Next level tourism in the place I live

Lately, I have been making lists of things I still want to do and experience in Berlin.  I am calling this the next level of exploring this huge city.  There are still some touristy things that I have kept to do for those miserable weather types of days…these include museums and art galleries and even those little bizarre indoors things that might be something you don’t catch the first time around. Some are super popular and most tourists make a point of going there but I have saved them for days I need to get out.  Then the list includes little spaces that I have gone by but haven’t gone in and now is the time….these includes beautiful churches, English bookshops and random parks.  These may not make the tourists lists but as someone who lives here but is still new the level of fascination is up.

And finally on that list of explorations besides what might catch me on the way are the coffeeshops and restaurants that I want to experience.  They are the shops that I see mentioned in blogs but aren’t the top of the list if you only had a little bit of time.

Yesterday I managed to explore an array of my list from popular museum to random coffeeshop that was just what I needed. I convinced my friend Nevena to meet me at the Jewish museum. To be fair, she had originally picked another museum but it turns out they are closed for reconstruction of the exhibition so I offered the next option on my list. I have been hearing about how powerful and cool this museum is…not super uplifting but really is something to see. When I mentioned it to a German friend, she exclaimed, “Ah! Time to be touristy! But it’s so good too!”  I knew that was the place for me yesterday.  Nevena and I met and explored this place together. Gasping in all the poignant places and chatting along the way.  We weaved and wandered and agreed this was a good place to be yesterday in the midst of the chilly winter.

We wandered to find lunch together and felt as though even though we are both newcomers to this city it is more and more ours.  It was good to not wander alone yesterday morning.

After lunch she headed to her German class (my next one begins on Monday) and I headed back to the bus but along the way I had to walk past this church that I keep passing on the bus and making note in my mind to walk through…today was the day…

church

I walked directly through it and ooohed and ahhed as I saw they were setting up for an event.  Gigantic and beautiful, it must be perfect for concerts like the one they were setting up for…a choir from the US…ha!  No one noticed that I wandered in and wandered out. My curious mind was now satiated from that curiosity. On the other side of the church, my bus was coming up and I hopped on satisfied with adventures so far.

As we rode down the road I remembered seeing an interesting coffeeshop… I  had my book, needed coffee and water….and my bus pass allowed it to happen!  I hopped off right in time to cross the street and knew that this was my spot when I saw this sign…

coffee

Ordered my coffee and was delighted to read and sip for a while.   After a bit, I headed home satisfied with the layers of exploration I accomplished.

So this is what it is to start to live into a larger city more and more but not lose the fresh eyes and curious mind of what goes on here. I keep bumping into people who have been here for years and have not taken advantage of what it means to live here…to explore…to learn…to be…to taste and walk all over pretending to see it for the first time.  What a city to do so in!

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