The House of the Wannsee Conference…

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We spent yesterday afternoon travelling out to Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin to visit the Museum and Memorial Site of the Wannsee Conference.  The House of the Wannsee Conference is known as the location where high-ranking German officials planned out the details of the “Final Solution” to rid Europe of all the Jews through genocide.  It was a very thorough and detailed exhibition with tonnes of information and very interesting.  So horrible to think of the tragedies that were planned out here by fireplaces and with brandies by the elite officials in such a beautiful setting.  The area surrounds a lovely lake with magnificent villas all around.  So incongruous and such a contrast to the testimonies contained within the building now. 

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The Einstein Cafe…

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The Einstein Cafe in Stammhaus in Berlin is an Austrian style cafe made famous for many things over the years, particularly for it’s elite guests and residents.  Silent film stars died here and politicians once lived and dined here.  More recently, the cafe is made famous by this scene in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’:

From our photos above you can see we had the Apple Strudel, which was quite different than shown in the film, but the most delicious version of any apple pie or strudel I’ve ever had.  

The Einstein Cafe has a few branches around Berlin, but this location is at: Kurfürstenstraße 58  10785 Berlin

Christmas Day Highlights…

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Christmas prezzies from my one true love! He knows me so well~Weleda Wildrose Lotion, Berlin Bear lemony soap, black pens, glittery scrubby bathtub gloves, black licorice, new sleep mask and Moleskin wellness journal! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Prezzies under the Mini Xmas tree!

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Marzipan Stollen (not as good as it looked….)

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Some kind of German fire water.  Terrible…

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Xmas snacks! Olives, pretzels and mustard, wine, stroopwafels and lots of cheese!

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One of my presents for the man.  Little robot tea strainer!

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Pretzel love…

European Christmas Scenes….

Some photos of our recent travels.  One of the draws of coming to Europe at this time of year is the wonderful christmas “vibe” everywhere.  So different from our last Christmas in Kuala Lumpur which, while affected, was special and beautiful in its own way.  Still, there is something very lovely about the snow and the markets and all the HUGE “tannenbaums”.  

The year is drawing to an end, the world did not end yet and we are going to have to make our onward plans very soon! We only have thirteen more nights in our little Berlin flat, with no onward plans.  This last minute type of travel that we’ve been doing the past couple of years has taught me a lot and still gives me a sense of uneasiness at times.  I am learning that everything does usually work out in the end and whatever happens is a part of the great adventure. 

Although I don’t know how I feel about New Years’ Resolutions, I do feel that January 1st is a good as time as any for a fresh start and a new beginning.  I have my own such “resolutions” and I have been thinking a lot about the New Year given that it’s going to mean so many new experiences for us.

We have more or less resolved to not head back home and instead settle abroad for a while.  This prospect is exciting and nerve wracking.  As much as we’d love to settle in the EU, it doesn’t look like now is our time.  The job market is saturated, the economy is not at its best and it’s quite competitive.  We are likely Asia-bound and probably back to Japan.  I will elaborate more about our thoughts on this in a future post. 

For now, I hope all of you are well, safe and happy.  Enjoy the holidays!

Germany so far…

Loving Germany so far, although I have to say, I don’t think I was fully prepared for the cold weather.  I mean, I packed as many warm clothes as I could, and I figured it would be cold, but I was a bit surprised to already be getting into -8c! I don’t know if I’m feeling it particularly because of my bad circulation, or because I am not acclimatised to cold (having missed out on fall and winter last year) but whoa, momma, it’s a lot to get used to.  It may just turn me into an alcoholic since I spend my time outdoors drinking mini bottles of booze to warm up! Still, I can’t complain because Germany is beautiful! Here are some photos of some of our recent happenings:
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From Amsterdam we travelled to Cologne where we spent just two nights.  On the first night we arrived, we quickly went out to get our first taste of the German Xmas markets we’ve been so excited to see.  Cologne had at least four of them and they can usually be found next to the historic buildings of the city.  Groups of friends huddle together and drink Gluhwein under the magical lights and imposing cathedrals.

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The next day we headed to the famous Cologne Cathedral to climb the 500 and something steps to the top.  Exhausting but worth the climb. 

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From Cologne we travelled to Nuremberg where we spent three nights.  Nuremberg is so beautiful (at least within the old walled city) and we spent a lot of time just walking around and taking photos.  We also spent my 35th birthday here, walking around, going out for a good Thai curry and a traditional Bavarian beer hall.  It was very nice!

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On our final day in Nuremberg we travelled 4km outside the city to visit a Museum dedicated to the Nazi Party Rallies that used to happen there.  It was a very creepy feeling to be standing in the place where Hitler gave his Rally speech to thousands of followers.

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We then travelled to Berlin where we have rented an apartment for one month.  And that’s where we are now! We are loving Berlin so far and having both been here before, we are looking forward to exploring the city and spending Xmas and New Years here.  Despite the cold, we are getting out and visiting flea markets and Xmas markets and with all the snow here lately, it is looking very Christmassy indeed!

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More photos of Berlin soon!