wine in our room. We unloaded everything we needed from the car before heading back out. The weather wasn’t exactly kind to us, because unfortunately it was raining, but the Berlin Zoo was a few minutes’ walk away and even if it was supposed to close in 2 hours, we still wanted to visit it while we were here. In fact, the time and the rain also had something good, because we had entire areas of the zoo to ourselves. However, the 2 hours in front and behind were not enough, because the zoo is really huge. At least I was able to see the turtle enclosure through the window at the end, which was a small highlight for me. It’s just a pity that you weren’t allowed into the building due to the hygiene requirements in force at the time. Nevertheless, we made full use of the rest of the day.

Lots of sightseeing

The next morning we parked the Borussia on a free parking lot on the city ring road to continue from there with rental bikes. You hear a lot of bad things about Berlin’s bike-friendliness, but I have to say that it was sometimes more pleasant to cycle here than what I know from Weimar. There are nice wide bike lanes, bike traffic lights and even turning lanes just for bikes. Every now and then it got a bit confusing when there was a construction site somewhere, which happened more often than you might think. However, otherwise we had a really good ride on our bikes.

Our first destination was of course the Brandenburg Gate. The weather wasn’t the best and it was still quite early in the morning, but it was all good for us as there were hardly any people there and we were able to take some obligatory tourist photos. We had breakfast at the nearest bakery and I drank my obligatory coffee before we continued on foot to the Holocaust memorial and the Bundestag. We were actually still considering whether it would be worth going to the TV tower, but we’ve both been there before and didn’t really feel like going back to Alexanderplatz again. In addition, we only had limited time, because the tickets for our next destination were already reserved.

Computer Games Museum

The Computer Games Museum in Berlin offers everything that makes a nerd’s heart beat faster. There were not only signs and showcases, but of course lots of consoles with lots of games, all of which could be tested. Right off the bat there was a special exhibition on cooking in video games where I tried my hand at Cooking Mama on the Wii. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince Kevin to play Overcooked, but we’ve now played through both parts on the Playstation and I love it! (Unfortunately, Kevin is not that enthusiastic about the game). What I found particularly cool in the permanent exhibition was the dance mat and also an exercise bike on which you could play the racing game Burnout, where you had to kick hard. There was also a corner of old and new slot machines where Kevin and I could compete (and yes, in most cases Kevin won of course). I found the machine great, where you could sit in a cockpit of a car and drive a race. There was also an area with replica children’s rooms from the last few decades with their corresponding consoles. Although I didn’t have a console as a child, some of the rooms looked remarkably similar to those of my friends at the time. Unfortunately, there were only certain time slots in which you could stay in the museum, which was partly due to Corona, but also because everyone should of course have the opportunity to try out the games. Otherwise we could have spent the whole day here.

Actually, we wanted to crown our wedding day with a visit to a Japanese restaurant, which we also went to. Unfortunately, this turned out to be more of a letdown. The Japanese ambience was gone when loud Vietnamese music came towards us. The waiter acted like he knew about Japanese cuisine, but we knew more about some dishes than he did. Kevin ordered okonomiyaki, which unfortunately didn’t have much to do with real okonomiyaki, and I ordered a selection of different vegetables, but as it turned out, just all sorts of vegetables were thrown into the deep fryer. Nevertheless, we had a great time in Berlin.

And so our vacation came to an end. Once again we boarded the Borussia and drove directly to Greiz, where our cats were already waiting for us. On the way back we were really lucky because we were just on the left lane when there was not only a construction site in the right lane, but also an accident. So we arrived safely in Greiz and the holiday was over.

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